Old Yardleians RFC: Club News


Tue, 12 Feb 2013 07:46

Old Yardleians are now only two wins away from a dream final in the RFU  National Junior Vase competition.  Victory on Saturday in far from ideal conditions against highly rated East Midlands club, Bedford Swifts was, according to club president Steve Painter, crucial in the Old Yards fulfilling its ambition to win cup and league titles.

A large home crowd became more than a little concerned as the Bedford strike runners set up positions from which the referee penalised the Yard’s and the visiting goal kicker squeezed over two long range kicks to put his team 6-0 ahead. However, that was to be their only points of the afternoon with the Y’s defence tackling with great determination and the home side responded with opportunist tries from back row player James Hughes and centre Steve Goode with one successful  conversion to take the half-time score to 12 – 6 in favour of the home side. 

As we have seen many times throughout the season the Y’s took control of the second half with superior fitness and greater speed.  Tries were added by Dino Markou  and second row Rob Mobey with a conversion and penalty from White taking the final score to 27 – 6 to the hosts.

Player-coach Jake White was, in his own words, ‘highly satisfied’ with the performance and puts the success of the team down to hard work on the training field which in turn has enabled the whole squad to improve their fitness and skills.  The result being clearly evident in the success rate achieved to date.

The opposition in the Midlands Region final will be Warwickshire club, Harbury who have been drawn at home. The date for this game has been set for saturday 16th March.  By coincidence, they are also the opposition for this Saturday’s league match at Tilehouse  Lane, kick off 2.15.  This looks likely to be an interesting encounter as they are the only team to defeat the Yard’s so far this season.

Senior Rugby

Development XV    v   Handsworth        won  37 - 30   
with the inspirational Dave Langley scoring 3 tries.

Vandals XV        v      Handsworth        won    47 - 5   with their unbeaten record still looking impressive.

Vandals vs Handsworth 3rds (M) - full match report below.

Under 17s

The lads are still learning.  Arriving at Tilehouse Lane for our home fixture, it was felt that the pitches were unsuitable for play.  Somebody with a desire for trench warfare or swamp fever suggested that the pitches at Camps were playable.  After about 2 minutes of what was more like mud wrestling, we realised that it was not to be our day.  On the narrow banks of the river Hasluck we tried to play an open running game. Wrong approach, the Camps played the conditions and the referee more effectively than us, scoring 3 tries, the first of which followed a blatant knock-on. Well done Ben, you must have had good P.E. teachers!

Fixtures this weekend


  • First XV     v     Harbury    at home  2.15   (League)
  • Development XV    v     TBA
  • Vandals         v     Harborne      away    (merit table)


  • Under 17s     v   Tamworth      home   11.00
  • Under 7s        v  Camp Hill      home    11.00
  • Under 8s        v  Camp Hill      home     11.00

Thank You

To all of you who helped the club in any way on saturday.  It was very much appreciated.

To the match officials on exchange from the Warwickshire society.  We wish that we could have the same standard every week.

It was good to see so many old faces watching the game and to mention a few,  Robin Sadler (we did say old faces), that writer of poetry,  Squire Brown of Warwick, Baldrick, the extended Painter family, Scooby from the Sharmans, the men from the Eds, Jonno and Larry and many others.  She who is selective in her choice of saturday afternoon relaxation enjoyed the game especially the pork baps.  However, she did not think too much of the walk from the overspill car park.  What a shame!

Vandals vs Handsworth 3rds (M) - full match report

A short break from GB merit league action last Saturday saw the return fixture against the season's opening opponents Handsworth 3rds at Tilehouse Lane on a cold & wintery February afternoon.
The pack this week at loosehead Shannon "Stepmeister" Killarney (even from five metres from our own line now it seems) Nick "the Assassin" Levey manfully standing in at hooker & Pete "Fudge" Butler at tight, Nick "Lurch" Allen partnering Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn in the garderobe, with a back row of  Marcus "Shark" Hope,  Rupert "the Major" Young & Ali "Spasm" Gouldbourn  at  No.8.
In the backs at scrum half Phil "the General" Evans alongside Barry-John "Baz" Cole,  Dave "Blade" McGill  & Jase "the Ace" Goodwin returning after a couple of months off in midfield with a back three of Gary "Smokin" Williams, Dave "Chicken" Hanson and Dave "Ralph" Rollins at full back.          
A reasonably sized bench this week in Shane "Shazza" Rowland (after stopping off to buy chips I'm told), Chris "Golfball" Rowe, Andy "Harry Hill" Killarney, Alan "the Colt" Arkell and after another long absence through injury Pat "Paddy" Waldron-Healy.
With all three teams at home we were on the even soggier than last week but still just about playable top pitch, which only 90 minutes earlier still had a covering of snow on it (yes I checked). Our referee this week the GBML's main man in Jim Looney and with Handsworth arriving with just the fourteen players Slow's call for volunteers is answered by Paddy, who slots onto their wing.  Stunt skipper Shark wins the toss and elects to field first with us playing towards the Highgate end in the first half and regardless of all the press about kicking off early we don't finally kick off until 1.27pm. 
Despite nobody really being interested in the kick off, for once we don't show our charitable side and concede the first score but we do have some defending to do for the opening few minutes as Handsworth start the strongest.
We open our account after about five minutes following a penalty to Handsworth for hands in at the ruck, from which they kick for position, the ball going out on our twenty two. They catch cleanly at two and drive, but we mug them in short order and the General spins it out to Baz, to Blade who wellies it deep down field into their twenty two where their winger collects and fires it back, where it's collected by Shark who charges downfield liberally sprinkling hand offs as he goes before setting it up for his mates. Jim's hand goes up signalling penalty advantage to Yards as big Phil & their loosehead swap handbags for the first time. The game continues as we come blind with Smokin working the tramlines, but with no real advantage we come back for the penalty, Smokin still with ball in hand comes back to the mark in midfield and takes it quickly & finds Baz who spins it to Chicken who gives it the old wibble wobble before sprinting round the defence to bring it back round under the posts to score 5-0 Routine conversion for Ralph 7-0.
Big Phil takes the restart, takes it on a yard or two before offloading to Shannon, who sells his first of the day, before popping it to Shark, another couple of handoffs (obviously had his Weetabix this morning) before going to ground, we recycle, General short pop to Lurch he bulldozes it on another couple of metres before setting up the ruck. Big Phil finds time to indulge in a second round of handbags with his mate the prop, as the General comes away with it, spots a gap, then offloads to Shark out on the wing, he takes into contact & Lurch clears them out, Smokin picks up, passes to Phil (the one who isn't still fighting) but the pass is knocked on, scrum to Handsworth. Referee Jim decides to have words with BMT and the Handsworth prop. The resulting Handsworth scrum goes aerial, Messrs Killarney, Levey & Butler obviously warming to their task, penalty Yards and Ralph despatches it into the corner for a lineout five metres out. Shannon hits big Phil at four, comes round to collect and we drive it on and over, try for the Stepmeister 12-0 Ralph calmly slots his second of the day 14-0.
Handsworth come back strong from the restart and their big unit in the centre goes on the charge and crosses our twenty two where he is felled by Shannon, the pill pops free, and Gary clears to touch. So attacking lineout to Handsworth about ten metres out, Shark pinches it at two, off loads to Shannon who sells one (has he no shame), gains a couple of yards before going to ground, ball comes safely back to Baz who fires one down the touchline, the ball going out a metre or so in front of our ten. Marcus pinches a second & the General box kicks it over the top & gives chase. "Our" Paddy takes a good catch and crosses their twenty two before he's scragged, but we're pinged for not moving away after the tackle. They take it quickly through one of their more rotund players, but he's stopped in his tracks by Fudge, so they have to go again but knock it on, Jim plays good advantage as BMT scoops it up and takes it on a yard, offloads to Rupe, to the General, he spins to Baz to Blade to Smokin out wide, back inside to Shannon, inside again to Shark to big Al, we're right on their line now, ball comes back, Lurch has a go gets held up inches away, it's a ruck, Ref spots Handsworth hands in, penalty Yards. We take it quickly and Baz goes over unmolested and dots it down against the padding of the left hand upright 19-0, and Ralph makes it three from three 21-0 top score and probably our best start to a game in months.
The restart limps over the ten and Shannon picks up as Paddy bounces off him, so has to offload to Shark, who finds Al & he goes to ground, we recycle & spin, as Phil and the prop go at it for a third time, we go short this time, recycle and the Ace comes away with it puts it back inside to Shannon, who manages to find Paddy again, Shark comes to him and the General screams "Drive" as the rest of the Massive joins in, the maul becomes a ruck and we spin General to Baz, to Smokin in off his wing, to Blade, back inside to Rupert in midfield who takes it into contact and draws the penalty advantage, ball comes out and Ralph sends one down deep for Chicken to chase but the ball bobbles out just inside their twenty two. At which point the Major is forced to hobble off, for him the war is over, and Golfball comes onto the flank. At the lineout Shark again pinches their ball at two and the General ships it out to Baz, dummy scissors on Ace, flat pass to Blade, and he knifes through their line, steps a couple and over he goes 26-0 Ralph steps up & gets his fourth of the day 28-0.
Big Phil takes a break from sparring to catch the restart, goes on a few before offloading to brother Al who takes it into contact and then to ground, we recycle and Golfball takes the short pop and boshes his way through a couple of tackles before finding big Phil in support, he in turn finds Baz, to Ace but his onward pass is deemed forward so we come back for a scrum just on halfway. Despite the international definition of a feed, our Eight drive them off their ball, and the General comes blind passes to Chicken, he sells some double glazing, spins it back inside to Baz and he waltzes over for his second dotting it down ten or so metres to the left of the posts 33-0 Ralph makes it five from five 35-0.
The last scrum proves enough to persuade Handsworth to go uncontested for the remainder of the game, so curiously Slow gives Nick a breather and brings on pucker front row Shane instead. Shannon takes the restart and our Paddy makes the tackle, we recycle & spin, Phil out to Baz, he finds Golfball who characteristically goes route one and makes six or seven yards before we set and go again, this time the General makes the break, ball above his head at times (just in case we can't see him in the long grass I guess), he's tackled and Smokes steps in at scrum half and pops it to Lurch, he finds Shane on his shoulder, who in turn finds Golfball, to Blade, to Shannon to Shark out on the wing, but the pass is too hot handle and it goes forward.  
So first Subbuteo scrum to Handsworth, not the best of passes to the fly half but he manages to bring their big centre in on the crash, he makes a yard or too before getting treble teamed by Ali G, Lurch & Golfball. He still manages the offload and they come the Clubhouse side and bang it down the touchline, all looks a bit harmless from where I'm standing on the far side, as Ralph looks to have it covered, but the ball continues on its bouncing trajectory unhindered and then it's Chicken's turn to have a look as it crosses the try line, whilst the Handsworth kick chaser dives on it to "score" 35-5 and everyone seems a bit mystified. Apparently Ralph's positive it went out, and Chicken wasn't sure which line he was looking at! I would say in their defence however, that due to the soggy conditions Simmo has been unable to mark the lines out for months as the machine keeps sinking in the mud :o) Anyway try stands but conversion is nowhere near close.
Despite an attacking scrum five metres out in the dying seconds of the half we are unable to increase our tally further.
Halftime 35-5. Nothing much to say, other than "Phil stop f**king fighting" and Harry Hill comes on for Lurch in the second row.
It's very much nip & tuck in the opening exchanges, though we probably shade it, the backs continuing to play with no small amount of enterprise and Shark continues to pinch their ball at two in the lineouts. About five minutes in and Paddy gets a good opportunity to stretch his legs when he fields one of Baz's kicks, he manages to elude Smokin's attention but not Golfball's and there follows a very loud blast of the whistle and Jim barks "time off ,come here you!" and the Stourbridge Express gets a very stern talking to, though both players afterwards find the severity of the talking to a little hard to fathom. Unfortunately though Paddy's clattering is enough to see him hobble off a few minutes later and Handsworth are down to fourteen.
Despite being down a man Handsworth's defence is much tighter in the second half as our thoughts were probably turning towards the bath as the scoreboard remains untroubled until the 17th minute of the half when we are awarded a penalty for offside on the Handsworth twenty two, Ralph puts it out about seven metres from their line. Big Phil takes Shannon's throw at at full stretch, and tips it down and the General has to take it off the deck, pops it to Shane who bullocks his way forward a couple of yards before we set and spin wide, Baz, dummy scissors Ace, real one for Blade, he goes straight through and scores his second next to the posts40-5 Ralph steps up & gets his half dozen for the day 42-5. Big Al & Shark take a bow and Arks comes on for his usual fifteen minute crash bang cameo & Nick Levey comes back onto the flank.
Shane takes the restart and bullocks his way through a couple of tackles, before we all gather round, and we trundle forward over the halfway line, and draw a penalty advantage for offside, the General goes in and digs it out and and gives a short pop to Arks who does what Arkell does before releasing Fudge with only the line at his mercy, only for Pete to juggle it a bit before finally spilling it, and he holds his head in his hands, while others chuckle. But we come back for the penalty which Ralph bangs out on the twenty two, but the pie's not straight and Handsworth get the scrum and kick to touch, the ball going out a metre or so in front of their twenty two. It's a bit scrappy at the line and whilst Nick at two gets his hand to it, they pilfer it on the deck and bang it down field. Ralph fields it and kicks it into touch. Nick pinches it at two and we spin and Jace comes in on the crash off Baz and breaks four tackles before he's finally stopped. The Massive gather round and we spin again to Baz, to Ralph to Blade to Smokin, he jinks back inside, offloads to Blade we're up to their twenty two, he starts looking for support, Ralph comes in at scrum half, looks to pass then goes a yard, Smokin is next in at nine and he chips over the top but the bounce just evades Chicken.
Shortly afterwards as we maul the ball forward Arks takes exception to being driven in the back not once but twice, so he deploys countermeasures, and a scuffle breaks out which finishes with both Arks and their second row seeing yellow as Jim's had enough handbags for the day.
Our final score of the day a minute or so later follows a penalty for crossing by Handsworth, Chicken wellies it down the park and both he & Barry-John give chase, it's a two on one as the defender is caught by the two of them just inside their twenty two, Shane arriving to rip the ball free and he sets off towards the line getting slower & slower as he accumulates defenders, he gets almost to the line before sheer weight of numbers finally halt his forward progress, at which point all the hard work done Baz steps in at scrum half whips it out to Jace, to the General who scampers over wide out 47-5 Ralph's sleepless night is ensured as he finally misses one! And with that the referee blows for full time.
Final Score 47-5 not bad for an hours work, final age a more respectable 696. 
Man in the Dirtiest Shirt this week goes to Baz for pulling the strings throughout and his brace of tries with Shark not far behind, despite refusing to pass to Gary on more than one occasion!     
This week back to GBML action over at Harborne 2nds....weather permitting.



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