Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Match Report - U14s v Redditch R.F.C.

Thu, 21 Dec 2006 05:27

Redditch R.F.C. 15  O.Y.R.F.C. 17

With a few players missing we were further handicapped when the referee informed us that we would not be able to play a combined U14 side with both underage and overage players at the same time.  It was decided that we would play one half as U15/U14 and the other as U14/U13 with a few home team players to supplement the numbers.  So, after a reorganising the side, it was the U15/U14s that started the match playing down a steep slope which ran down towards one corner.  The slope on the pitch came to play a more signifcant role as the match developed, something that was not really appreciated at the outset.

Although up against a bigger looking pack the Old Yards forwards showed their strength in the scrum and as the half wore on this became very evident, even when down to seven players.  With Tom Scott moving to fly half Old Yards were tending to run the ball from this position to try and force there way through and were unlucky on a couple of occasions not to score, particularly when Stuart was tackled very close to the line.

New player George showed some determined running when he had the ball in hand and looks to be another that will add to the strength of the squad.  With the game being played almost entirely in the opposition half, albeit very competitively, Old Yards were still finding it hard to make the break through that their play deserved.  It must be said though that the referee was being very strict in the interpretation of the laws and not allowing advantage to develop.

Finally, in the 15th minute Old Yards made the break through to open the scoring.  George Bishop picked the ball up at the back of the scrum and passed out to Tom, who in turn passed on to Andrew.  With still plenty to do Andrew ran diagonally acroos field to avoid the tackle and straightened his run to touch down in the corner.  Leaving Dan Green with a very difficult kick for the conversion, Dan made a great kick but narrowly missed scoring.

With only one score, the match was very tight and both sides were giving it their all and a little ill discipline was starting to creep into the game.  After a few warnings the referee took action and a player from either side was sidelined for the obligatory 10 minutes.  With the teams down to 14 players, Old Yards took advantage of the home side no. 8 being off the field and scored again after 30 minutes.  Old Yards won a scrum against the head, Callum passed out to Tom, the ball was played along to Andrew who fed it out to Dan Griffiths.  With his usual strong running, Dan powered through to extend Old Yards lead to 10 points.  Again, with a difficult kick, Dan Green was marginally short of kicking a great conversion.  There was no further scoring in the half as the teams changed ends and players.

Half Time - Redditch 0  Old Yardleians 10

With the 'old hands' being replaced by the 'young guns' and playing up hill, it was going to be interesting to see if Old Yards could maintain their domination in the second half.  Looking at the opposition, they didn't seem to get any smaller.  Both sides were still down to 14 players for the first 3 minutes of the half.  The slope on the pitch was being used by the home side to their advantage and at any opportunity they looked to kick the ball towards the corner to gain ground and put the Old Yards defence under pressure.

After 37 minutes Redditch scored to get back in the game with a push over try in the corner.  The score remained at 5-10 as the conversion was missed.  The pressure was now on Old Yards but the younger players were not showing it as they were giving their all with good forward play and in defence.  There were a couple of close calls as the home side tried to use there size to drive over the line resulting in Old Yards having to touch the ball down behind their own line and conceeding the 5m scrum.  It looked as though the home side were going to score as one of their backs was heading for the corner before Andrew made a last ditch tackle to take him into touch.

The game was becoming very tense and there were a few illegal tackles and other infringements that went punished by warnings from the referee.  Eventually the referee felt that warnings were insufficient and sent off David after his earlier yellow card.  With Old Yards a man short it looked inevitable that they would not be able to withstand the pressure being exerted but the forwards were still able to hold their own in the scrum and the tackles were being made.

Against all odds, Old Yards extended their lead in the 51st minute as they broke from defence.  Andrew received the ball on his own 25m and made a darting run up hill and diagonally from left to right to evade the Redditch defence.  Straightening up, he ran down the touchline before crossing in the corner and then having the legs to touch the ball down under the posts.  With a straightforward kick Shaun made no mistake with the conversion to give Old Yards a 17-5 lead.

Again the home side came back and pressured the Old Yards line but Shaun was able to touch the ball down behind the line after a kick forward by the home side.  One of the home side forwards slid in late to injure Shaun who received lengthy treatment for what looked as though could have been a serious injury.  Surprisingly, the referee only awarded a 25m drop-out rather than the penalty.  Redditch gathered the ball from the kick and went down the field to score to reduce the lead to seven points.

With time running out, the home side had their no. 8 sent off for one too many infringements after a high tackle.  This was then followed by a straight sending off for Dan Griffiths for a high tackle, which although was high, did not look dangerous.  With normal time complete the referee judged that there were 6 minutes injury time to play and in the final minutes Redditch scored again with an unconverted try.

In an eventfull and hard fought match, Old Yards played some very good rugby and very hard to defend their lead.  With the changes necessary because of the home teams unwillingness to allow a spread of players from U15s to U13s, Old Yards showed that they now have strength in depth to match more experienced teams and extended their winning run to five matches.

Full Time - Redditch 15  Old Yardleians 17

U15/U14 Team:  Dan Green, home player, Austin Hughes, Matt Willetts, George M, Michael Scott, David O'Grady, George Bishop, Callum Killarney, Tom Scott, home player, Andrew Cox, Dan Griffiths, Stuart Adams, Alex Patrick.

U14/U13 Team:  James Lawler, Scott Wilson, home player, Christian Wilson, David O'Grady, Shannon Killarney, Michael Scott, home player, George Drabble, Shaun Morris, Andrew Cox, Dan Griffiths, home player, Alex Patrick.

Scorers: Tries - Andrew (2), Dan Griffiths
Conversions - Shaun

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