Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Festive times!

Tue, 29 Dec 2009 01:14

As suggested in my most recent report, the villa fans might well have a bleak midwinter against the Arsenal and so it turned out.  A 3 goal masterclass with a touch of spanish quality.  However, the return match is in late january so who knows?

Enough of the football how about the rugby?

Boxing day saw an in-house match between the club's over 30s and under 30s.  The report, which is not really biased, is supplied by an anonymous front row player of considerable experience.

Old Yards Under 30s 7 - 12 Old Yards Over 30s
Led by Captain Steve Grainger, the Old Yardleians Over 30s gave the Under 30s a Christmas present they didn't want, with a lesson on how to play winning rugby. With a limited number of old men available the Over 30s had to play a few players out of position including Chairman Fitzy at fullback, Marcus "Shark" Hope on the wing and 1st XV loose head prop Bobo at number 8. The under 30s meanwhile had loads of players about two teams worth which included guys from Wyvern as they were determined to put the mature players in their place. The first half did belong to the younger guys. The held their own in the scrum and competed at the breakdown causing the oldies to kick a lot of possession away. They even had a game plan to take out the over 30s scrum half which worked and off he went to hospital. On came Martyn "Captain Slow" Cartwright at fullback while Fitz went to scrum half. A first half with too much kicking from both sides saw the only points of that half come from a kick. A high up and under bounced on the Over 30s twenty-two and the faster, younger guys got hold of the ball. It eventually fell into the hands of Dean "Facebook" Brain who scored under the posts. Rob Willis added the extra points. Halftime 7-0 to the kids. The second half started with the old guys putting down a marker. The first scrum was a put in for the Under 30s but a strong drive by the older guys meant one against the head. Lineouts were also getting difficult for the kids with Phil Painter getting the better of Greg Allen and Marcus Hope coming off the wing for lineouts to dominate the middle. With Coatsey and the Barrel firming up the midfield the under 30s lack of a game plan started to show as the little ball they did get, they made no use of. The Over 30s stopped kicking and kept the ball in hand. Drive after drive saw them camped in the Under 30s twenty-two for long periods. Eventually the defence cracked when Bob danced passed a number of defenders, bounced a couple of tacklers and scored in the corner. A great effort with the conversion by Dave "Ralph" Rollins saw the kick come back off the posts. The second half continued in the same manner with the fatter, older boys dominating with the ball in hand. In fact in the last twenty minutes it was obvious that the older players had the superior fitness. Again pressure told. The over 30s had a scrum five metres out. Steve "The Master" Mancel won another scrum and the older eight drove over the try line. Only quick thinking by Lee Purdy in grounding the bobbing ball stopped a certain try. This resulted in another scrum five. Again the over 30s drove the younger pack back over their own line where Bobo completed his brace with another try. Ralph added the conversion. With four minutes left and in the spirit off 70's rugby the over 30s kept the game alive. Steve Grainger, John Lonie and Andy Killarney carried the ball, ably support by the rest of the Over 30s pack and the drove forward yard after yard. Not to miss out the backs joined for what turned out to be a 15 man rolling maul led by the irrepressible Cedric know as the "Nightingales Roamer". The Under 30s backs did try to join the maul but were swatted away like flies. Eventually ref Tom Power had seen enough and blew the whistle on this Boxing Day encounter. Old Yards Over 30s 12, Under 30s 7.

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