Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

It wasn't even the big Newcastle

Mon, 05 Oct 2009 02:41

Let's start with the 1st team as it can only get better from there on.

Our lads travelled to Newcastle for a league match on saturday and Fridge revealed that his satnav had taken him for a 400 mile trip to a place where they all sounded like Gazza or Oz off the Auf Weidersehen tv programme and there was a bridge over the River Tyne.  That apart, a familliar story to tell.  Phil, our dynamic 2nd row told me that we played well in short phases but apart from 2 pens from Jamie Walton we had little to trouble the scoreboard with.  A half-time lead of 6-3 gave us hope but early Newcastle scores in the second period saw heads drop and as we fell further behind the plan was to run the ball from all parts of the pitch.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and a final score of 6-30 suggests that on this occasion it didn't. Never mind, when it eventually happens someone is going to get a real thumping.  Perhaps it will be Wednesbury in next saturdays away match.

The 2nds/under 23/Development side have started to turn the corner. With only Guy Smith at no. 9 and Billy in the front row to act as mentors  we were lucky to get a team out as I'm not convinced that our boys had finished their schoolwork.  Apart from Guy, our back line were all teenagers but played with speed and tackled strongly.  The pack was also youthful with Andy Rhodes, once a back, looking impressive in the 2nd row.  By coincidence our opponents, Five Ways Seconds, were also a blend of youth and experience i.e. under 19 or over 90.  To be honest, they played quite well but errors in unfortunate positions cost them the game.  Tries from Sam Richards, Guy Smith and Rob Willis who also got a penalty as well as lasting the whole game meant a final score of 18-0 to the youthful Yards.  A tip for our skipper, Ellwyn.  If you are full back and you collect a kick and your team mates are not in support as the opposition get nearer, if you have a gale-force wind on your back kick the bloody ball as far downfield as you can.  Honestly that way you might keep some friends!   Next week, home against Birmingham Exiles 2nds.

Now a brief summary of the 3rds/vets/vandals most recent match

Well at least the weather has changed!
Saturday found us at my old club Silhillians in a game against their 3rds (of which 3 of them were) the rest being made up of Colts, recent first teamers (the scrum half) and Birmingham Civil Service (whom curiously I noticed didn't have a first team fixture Saturday!!) 
A relatively young side then, so first lineout "How old are you then nip?" I enquired of my opposite number "17" he gleefully replied, "oh only a thirty year age gap then", which with the exception of their fly half at 40, I think went for the majority of their threequarters as we we found out almost immediately.
The toss won (again) we elected to play into the fairly stiff breeze in the first half.....
So 12 minutes in.... 28-0 down, not the best of starts we've had this season chaps, don't think we can argue that a couple of wrong decisions, friendly tackling, some unusual kicking, and an unfortunate interception helped our cause at this point.
But having finally got our sh*t together the pack took it into the faces of their eight with some lively encounters in both the tight and loose, with Shannon, Jenksy & Dai really working over their less handsome front three, allowing us to repeatedly pummel their line and seeing the General and Nick "the Barrel" Palmer both going over for tries both converted by Ralph. Our driving mauls were giving their "less experienced" eight all manner of problems with our two big units John & Phil, and Andy uncustomary playing at No.8 having all sorts of fun.
Then the game's first controversy involving their feisty Civil Service No.8 having driven them back ten yards, he decided to take issue with Captain Flounder for some small amount of naughtiness on my part and dragged me out of the maul for a bit of individual recreation...thanks to those who came to my aid...smiles all round. However , with his card now marked and the red mist now well and truly having descended he lasted only a more few minutes before being quite rightly yellow carded by the Welsh referee for trying to clear out a ruck in rather an energetic manner.
Losing our wingman Cedric in the first half, he must get those dodgy rubber bands of his sorted gave me the opportunity to "select" one of their players, and have to admit I know James Clarke who came on and scored a brace in the second half. Amazingly Jim is actually a prop, who has been playing on the wing for Civil Service Ones (another hint) this season.
Our threequarters of Ralph, Fitz, Nick, Ian & Callum were called upon time and again covering all manner of hard yards to keep us in the game with their lively (read young) backs running from everywhere.
Losing Rick with an overworked groin playing out of position at blind side (much more running about than in the front row obviously) meant another BCS lad Tom having to come on for us. Then Captain Flounder departed having been shot in the leg by a sniper on the grassy knoll (NOTE:new on field skipper required for next few weeks)
So there we are mid-way in the second half and only nine points adrift 33-24, and I think the Vandals at the gate, their kids not having been in as many dog fights as us obviously and beginning to loose shape & nerve; then a scrum on the halfway line, an unfortunate strike and one against the head to them leading to another score and our resistance effectively ended. Two more late on, one converted from the touchline final score a flattering 50-24.
On reflection looking at it, If you take the three soft tries in the first ten and the last two tries when we were quite simply f**ked it could have been a damn sight closer on another day. 
This weeks Man of the Match goes to Phil Goldbourn for another oustanding performance all round from either taking or destroying any quality ball on their lineouts, some great restart catches and runs (God knows we had quite a few) and getting around the park, not bad for 49.
For the first time this season we were notably silent in the changing room after the game, which I know was down to the sheer physical effort put in by each & every member of the team for the last seventy minutes and I think no small amount of disappointment knowing that we came so close at one point to clawing our way back into a game when all seemed lost, and for that I was immensely proud of our performance.


Almost forgot to mention it but we had a vets game against KN last wednesday under their lights.  As is tradition we plan for about a 7.00 kick-off but KN don't arrive much before 7.30.  In terms of quality the ref came first and was surprisingly good compared to the standard of rugby played.  Both teams worked hard and attempted to play good rugby and for senior players the fitness was reasonable.  The Yards had a little more pace than KN who in turn had more bulk.  The better team, Y's, won comfortably in the end.  Tries from both Phils, Cedric and Chicken x2 plus 1 pen and 1 con from Ralph  took us to a 30-12 victory.


The 60th birthday party in honour of Mr Steve Painter last saturday was a superb evening.  The Irish band, sorry boys but I forget your name, was brilliant providing a range of songs to suit everyone.  To organise mass participation dances such as 'the siege of Ennis' and 'stripping the willow?' was crazy but the result was spectacular.  My better half rates me as a dodgy dancer but apparently there are others who are even worse, such as 'sleepy' Steve Price,and 'concrete boots' Sid. Shorter Phil and 'bull in a china shop' Collingwood were equally impressive.  Lads you were greaat but keep the lessons going!  Thanks to Becky and Nick for doing the buffet and to the girls on the bar.  

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