Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

It rained and it rained and it rained!

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 03:56

This week belongs to the senior gents also known as the Vandals

This Saturday found us at Claverdon's Ossett's Hole Lane ground in probably the worst weather conditions we have faced this season with continual rain throughout the game and with more balls being dropped than bars of soap in a gay man's Turkish bath!
Still, arriving in force with a squad of twenty (all Vandals I hasten to add & no first team parolees), and resplendent in the nice first team stripey kit (to give it another win) we eventually took the park after waiting for the referee to turn up this week.
With this week's stand-in skipper Sir John of Lonie (with Captain Slow still aching from the week before) losing the toss the Lions 2nd XV (containing some of their first team squad as we're not the only ones to be turfed out of a cup competition) elected to play into the elements and up the slope on their particularly homely (read narrow) pitch.
Immediately we got into their faces with probably our heaviest set of forwards this season with the unholy trio of Dai, Rick & Shannon up front, Big Phil, Sir John in the engine room, Officer Burrows completing his backward transition through the rows of the scrum from front to back, our flyer (it's all relative) Nick Levey and Big Rog anchoring it all together at eight, all ably bossed by General Evans.
Going back to a more traditional approach given the conditions we went back to basics sending in the big units to set up phase after phase before unleashing our Turkish bath attendants on the Lions defences. To our credit our three-quarter line of Smokin' Fitz & the Barrel continually tried to breach their lines with good direct lines of running, despite the conditions and on the wings we had great pace (but obviously not out wide) in the rocket propelled Coatesy and Ed "clothesline" McDonald returning after sunny holidays and dog bites respectively (I kid you not).
After the best part of twenty minutes with the score still at 0-0, and with the Vandals hardly being out of the Lions' half, Captain Slow realised he'd forgotten the liquid refreshments, so he ambled back into the changing room to fetch them, only to return to find us walking back from their line having scored the game's first try...typical. But apparently we were awarded a free kick (could have been a penalty) which the General took quickly and broke for the line getting tackled five or ten metres from the line (tells me he laid it back in textbook fashion) where Roger following up like a good No.8 should picked up and crashed over. Up steps the ever reliable Ralph at fullback to slot the conversion 7-0 and looking good.
Not long after Ralph launches his howitzer from just inside our half, Coatesy lights up the afterburners in hot pursuit, the Claverdon winger obviously not familiar with that sort of pace dallies a little too long and gets caught by Lee who proceeds to play a little footy and scores close to the posts 12-0 Ralph converts 14-0 and looking even better.
Then a try for our pack who worked tirelessly against largely younger (hardly surprising) forwards all game, Claverdon were awarded a scrum five metres from their own line, we decided we wanted it a lot more and drove them off their ball and Roger picked up, wrapped his arms around the pill, went blind and scored 19-0. Conversion narrowly missed. But we're well in control. One downside our workaholic flanker Nick Levey tears a chest muscle just before half time in fact referee calls it while Nick is still down. On comes the ever versatile Andy Killarney at flanker, just to add a little more weight to the scrum, will try to get the tonnage at some point.
Second half kicks off with the Vandals marching up hill into the rain.  Lots of Claverdon pressure in the early minutes but our hard tackling defence not giving an inch, and Chairman Fitz looking like he's been mud wrestling. Next high point (well his arm anyway) and Ed tries to decapitate an openent, the Germanic tribes would have loved this but the referee didn't, and we're lucky to get away with a stern word, penalty given but nothing results. Off for a rest goes Clothesline and on comes Ian Neville onto the wing
Our lineout now cunningly reduced to five after misfiring throughout the first half, now begins to dominate with Big Phil taking lots of clean ball, and it is from one of these on the Claverdon ten metre line that we take a peach, consolidate and begin a relentless march towards Rome. With the General giving directions and Coatesy adding the extra legs we maul like madmen up hill all the way to the Claverdon line at which point just to confound the defenders our forwards split into two pods and the General goes over unopposed for one of our best tries (if not the prettiest) all season. Now with the confusion the referee was minded not to give it but thanks to a VERY sporting gesture by the Claverdon (first half) skipper now touch judge he assures the ref that all is well and the try is given 24-0 cue lots of back-slapping. The gradient proves too much for Ralph.
Off comes John & Bill (who really does appear to be enjoying himself a little too much after three years away) and on comes Pickle & Painter Sr for the last fifteen (sorry guys). There are no more scores just belligerent defence as we have our second away shut-out of the season.

Thanks to Brian Collingwood & Bobo for coming to watch, nice to have a bit of support.

Next week contrary to earlier reports is Old Salts at Water Orton.

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