Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

The Vandals enjoy a successful training camp in the New Forest

Thu, 26 Aug 2010 02:09

Well that was a fun weekend (unless you gave two tries away, you left your kitbag & camera behind in the pub and you had to pay for your entire room...that would be me then!).....mind I blame Bob for that last one.

Anyway the Vandals went to the seaside on their inaugural tour on a fairly rainy Saturday 21st August to play Lymington Mariners, oddly enough a side based in the picturesque seaside village of Lymington in the New Forest. (You could actually see the sea from Lonie & Gary's bridal suite apparently). Lymington a side founded only in April 2009 largely to create a local social veterans team, but following a successful first season they will now be plying their trade in the Hampshire Merit 2 league, and good luck to them.

Following a fairly torturous drive down and a lengthy leisurely lunchtime team talk at the Angel public house, involving several isotonics we discovered there was only the one taxi in Lymington today, driven by Dave (tell 'em I sent you) Parrish. So five taxi trips later, the last with Coatesy, Barrel & Slow at ten minutes to kick off we arrived at the Mariners' ground at Woodside Gardens. The after match BBQ already set up and a good crowd assembled to see the lads from Ako Green in action.

Now I have to be honest here having drunk way too much on the night, hindered mostly by the two on the bounce at Chequers I'm not certain if I can remember much about the game other than my two gaffs and trying to kill Smoking in the dying minutes.

Our starting line-up was built around the immense 60 stone front row of Shannon, Dai  & Fridge, with stunt skipper Lonie & Andy K in the engine room, Rog at No.8, Nick at blindside and the youthful Steve Grainger (relatively speaking) at open.

The pack bossed as ever by the General, with the mercurial Smoking at fly half, Barrel & Rimski in the centres, Coatesy on one wing, Bob's mate Cedric on the other and Chairman Fitz sweeping up the mess at the back.

With Mariners winning the toss they surprisingly elected to play down the slope in the first half. The opening minutes were very nip and tuck with the Mariners marginally in ascendency having had a lengthy warm up, but finally we began to warm to our task and ten or so minutes in Coatesy got the opportunity to light up the afterburners setting off diagonally from the left across their midfield bouncing off would be tacklers to score over on the right. Conversion missed. 5-0 Not long after I think we saw off a couple of Mariners' more potent players both going off with knocks thanks to a lot of crash bang wallop from Nick, Rog & Steve & our good looking midfield. 

Not long after that our second try followed, scored by North Mids & now local legend Fridge (see later) following good work by our forwards for a 10-0 lead. Conversion missed (Ralph where are you?). Our scrummage starts to exert lots of pressure, one sending the Mariners back at a rate of knots, all credit to hard working John & Andy having to overcome the bodily inertia in front of them.

Lymington forced their way back into the game just before half time when a fine run by their flanker saw him jink his way through a mass of bodies and score under the posts. 10-5 but it seemed like both sides had left their kicking boots at home as the conversion was surprisingly fluffed.

Half Time 10-5

Half time presented us with something new at our level the opposition changing into their away strip, must be great to have not one but two shirt sponsors....and one a curry house too! Good way to keep both sponsors happy and keep dry, but will play havoc with their laundry bill.

The break also meant we could introduce more "experience" in the shape of  59 year old Club President Sid at hooker, and our most senior player Steve Painter at 60 plus coming into the second row (twice..sorry Steve) & the Gouldbourns with Big Phil partnering Steve and kid brother Ali G going onto the flank. With Roger now keeping Shannon's berth warm at loosehead, Coach Bobo slotted in at No.8 which also meant he didn't have to shout as hard. The final change saw the introduction of surprise tour package (was to me) and Ashby leg end (and another one of Bob's mates) Kendo who took up the outside centre position, with Arnold moving out onto the wing and Cedric taking a breather.

Second half, the slope in our favour and did anyone notice that they started with fourteen?? Me neither!
A few minutes in and Barrel was very unlucky not to score following a "searing" (ok not Coatesy's definition of searing) break up up the middle reminiscent of his Twickenham days only to be brought down by a last ditch tap tackle.

Next to score, though controversially he's adamant it was in the first half,  was the elegant Dave Rimmer taking a pass from the hard working Steve Grainger 15-5 Conversion missed.

Then Steve himself is rewarded with a try of his own, which Dave Rimmer converts for a 22-5 lead.

In the lineouts big Phil is starting to clean up taking ball after ball.... mind being 6-8" taller than everyone else helps!

With twenty minutes to go we put on our final reserve impact player Mark Herbert a former Rugby Welsh stalwart who'd made the long journey up with the General from a sheep farm in St Ives in Cornwall for his first outing in two years, the lengths people will go to get in this side, with Grainge taking a well earned rest.

Captain Slow (on for Coatesy's tea break) decides to add a bit of spice when playing football merely puts the ball a little closer to our line for the Mariners to score 22-10

Our final try of the afternoon was a typical Vandal downhill rolling maul, going through virtually all the sets of hands and with Bobo leading from the back the Mariners despite their best efforts were unable to halt its relentless progress to the line and it was left to the General to touch down. Conversion missed. 27-10

Right at the death a high up and under bisected the on rushing Fitz and the hapless Slow and a cruel bounce (well I would say that wouldn't I) over Slow's head went straight into the chasing young Mariners fish basket to score under the posts. 27-15. Try converted

Final score 27-17 A great game played in an excellent spirit.

Thanks to our away crowd of Dave Jenkins for making the long trek down and keeping the valuables safe.

Thanks too go to our own sponsor OASIS & Phil Watson, the new shirts looked great.

Season starts for us on the 4th September, opposition Old Halesonians at Tilehouse Lane...I wont say anymore, shouldn't need to, so PLEASE try to make yourself available.


ps when camping Barrel it is always better when you remember to bring the  tent.

The way Lymington saw things!

In order to check that our own reporter is accurate, honest etc. you can read our opponents own match report by visiting their website on:



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