Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

A disappointing return to action.

Wed, 12 Jan 2011 06:05

First XV

After a longer than desirable break from action the boys in the first team made hard work of it against local rivals Woodrush, a team we beat comfortably earlier in the season.  Taking an early lead with a penalty from Max the Ys fell behind when a lucky bounce fell kindly for the hosts which with the conversion gave them a 7-3 lead.  The second half saw the Yards pack exert a lot of pressure on the home side's forwards and it came as no surprise when player-coach Gary Robinson went over for a try.  Unfortunately the conversion came back off the crossbar.  With time running out Woodrush kicked a penalty for a 10-8 lead and managed to hang on for a victory.
Now I will probably be strongly criticised for this but here goes. It ofteen seems to me that when referees are being assessed/observed/supported/or call it what you wish they tend to become over-zealous reverting to law book at the expense of player management and allowing the game to flow.  This is not only the view of an upset loser.  I am a qualified referee and member of the North Mids society and understand the pressures faced by referees.  The Woodrush press report made the same observation and agreed that the match official was card-crazy in a match that was competitive rather than violent.  So how about not telling the refs when they are to be assessed etc. and take some pressure off them.  I await the replies witth keen interest but remember that the game is for the players and spectators as well as for the officials.

Development XV

Under the  new leadership of Luke Harris, our young lads looked a little jaded after the mid-season break.  Playing at home to Woodrush 2nds a close game went the way of the visitors by a 12-10 margain.  The new skipper led the way with an early try and the boot of Luke Griffiths added a conversion and penalty but a late score by Woodrush resulted in a narrow defeat fro the Ys.

The Vandals

The mean machine grinds on.  Warley cried off the arranged fixture but Wolverhampton stepped in to give us a game and in many areas of the game they matched us with determination as well as skill.  However, as the game progressed the Vandals took control and in the end ran out comfortable winners by 47-0.  Tries were scored by Nick Palmer x2, Simon Singleton, Marcus Hope, Phil Watson, Phil Evans and Billy Boy.  Nev kicked 6 conversions.

See full match report below.

This coming weekend (Sat Sun 15/16 Jan)

First XV  v  Redditch  (League)  at Home

Development XV   v  Veseyans   away

Vaandals  XV    v   Birmingham Civil Service    Home


Do yourselves and your club a favour.  All of our min/juniors are in action at home against Edwardians kick off at 11.00.  These lads are the future of the OLD YARDLEIANS RFC  so please make them feel as if they are really valued.


Vandals vs Wolverhampton 3rds - Match Report

Firstly a big thank you must go to our two refereeing props Shannon & Mark without whom we wouldn't have had a game and apologies in advance for the length of this one but it's just like the telly, you don't have to watch it!!

With Warley Vets, as expected, crying off Saturday 8th January 2011 and game  fifteen saw us at home in the wet marshlands of pitch three versus those men in black from Wolverhampton.
With Shannon electing to officiate the first half our starting front row comprised Bill "Bilbo" Burrows at loose, Rick "Swing" Lowe at hooker and  Mark "Land of my Fathers" Baldwin at tight, with John "Fingers" Lonie  and Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn in the engine room, and on the flanks the tackle twins Marcus "Shark" Hope and Nick "Assassin" Levey with Rupert "the Major" Young gluing it all together at No.8 .
Out in the Attendants Phil "the General" Evans at scrum half and Ian "Nev" Neville at fly half, with centres Nick "Barrel" Palmer and the Chairman Tony "Fitz" Fitzgerald , out on the wings our two multi-purpose tools  Sean "Bean" Byrne & Simon "Sideways" Singleton, with  Mike "Nearly" Neary  clearing up the bits & pieces at fullback .
With everybody as keen as mustard to get back into action a large bench in Alan "the Colt" Arkell, Roger "the Dodger" Lazenby", Phil "Horse" Watson and a very welcome return to Dave "Ralph" Rollins in his first game since the first game, oh and Slow.
This weeks stunt skipper Marcus won the toss and elected to stay as we were playing towards Highgate United and giving Wolverhampton the sun in their eyes and the kick off.
The Wolverhampton kick off is a bit of a low trajectory affair, and in all fairness Rick, we on the sidelines all thought you knocked it on, but we get away with it, set and the General sends it out without delay to Nev who kicks over, and Mike and Symes set off in hot pursuit and the ball goes out just inside the Wolverhampton half. Lineout to Wolverhampton and we look to spoil, but they manage to get it away despite pressure from Shark and the Assassin. The fly half evades Nick's attentions and passes to his centre who brings his partner in on the scissors, but Nick seldom gives a second opportunity and down he comes, ball appears to go forward in the tackle but we are penalised for not moving away.
The first of many Wolverhampton kicks fails to find touch and we field and set and the General puts a box kick over the top, Marcus is first there, but is sent the wrong way by the winger (it happens sometimes) and Wolverhampton look to bring it out, Barrel makes the first tackle, but Wolverhampton get it away; eventually kicking ahead and ball is taken by Bean who takes it on and makes good ground, his bit of a loose pass is scooped up by Fitz and the 677 gather round. Phil spins it out and Nev puts in a great raking kick over the top, going out inside the Wolverhampton twenty two and giving us great field position.
It's a tap down at four from Wolverhampton and we pour through and secure the Lucy, the General wangs it out to Nev and Barrel comes in on his trademark scissors, and living up to his name barrels through two or three post Christmas tackles to go over for our first try, midway out right hand side. 5-0 Nev's conversion just falls short.
It's a bit of a grub hunter of a restart revealing they've definitely left their kicker back at Castlecroft, the ball just about evades Fingers and it's Bilbo who secures it and we set. Phil spins it out to Nev to Sideways who following Slow's sage words comes in off his wing looking for trade at every opportunity, beats his first man but his pass is judged marginally forward (I'm going to bring my laser spirit level next time). So it's the first scrum to Wolverhampton with their own two Pillars of Hercules with a good littlun in-between. It's a solid scrum and the Wolves No.8 picks up from the base and gets ankle tapped by the Assassin, The Major then steps in to complete the job and strips him of the ball. We get it back to Phil who finds Nev who kicks long and Symes gives chase, but Referee Killarney decides he's set off a little too soon (Friday) and gives a penalty to the men in black just on our twenty two.
The fly half elects to bang it into the corner which he does and it's an attacking lineout about five metres from our line. It's a streaky throw but Wolverhampton secure it and spin it out, there's a move but they fluff their lines and the ball gets knocked on in the midfield, for a scrum to Yards. At which point the General comes off with a nose job (an elbow he reckons) and Ralph restarts his season at scrum half. Our scrum is under pressure probably for the first real time this season as their two props give Bilbo & Gethin some real work to do which they do and we steady the ship and Ralph picks up and takes it into contact, we set and Nearly comes in at 9 and passes to Fitz who makes a great catch and punts it forward with Sean in pursuit, and he escorts the winger into touch for a lineout on their ten metre line. We take it quickly and Sharks sets off to the line and gets caught just shy, Fingers is first there in support but they're outnumbered and Wolverhampton steal it and try to clear, Nick takes the deflected clearance and feeds Ralph who gets sucked in and we have to set, it's Sean this time at scrum half (see they all want your job General). Wolverhampton get their hands in but whistle goes in the nick of time and it's a scrum to Yards five metres inside their twenty two, but the ball comes rather unsympathetically out the base and Ralph gets the Wolverhampton back row as well, scrum Black .
We fail to budge the all black scrum with big captain Nat and his boys holding firm. Ball comes out to the fly half who's attempted clearance is caught by Sean, who sets off looking for support and finds it Barrel shaped; Nick stands it up well and waits for the 677 to arrive. The industrious Symes takes the short pop off the back, and finds Nev, to Bilbo, to Bean, to Swing Lowe but ball is unlucky to get nudged forward, but you sense we're beginning to warm to the task. Scrum to Wolverhampton, the bloodied but not bowed (ok annoyed) General trots back on and Ralph comes off.  It's a good scrum for us as Fingers and BMT get on a bit of a shunt, and it's a hospital pass to the Wolverhampton fly half standing in the dead ball area and Marcus, Nick & Phil are over him like a rash and his clearance kick squirts out a metre from their line.
We goof the lineout and Wolverhampton come away with it and their beleaguered fly half has another go at clearing his lines and again finds Bean, who shows him how to do it when his up and under drifts out on the full for a Wolverhampton lineout. Marcus steals their ball and the General sends out his version of the bouncing bomb which bypasses Nev and goes straight to Barrel who chips ahead for Sideways chase, the ball going out just in front of the Wolverhampton line giving us great field position. The Wolverhampton four jumper taps down and we all file through, the fly half manages to get a kick away but only straight into the arms of Bilbo who feeds big Phil, who takes it on and we set. The General sends it out to Nev who sells a couple of windows before changing course and trying to find his way through our entire pack! Our forwards decide to hang onto him and we set, Bill has it at the back but his pass is too hot for the Major to handle and it goes forward, and it's a scrum to Wolverhampton five metres from their line. Again it's a horrible one to their fly half who seeing the twins and the Major has no option but to dot it down for an attacking scrum five metres out.
Not the best of scrums, but Shannon gives us another go at it, the Major picks and goes, but whistle has gone and we get some more scrum time. No problems this time General ships it out to Nev who dummies Barrel and pops it to Sean who gets clotheslined and it's a penalty for the high tackle. Following Vandals doctrine Nev bangs it into the corner. Gethin's throw is somewhat less than straight big Phil virtually having to pluck it out of the Generals hands (but we all see the funny side) and it's a scrum to Wolverhampton. Ball comes out to their fly half who like he's done all half kicks it into our hands, this time it's Mike who takes it cleanly at full tilt, sells one and goes inside the first man, passes to Barrel who takes ball and tackler but is unable to get it away and is held up for a scrum to Wolverhampton.
The ball comes out and Nick makes the first tackle, Bean the next as Wolverhampton try to keep the ball alive basketball style in their twenty two, before reverting to Plan A: letting the fly half kick the ball back to us and again it's Nearly Neary who takes the catch (Captain's note to Forwards: see how fortunate we are having an entire back division who can actually kick from hand). Mike goes it alone this time cutting inside the first would be tackler and keeps on going until he's finally stopped about fifteen metres out. The defence do little to move away from the tackle and pinch the ball (I know this because Arkell is screaming in the background, he takes this rolling away to heart) their captain big Nat comes away with the ball, Marcus and Rick nab him and they recycle, their scrum half takes it on, Bean nabs him, and the General the ball, the Major plucks the ball off the deck and we set with Marcus and big Phil. The ball comes out to Nev who pops it over the winger again for Symes to chase and it goes out about ten metres from the line for a Wolverhampton throw.
Ball comes in but we're accused of hugging too early, so kick to Wolverhampton so a) they kick and find touch or b) kick and find a Vandal, obvious big Phil plucks it out of the air and goes on the run, sidesteps the first one and keeps going down the tram lines before finally being driven out on their twenty two. The compact Wolverhampton hooker hits his two jumper and he goes to ground and we all pile on and get pinged. Another poor kick (so low it takes a deflection off Gethin's 54" shirt on the way out) which goes out on the Wolverhampton ten. We pinch the lineout, the General takes it on a bit offloads to Symes who takes on further, we spin to Fitz, to Sean who cuts back inside, gets tackled but we set and look to go again, Phil sees it, looks to go blind, finds Nev and he puts another one over the winger's head and it goes out fifteen metres from their line.
The throw goes right over the top and we snaffle the Lucy, the General sends it out to Nev who dummies to Barrel and sends one over the top to Bean who "improvises" kicking it on the half volley and Symes clears it up. But there's a nudge forward and Wolverhampton get the scrum, they take it blind and work an overlap and Mike Neary makes a cracking tackle and dislodges the ball to boot, for a scrummage to Yards. Ball comes to Nev and again he pops it over the wingers head, he retreats collects and evades Symes and sets off across the park before making a good touch just on our ten metre line. Hard to believe given all our pressure it's till only a five point game.
Big Phil takes the lineout, pops it to not so big Phil who gets scragged, so Sean comes in at nine, he spins to Nev, Barrel comes in on the scissors, offloads to the Assassin, he gains a few more yards and the rest of the 677 pile in, Phil digs it out pops it to Shark, passes to Barrel who makes a few more yards, we set, Phil to Nev to Fitz to Mike coming into the line to Symes who skilfully takes it behind him, makes great inroads, inside their twenty two, offloads, Mike Neary to Nick Levey, we set Phil passes to Nev, he's tackled, Bilbo takes it pops it to big Phil and we set again, we come left to Sean to Mike he dummies inside to Rick, passes one off his boot laces to Barrel who goes to goes to ground and we drive over, lots of numbers, but it's a penalty to Wolverhampton for going over.
Lonie then proceeds to remodel one of his little fingers into a cactus and has to come off, the Major moves up into the second row alongside BMT and Roger the Dodger slots in at No.8. The kick unsurprisingly doesn't make touch only Rick's knees, he secures it on the floor and we set and spin, Phil to Nev misses out Barrel to Fitz who straightens up the line, to Mike who takes his man but ball goes loose just inside the Wolverhampton twenty two, scrum to Wolverhampton. Rog's presence is felt immediately as we get the nudge on, ball comes out to their fly half who yes you've got it kicks, fails to find touch but Simon instead in midfield who sets off dodging and weaving, gets in two or three hand offs but gets brought down just short of the line. Wolverhampton get the scrum, their fly half the ball, and his nightmare continues - the clearance kick going out a metre from the line.
Big Phil takes the lineout and we drive it on a yard then spin, Nev shows the ball, Sean comes into the line, lots of movement, big shouts from Barrel then Fitz, Nev dummies them both flat pass to Simon who lights them up and goes over for his sixteenth try of the season close to the sticks. Great stuff 10-0 Nev converts 12-0
Rupert takes the streaky restart, everybody gathers round, Phil pops it to Rog on the charge bish bosh goes straight over the top of the first two, makes ten yards route one, goes to ground and it's one of those odd accidental offsides that brings the half to a close.
Halftime  12-0 A score not really reflecting our somewhat rusty but moreorless total dominance. Sainsbury' isotonics all round think we've finally settled on the right product. Shannon & Mark swap whistle & biro, with the omni-functional Bilbo moving across from loosehead to tighthead. Ralph stands in at fly half while Nev nips back to the changing room to put a new lens in. No other immediate changes made.
Nev's restart evades everybody and goes out for a lineout to Wolverhampton. They secure and ball and it comes back to their fly half  he's caught by Nick & BMT a few metres outside their twenty two, Sir sees something he doesn't like and we're pinged. Oddly enough the fly half doesn't find touch and Sean takes the catch and brings it back and looks to cut back inside, he finds Marcus in support who breaks two tackles before going to ground and we set. They're all over it and the General, but he manages to extricate himself and passes to Ralph at ten who puts in a neat chip into space deep in the Wolverhampton twenty two, it's a 50/50 foot race between the nearest defender and Barrel who opts for the unorthodox with a two footed sliding tackle, with both arriving at the same time the ball goes forward as Symes scoops it up and goes over, but the whistle has gone and it's a scrum back to Yards five metres out. The ball comes out at the side, Phil's out shopping round the back but the Wolverhampton flanker knocks it on, no harm done so we have another go which Wolverhampton take the opportunity to drive us off our ball and the No.8 picks up and the General makes the tackle, but the ball still finds the fly half who promptly drops it. Another scrum to us, steadier than before so we kick it back to them instead, and once again the Wolverhampton No.8 picks up at the base and flips the pass to his fly half who finally manages to get one away into touch despite the attentions of Symes & Phil.
Time for a couple of changes, Mike takes a breather, Ralph moves to fullback, Nev his vision restored comes back on at ten, and Horse comes on for Sean.
It's a messy lineout but we manage to secure at two, and Wolverhampton are drawn offside. The General takes a quick one, and Wolverhampton aren't quick enough so Referee Baldwin gives us another ten metres. Nev bangs it into the corner about six metres out from the goal line. Big Phil takes it cleanly at four and we drive it on, everybody's in and over we go and it's the General who emerges with the ball. 17-0 It's a great conversion wide out by Nev extending our lead to 19-0
Rick nursing a sore knee comes off and rather fortuitously Greg Allen fresh from a run out with the Development side has appeared on the touchline obviously to see his future uncle in law in action, and he's drafted into action.
The restart doesn't go ten, but we play it and we set, Rog pops the pass to big Phil who gallops forward, gets tackled but pops it up off the deck to Shark, he takes it on, not surprisngly it's Nick in support of his partner in crime, he feeds the Major who finds Horse outside him, he in turn passes to Barrel as our interplay increseases in tempo. Barrel takes it into contact and we set, Phil digs it out and passes to Nev (now at this point I hear myself saying here it comes) as Nev finds Shannon and he doesn't disappoint and like the fourteen teams before them Wolverhampton buy the dummy hook, line & sinker. Shannon, finds Nev he pops it to Marcus who in turn finds Bilbo, but Bill's pass to Nev is judged forward. Scrum to Wolverhampton about five metres out, which Greg takes against the head (all on his own obviously), Roger picks up & goes, but he's held up, Rupert takes the ball off him as we really begin to warm to our task, Wolverhampton look to have come offside, but we settle for the knock on and scrum instead.
Ball comes crisply out from Phil to Nev and Barrel comes in on the scissors and in a carbon copy of his first Nick keeps going like a hot spoon through a tub of Ben & Jerry's to score his second. 24-0 Nev in the zone makes no mistake 26-0 & Slow knows that's game over.
It looks like everyone's saluting as the sun starts to set in our eyes, and it's another low restart which Roger takes and sets off at flank speed steamrollering his way forward, even has time to sell a dummy to the General, and passes to Barrel who pops it to Ralph in support who turns them inside & out, the ball goes back inside and Marcus picks it up off the deck and we're still keeping it going, we set, ball comes straight to Ralph who sells a dummy and kicks forward, their No.8 collects and gets Horse too. We turn it over, the General takes it on pops it to Nick, makes a yard pops it to big Phil who takes it on, sees Nev who gives a well timed pass to Shark who cuts inside and goes over under the posts 31-0 Easy one for Nev 33-0.
The fly half has had enough and somebody else takes the restart and Bilbo takes it and sets off into traffic, Steps is first to him, the General offloads it to big Phil who takes it on a yard before passing to Symes who is driven into touch. Lineout to Wolverhampton, Fitz comes off Symes moves to outside centre, Mike Neary comes on to the wing and Nick Levey makes way for young Arkell.
It's a great take by the Major, we clear up and set, but the General gets sucked in so the pass goes direct to Nev who looks long but chips short the Wolverhampton centre collects but he's turned over, young Greg finds Horse who sets off building up a head of steam, bursting tackle after tackle and makes nearly thirty metres before being stopped just short of the line and the ball goes out in the corner. Lineout Wolverhampton but we steal at two and Rupe comes away with it, and the General whips it to Nev, dummy scissors off Barrel, and Symes takes a flat pass and jinks  back inside, he gets pulled up about five metres out, Barrel's first to him, ball comes back to Phil who pops it to Ralph who finds Greg but the ball goes to ground (Vandal code for he drops it). Scrum Wolverhampton about five metres out, the first with all our big units on and we put on the squeeze and the Wolverhampton scrum half under pressure from Shark and Phil is forced to take it over his line and dot down. Attacking scrum five metres out.
Phil plucks it out from Roger's feet and sets off, does a run around with Barrel then straightens it up finds Marcus in support, he takes it back into contact, we recycle and the General sets off again, gets stopped, Mike's in to tidy up, he pops it to Ralph to Shannon who sells an outrageous one even for him, and passes back to Ralph and the ball goes to ground (remember code). So it's a scrum to Wolverhampton and they clear to Ralph who sends it back with interest the ball going out six or seven metres from their line. Lineout Wolverhampton, they throw to two and secure it, so we try to drive them into touch and Bilbo gets pinged trying to burrow his way in (excuse the pun).
They take it quick and Greg gets the tackle in, but the No.8 breaks clear and Marcus is first to him, and the ball gets squirted out, as to their credit Wolverhampton continue to try and play, albeit constantly in their own twenty two, but inevitably the ball comes loose & Symes is first to it, he feeds Barrel who spins it to Nev to Marcus and we take it forward again. Barrel takes it on after pinching it from the back of the ruck and he feeds the General who finds Rog who boshes his first would be tackler, ball comes back to Rupe, he spins it to Symes who pops it back through his legs, we spin it to Ralph who cuts back inside and into contact, and we drive it on a yard or two then release it again to Nev who finds Greg who pops it to Barrel looking for his hat trick, but gets held up, ball's off the ground and we pile in and set, the ball comes out to Symes who gets collared and turned over and the ball is nudged forward for a scrum to Wolverhampton. The No.8 picks up and pops it to his scrum half who kicks virtually direct to touch, gaining no ground and it's an attacking lineout five metres out. Roger takes it we set and Bilbo peels round to crash over close to the posts. 38-0 Nev makes it five in a row 40-0.
The restart doesn't go ten so it's scrum back to Yards, ball comes out the tunnel, so we have another go, Roger following orders leaves it, the General passes right to Nev who sends it back left to Barrel, to Simon at pace he evades the first tackler and keeps going, passes to Horse who's brought down. We recycle, Phil to Nev, no centres out there so comes back inside looking for support and finds it in the shape of Horse who sets off towards the posts, no one wants to know cept the fullback who's despairing attempt is brushed aside by the big man to go over under the posts 45-0  Nev makes it six  47-0.   
They save the best till last as the final restart kick is perfect, high & long but straight into the arms of Roger and the 677 gather round, and somehow Wolverhampton burgle and come away with it and Mike Neary makes another great tackle, and they recycle ten metres from our line and playing for pride, Sir's seen an infringement and it's a free ball to Wolverhampton. No advantage comes, whistle goes they take it quickly their hooker runs into Arks who literally picks him up and hangs on to him, so ball (& man) held up, scrum to Yards five metres from our line. Greg gets pinged for foot up, penalty Wolverhampton, a lot of sides would have opted to get on the board, but Captain Nat decides on a scrum, they drive, No.8 picks up the General grabs a leg, Shark the other and we pile in and he's turned. Phil secures it, he pops it to Bilbo, to Ralph and we go from just in front of our line, he kicks ahead and Wolverhampton knock on and that's it.
Final score 47-0 final age a paltry 635 I blame Greg for being under thirty. 
This weeks man in the dirtiest shirt award goes to Shark.
It took us a while to get into our stride having been out of action for a month, and whilst dominating really throughout the first half it was just final execution letting us down on two or three occasions when we could of gone in twenty points to the good at least. A very good Wolverhampton front row gave us problems throughout the game but in the second half those fond memories of 2010 came flooding back and  we remembered exactly how good we are and we stepped up through the gearbox to run out comfortable winners.
Next week's game is one from the history books the Vandals v the Barbarians over at Moor Lane in Witton.


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