Old Yardleians RFC: Club News


Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:00

The league season began on Saturday still in a spell of summer weather and on a perfect playing surface which tends to suit other clubs' style of rugby rather than our own but that's another story. Our Vice-Presidents gathered for lunch and liquid refreshments and some of them even watched a bit of rugby.

We were without a number of key players but we also accept that we have a squad of players and when called on to perform our back up boys rarely let us down.

After five or so minutes the home supporters were expecting our opponents, Leamington, to take us to the cleaners. They were fit, fast, ran the ball through their backs and we realised that division two rugby was a lot quicker and better organised than we had imagined. However, once we had settled and our tackling became effective the first half was fairly evenly matched, although our visitors reached half time with a slender 7-6 lead.

The second half was a different story. It was not all that pretty and we could have grown vegetables on three-quarters of the pitch as the entire half was played in Leamington's 22 metre zone. Scrum after scrum, 5 metre line outs, tap penalties, but no points. Credit to our opponents they defended as if their lives depended on it. The Home crowd were demanding a penalty try but referee John Kelly was not in agreement. Eventually he had to produce a yellow card for persistent offending by the visitors and a second one appeared soon after. Pressure had to tell and as the Yards went wide, winger Andy Pearce went over to give us the lead and this was followed by winger James Hendricks doing likewise. Arguably, the home teams best player on the day, Michael Brennan showed that second rows can also run with the ball as he ran in our third try. It was good to see that the Yards have a back up goal kicker, with Carl Bucknall landing three conversions to add to his two first half penalties. Leamington showed fitness and determination by scoring the final try of the day in the 9th minute of stoppage time to leave the final score 27-14 in favour of the hosts.
If this is the standard of opposition in League Two, then I suspect that we face a tough season ahead. I would like to thank the Leamington supporters for their sporting manner and referee John Kelly of the North Midlands society.

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