Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

A break from the league programme

Thu, 11 Feb 2010 01:04

With a league free weekend it was time to test ourselves against different opponents.

First Team Match Report

Opposition: Bromsgrove 2nds (Home) Result:  OY's 16 – Bromsgrove 36

6th Feb 2010

With no league action this week, this rearranged friendly match saw the OY's entertain Bromsgrove second fifteen, a strong, well drilled and mobile outfit demonstrating the strength in depth of this club currently lying second in National Three Midlands. Despite this, the match was evenly fought and closer than the final score suggested, the difference being exaggerated by a ten minute period midway through the second half when, deserted by their normally solid defence in all areas, the OY's allowed the visitors to run riot, scoring three tries, racking up nineteen points and putting the match beyond reach.

From the kick off, Bromsgrove exploited their mobility and quick hands to put the home side under pressure and test a defence already showing vulnerability by slack first time tackling. After ten minutes, still under pressure OY's ran out of space and squandered possession with an aimless kick ahead. This allowed Bromsgrove a sweeping move upfield which resulted in a converted try under the posts.

Although the home side continued to waste valuable possession due to misdirected kicks from hand, the resultant constant attacks coming back caused the defence to improve and it was from aggressive tackling that a Bromsgrove midfield error was forced and the ball collected by Adam Walker, who kicked ahead, outpaced the opposition to gather and score an unconverted try wide out to bring the score after fifteen minutes to 5 -7 to the visitors.

Midway through the half, with the OY's back in the groove, centre D Rimmer left the field injured, and B Honey from the back row took over, the pack then shuffled to accommodate A Killarney as sub.

Now a much more even game developed, with the home side putting together some useful attacks, but unlucky to concede a penalty for straying offside in the centre, late on in the half, which finished OY's 5, Bromsgrove 10.

The restart saw the OY's soon on the attack through the forwards, with aggressive driving forward by P Painter and S Grainger, well supported by back row forward M Banyard. A penalty was forced, and the score was improved to 8 -10 to the visitors. This momentum, however, only lasted a further two minutes, when possession was lost to gift the ball to Bromsgrove who exploited weak tackling to confront fullback J Hendricks with a three man overlap, and inevitably a second try under the posts.

With the score at 8 – 17, OY's came back again, driving into the Bromsgrove 22. The visitors were penalised for a dangerous tackle on J Walton, and a further three points added to the home side's total.

At the fifteen minute stage, although the OY's were showing dominance in the scrum, competing well in the lineout and holding their own in the ruck and maul, possession gained was being wasted by misdirected kicking, allowing pressure to be reversed, and it was from such a wasteful kick that gave the well drilled Bromsgrove backs the ball and space for a further unconverted try, the score now 11 – 22.

The floodgates then opened and with the home side completely switching off, Bromsgrove took advantage by scoring two further tries, one being a penalty try due to an obstruction by the OY's centre, an action which did nothing to ease the pressure on the side, as the inevitable yellow card meant ten minutes in the bin, and fourteen men on the field. At 20 minutes into the second half, the score now having moved on to OY's 11, Bromsgrove 36, any chance of a win was out of sight.  However the OY's got their act together again, and showing character and commitment, got back into the game, and began once again to pressurise the visitors with telling breaks through the forwards and B Honey making an outstanding contribution in the backs.

At 30 minutes, and now back to full strength, D Brain came on in the centre, and B Honey rejoined the back row. By now, the OY's were dominant, shunting the visitors back in the scrums, crossing the gain line regularly, and playing the game in the visitors' 22. Last ditch defence kept the OY's out, but frustration was apparent in the Bromsgrove ranks, and eventually a Bromsgrove player was yellow carded for over enthusiastic use of the boot.

Maintaining the pressure, S Grainger once again drove through the Bromsgrove defence to offload to A Walker to make further ground, and provide a perfectly timed flat pass to J Hendricks in support, who made no mistake with a well taken try in the corner, and the match finished with the score OY's 16, Bromsgrove 36.

Despite the scoreline, OY's to a man can take a lot of positives from this match, both in terms of character and determination, only letting themselves down by allowing the visitors three easy tries during a very slack ten minutes midway through the second half.

Next Match: 13th February 2010: Veseyans (Away) in the League

Meanwhile our Devs played against Lordswood Dixies who looked a bit like a university xv.  We were well beaten by 38-5.  Young Mark Baldwin scored our try but if you think about it if all of our players had scored a try we would have got 75 points so Mark, well done! Shame on the rest of you.

The Vandals were playing against our friends from Shirley Park and lost by 20-26.

Last Saturday took us to our nearest & dearest neighbours at Camp Hill for a local derby and our 16th competitive fixture against their 4ths; a side as it turned out made of an even split between olduns & younguns, with about six or seven replacements, compared to our one oldun in the form of Big Bill who was a surprise but welcome last minute arrival.

A new face in our front row in the form of hooker Martyn "Sonic" Poller my former third team skip at Sils, flanked either side by Billy "Babyface" Bucknall recently returned from a week's sabbatical, and Rick "Ankles" Lowe. The grunt in the engine room being supplied by the ever present John Lonie and the "Icon" Arkell, moving into the second row. This week's back row saw the welcome return after months of providing experience to the Ones of Marcus "the Hit Man" Hope, alongside Jacko continuing in his rehab, and Big Rog in steerage. So that's where all the Club hookers are, four in one pack!!

The attendants bossed & marshalled by the General & Nev, with the ex-Solihull midfield of Nick "the Barrel" Palmer & Phil "Horse" Watson", Captain Slow & Cedric  Farrell on the wings, and ever dependable Ralphy at fullback.

Slow wins the toss and elected to choose ends by facing our Clubhouse, with our backs to their Bunker.

For once we take it to the opposition right from the kick-off  in what turns out to be a bruising forward encounter with the usual Yards Camps niggle never far below the surface, with the ref having to step in a couple of times to separate the warring parties.

Unusually we're struggling to retain our own ball in the scrums with the ball squirting out the tunnel more often than not, with their solid front row giving us a fare share of problems.

Finally after about twenty minutes the deadlock is broken when we are awarded a penalty about twenty five metres out, which Ralph converts for a 3-0 lead. The lead doesn't last very long when a hopeful kick ahead from just inside our half by the Camp Hill fly half, results in an awkward bounce just outside our twenty two that is collected by the kicker who goes in under the our posts making the conversion inevitable to give them a rather fortuitous 7-3 lead.

Shortly after the attendants set off in pursuit of a great kick forward by Nev only to have him flattened by his opposite number with a hit so late it was probably Wednesday, unfortunately the referee doesn't see it, which doesn't help our mood. Nev soldiers on winded and nursing a set of very sore ribs. More minor scuffles continue to break out and eventually the referee has a word with both skippers, with "next one walks" being the message; unfortunately we duly oblige following a collapsed maul the Camps openside annoys Big Rog who responds with a very short right cross and off he goes for a rest until half time.

Our morale & confidence are hit, and next it's the Icon who is pulled away from one of the Camps players (Arks, the ref tells me he wanted to send you for a break too, but thought one was already enough!) Not long after a clearance kick unluckily goes right into the the hands of the Camp Hill wing who returns it to score 12-3. They convert 14-3.

Five minutes before half time we are given a scrum midway on our twenty two, Captain Slow thinks our beleaguered seven require an additional sixteen stones, great thinking we lose the ball and they score in the corner where I should have been...out on the wing!!! Conversion missed. 19-3.

Rick comes off and on comes Bill Burrows for the final few minutes of the first half, Sonic moves out to flanker and Jacko moves to his more accustomed position of hooker. And we respond with a good passage of play with a good forward drive which is stopped just short and somehow I'm lying on the floor just in time to see the Barrel's red & black socks hurtling over the top resulting in our first try mid way out. Ralph's conversion attempt goes just wide.

Halftime 19-8 and a bit of mountain to climb.

Rog back on but Nev's unable to continue, so Ralph moves to fly half and we have to borrow a young back rower from Camps, who moves to fullback and in fairness doesn't let us down, with some good running and defence.

Unfortunately Camps score again shortly after the restart and convert and we are possibly staring down the barrel of heavy defeat at 26-8. But we stop rising to the bait and start to play some good rugby keeping the ball close with lots of pops and drives which the Camps defence start to struggle with, even Slow gets a couple coming in off his wing...thanks Ralphy.

And following a robust couple of plays the ball is spun out to Horse keeps up his try scoring with a strong run breaking through the Camps defence to score our second try close to the posts 26-13, Ralph steps up to convert 26-15.

Now it is Camps who are on the back foot as the pressure is all Vandals, and from a quick tap penalty taken by John Lonie, Rog bulldozes over to bring us within a score at 26-20. Conversion unsuccessful.

But we run out of time and taste defeat for only the fifth time this season. Final score 26-20 Final age 632


It is a little complicated (no, it wasn't Peter's satnav) but I was watching the international on big screen tv in a South Wales pub (The Angel) when three welsh boys in conversation claimed that they had heard of the Old Ys.  Thanks for your best wishes to Lyndon Pritchard (Caldicott and Lydney rfc),  Eurig Griffiths (Cardigan rfc) and Roy Methley (Cardiff)


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