Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

The Wake-up Call

Tue, 06 Nov 2012 09:15

They say that all good things come to an end and I guess that as long as we can put things right and learn from our mistakes then it might not be too much of a problem.
On a personal basis saturday was not one of the best.  The Gunners failed to turn up for the Old Trafford fixture and when they did arrive the traditional bias towards the home team saw the ref remove our best player and also award them a penalty.  Anyway that is enough about football.
With our first team over in Warwickshire, I thought I would try something different so I got my bike out and pedalled off to the Eds in Streetsbrrook Road only to find out that they only run two sides and they were both away.  I thought about cycling over to the club to watch our other teams in action but it was getting colder and common-sense prevailed.

First XV                     v       Harbury               Lost 16-27
Development  XV      v     Willenhall 2nds        Won   12-0
Vandals                       v     Harborne 2nds      Won   26-17

This means that our Firsts and our Development team have each lost one game but the 'Last of the Summer wine XV'  remain unbeaten.

On sunday, our under 17s played a very large Five Ways team.  Games between us and them are always very tight and this was no different.. The only difference between the sides was that they played the conditions more effectively than us.  On a bitterly cold morning with rain as well, our usual game plan to win the possession and spread play out to our speed merchants came unstuck with cold hands resulting in knock ons and poor passing.  For most of the match there was only one try scored but they scored the decisive second try on the final whistle.  A 10-0 loss but being a friendly it won't do too much harm as long as we learn from our mistakes. A special thanks to Mr Cillian Ryan of  North Mids Referees Society for an excellent performance.

With a considerable degree of modesty, Arkell senior briefly mentioned the fact that he scored two tries in the Vandals win over Harborne. I am sure nobody noticed the fact that he then eased up in order to avoid the purchase of a jug of finest ale.  I don't believe the rumours but some people might.  The other points came from a Simon Singleton try, a penalty try and the usual few conversions from Dave Rollins. Read the full match report below.

Saturday 10th November

First XV              v       Telford     RFU Vase (Final at Twickers)    Home   2.15
Dev  XV              v       Aston Old Eds                                          Away    2.15
Vandals                v        Tamworth Vets                                         Home    2.15

Sunday  11th  November

Under 7, 8, 9       v       Bournville        Away     Kick Off   11.02
Under  10             v      Bournville        Home     Kick off    11.02
Under  17             v      Bridgnorth       Home     Kick off     11.02  (league game at Portway)

Guess Who ?
She who likes fireworks decided that a visit to the Eds was the best plan for saturday evening as it is walking distance, so off we go and as planned met up with an ex Old Yards hooker with welsh backgroud and a trumpet playing bloke who used to play flanker or centre.  No points for guessing who they are.  At the home of former Ys players who failed to reach the standard expected at Tilehouse Lane, it is always good to say a few words to Younger Jacks, Tinker, Mr Ogan, Peter Green (carpets are him !) and I even saw in the distance, one time second row player, Steve Rabone.  However, the special celebrity this week is a former Ys number 8 or second row, who also played for Moseley etc.  A big guy with a distinctive head of hair, if you approach him and say something like, 'Bring your kit next week you would still fit into our Vandals with considerable ease.'  Then he would almost certainly buy you a pint.

Vandals vs Harborne 2nds (Merit League) - full match report

Last Saturday found us at home against Harborne 2nds in our sixth Greater Birmingham Merit League fixture; now with no table available from the League organisers, and assuming we got the points in the Civil Service game we can only surmise that we may be joint top alongside Wyvern 1sts with Harborne 2nds possibly in 3rd place but the only thing guaranteed a competitive game on the cards .
In the forwards this week Shannon " Steps " Killarney, Rick "Swing" Lowe & Mark "Gethin" Baldwin in the front row,  Andy "Harry Hill" Killarney partnering John "Casper" Lonie at second row, with a back row of   Nick " the Assassin" Levey, Marcus "Shark" Hope  and the try scoring Leviathan Alan "the Colt" Arkell at No.8. The Girls this week; at nine Phil "the General" Evans alongside Ian "Nev" Neville at fly half, in midfield   Max "Gimo" Gimson & Simon "Sideways" Singleton with Mike Neary & back row Dave Hawkins out wide with Dave "Ralph" Rollins directing traffic at full back.    
On the chaise long this week Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn, Pete "Fudge" Butler, Gary "Smokin'" Williams all three continuing to increase the size of Slow's ulcer,  Alex "Conan" Doyle and Steve "Person of Interest" Roberts, yes I know I got changed too, but it was never really gonna happen.
Always cheery to see the opposition warming up and going through copious drills before the game, and looking very organised in the process with cones & things....but nothing we haven't seen before, but quite honestly we're all too old for that with only three players below forty in the starting line up, so Shannon gets about five minutes to work with our tired limbs before we kick off, and that with fourteen players as Gaz is still en route from the changing room, so after some small amount of deliberation Slow decides to put young (at 27 all relative) Dave "Hawkeye" Hawkins, normally a back row out on the far wing (reminded me of David Duckham if I'm honest). Mind I love it when you're all shouting at me, for players, kicking tees, water & the like, makes me feel wanted!
With lightning striking twice the man in the middle is Ian Jackson for the second week running, and with Casper wary (or that weary) of having to talk to him again, he suggests that Shark should handle the on field captaincy today. Shark then promptly sets about losing the toss, but Harborne opt to receive and we get to play towards the Clubhouse in the first half.
Nev kicks off and it's fielded cleanly by a Harborne player, who takes it into contact and it's spilled and we get the game's first scrum, Gethin, Rick & Steps put on the squeeze & Harborne end the first one on their backsides, so we have to have another go. Steady ball and the General dummies and sets off, finds Harry Hill in support and he takes it into contact and the rest join in. Phil digs it out and passes to Shannon who's forced to stand it up before flipping it back to Phil and he puts a high one up and we all give chase. The Harborne player takes a clean catch and a couple of Vandals to boot, but they manage to get it away and clear to touch, the ball going out midway between their twenty two & ten metre lines. The Assassin takes it cleanly at two, we gather round and drive infield, unfortunately it's knocked out of Gethin's hands and we concede the scrum, but no matter as we drive them off their own ball & Arks picks up and as per Slow's instructions heads in the direction of their fly half. Arks looks inside for Phil but his pass is knocked forward by the fly half, so we get the scrum on their twenty two. Arks picks up offloads to Phil on his shoulder, who spins to Sideways who has to take it off the deck, he finds Hawkeye outside him and the pair play catch between the tramlines until the move breaks down and Harborne are able to clear to touch.
A couple of scrums follow the lineout and in both Harborne have to deal with it going backwards, but we fail to capitalise and concede territory as a series of poor touch finders go direct into touch. At this point some light relief is provided by Barrel's "dog" in a canine pitch invasion while our crocked centre rather pathetically looks on and after showing everybody a clean set of paws, Slow turns out to be a bit of a dog whisperer and calls the ferocious beast and obediently the mutt sits calmly at heel.
The next few minutes are fairly even but following the game's first penalty to Yards Rick is forced to limp off with a toe injury and Fridge comes on adding  an extra five stone to the front row and Gethin switches to hooker. Both sides begin to employ shortened lineouts with the two lightweights Shark & Nick catching everything thrown at them and then causing disruption on their ball.
From one such lineout Shark takes, drops it down to the General, ball goes to ground but we recycle & Andy takes the short pop pass and takes it into contact, but the ball's knocked forward in the maul first by us and then by Harborne, so they get the scrum only to concede a penalty which Ralph despatches to their twenty two. Nick takes cleanly at two and we drive, John splinters off as we continue to head for their line. Ball goes to ground, the General finds Shan, throws the customary dummy before being held up, Phil gets it away to Gimo, to Nev who makes the half break before finding Mike in support. We're forced to set, recycle & go again through Mike who offloads to Shannon who drives it on a yard, before repeating the process as Mike gets the ball again, gets held but draws the penalty. We go quickly, long one to Max who's isolated and we get turned over and they kick to touch, ball going out on their twenty two. Nick takes the lineout offloads to Fridge who tidies things up and we spin, Phil to Nev, miss one straight to Simon who slices through the gap but his pass bisects both Mike & Ralph and sails harmlessly into touch about ten metres out from their line.
There's a knock on in the lineout and it's a scrum to Harborne infield. Again their scrummage creaks & starts to go backwards and as the ball comes flying out the back & over their line and as the General rushes to dot the loose ball down someone gives him a tug backwards, ref spots it ...no brainer penalty try which Ralph converts 7-0 with about twenty five minutes gone. Andy comes off and big Phil comes on.
Unfortunately that's where we had a spot of technical bother with the gadget so the rest of the match report is purely from Ralph's photographic & my aging memory, so apologies if the order isn't possibly quite as accurate as you're used to and whatever bit of outstanding magic you did doesn't get a mention.
Our lead doesn't last very long maybe a matter of a few minutes following the restart when after a sustained period of pressure in our twenty two their big No.8 comes crashing through our defence to score close to the posts and with the try converted it's all square at 7-7.
But we have a big No.8 too and our scary looking scrummage continues to shunt the Harborne eight in the direction of the showers time & time again and following an initial & unsuccessful dry run by Arks we make no mistake from the next two close range scrums and drive them back over their line for the Colt to burrow over & collect a quick fire brace, one of which Ralph converts for a healthy 19-7 lead. Not long later with a jug looming Arks has to have a lie down, Dave switches from wing to No.8 & on to the wing comes Steve "person of interest" Roberts...not so sure about the long Johns mind.
We reach halftime with no further scoring 19-7 at which point Sir tells me that Harborne are looking to go uncontested, as one of their props appears to have been "educated". In all honesty I'm not really surprised given that they were on the end of 142 stone & our best forty minutes scrummaging so far this season, but following a small discussion in the huddle, Rick, the pain in his toe now worn off, sportingly offers to play for the opposition (again) and I extend the invitation to their management team and to their credit Harborne accept the offer.
With Rick now shoring them up it all goes a bit tits up after the break mind as Harborne come out all guns blazing and score two unanswered tries, one from their lively young scrum half who grubbers ahead from close range and dots down, but crucially only one try is converted but at 19-17 it's all to play for. A couple of penalty kicks for Harborne go begging too as we start to flirt with the self destruct button, including one nice 30 or 40 metre stroll backwards for perceived back chat by Jacko, think we just have to accept he simply doesn't like us. If only they had this in the Premier League, they'd all be choirboys within the week!
Slow makes his last couple of changes as Nev takes a bow, Max moves to fly half and Smokin' slots in at centre, and our only real youngster Alex comes on in place of Mike.
So with ten or so minutes to go it's all getting a bit tense out there until Sideways does what Sideways does and he sets off on their ten metre line on one of those initially horizontal (that'll be sideways then) breaks of his, pretending to throw passes to his team mates, weaving in & out of defenders, before leaving them for dead & going over behind the posts 24-17 and Ralph converts to go two scores ahead 26-17.
And despite Jacko then conjuring up one of the longest last ten minutes we've had for a very long time we manage to hang on for the win.
Final Score 26- 17   Final age 641 & still averaging well over forty!
Men in the dirtiest shirts this week....the Vandal Massive for eighty & a bit minutes of solid graft . 
Well earned week off this Saturday, the call of internationals, injuries & romantic weekends away (that'd be me technically all three) taking it's toll on our numbers.
Again a call from the "core" Vandal for Annual Subs please, so please as soon as you can to either Mark or myself xx
The Dog Whisperer

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