Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

The calm before the storm??

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 10:11

Without a league match this week the first team up against opposition from a league higher than ourselves, Spartans from the fringes of Sutton, came unstuck by 7-25.  However, all will be forgotten if we beat Wednesbury in our home league match this coming saturday.
The Development team played a Claverdon team made up of a considerable number of their first team.  We lost by 7-29 with our try coming from Phil Williams our back row powerhouse.
The Vandals kept the flag flying with another stunning victory.

Vandals Report

This Saturday saw us at Tilehouse Lane in a rearranged fixture (mind that depends which Club's fixture list you look at) against the boys from the Black Country in the form of Warley 2nds. A side who had previously deemed we were too strong for them in early October but who by now it appears were on a bit of an unbeaten run of ten games, and now fancying their chances; and it showed as they'd turned up in good order and proceeded to warm up for best part of 40 minutes doing the usual assortment of fancy passing drills and warm-ups so fashionable these days. We also get a nice early opportunity to see their fairly immense young twenty stoner in the second row.

We on the other hand warmed up in our usual manner by staying in the changing room for as long as possible, not that it's any bloody warmer in the Scandinavian open plan changing room we get to use when all three sides are at home...perhaps a log burner in order??
Our referee today that Old Yards leg-end Darren Collingwood refereeing in his first senior game, and how many times have I heard it remarked around the Club "poacher turned gamekeeper"? His dad looked proud anyway.
One new Vandal in the starting line-up in Dave "Red Dwarf" Rimmer at outside centre, starting his First Team rehabilitation and hoping that it will last the remaining five Vandals games (yes that's all folks) just in time for the defence of our Balti Bowl at Old Eds on the 24th April (PLEASE ALL NOTE THIS DATE) when he too will be 35......old and therefore eligible. Dave replacing Simon "the Time Lord" Davis who's mobile and TARDIS must have malfunctioned (even though those wise old Sages at selection told me he wouldn't turn up). Dave partnering Nick "the Barrel" Palmer in yet another centre combination, Nick having received the all clear from the clinic. Last week's half back pairing Phil "the General" Evans & Gary "Smoking" Williams staying unchanged with a new back three in Phil "Horse" Watson, Cedric Farrell and Dave "Ralph" Rollins returning to his more accustomed role as last man standing.

Our pack showing two changes from last week both in the front row, with the return of Rick "Cheekbone" Lowe at tighthead and Richard "Jacko" Jacks continuing his comeback at hooker, which meant Roger "the Dodger" Lazenby moving back into the glory boys of the back row alongside Nick "the assassin" Levey and Rupert "the Major" Young. The Dick & Doms of our side in John Lonie & Phil Goldbourn again providing the grunt in the engine room, and last but by no means least the rock upon which our scrum is built and the General's new short yardage go-to man Shannon Killarney.

A large bench this week, with Ian Neville returning to action after his late Christmas present from Camps, and simply returning big Phil's little brother Alistair Goldbourn. Captain Slow again having the luxury of being eighteenth man. Good also to see Bill "Armchair" Burrows who whilst on the touchline simply couldn't be persuaded to put his kit on.

No Idea if we won the toss or not as I left that up to my stunt double John.

Anyway Warley kick off  and from it we secure good ball get a nice maul going before the General feeds Smokes who immediately brings Horse into the action with a nice inside pop unfortunately the ball is not taken cleanly, Darren plays good advantage to Warley and they make no mistake capitalising on the turnover and spin the ball out wide going through several pairs of hands to score in the corner with about two minutes on the clock. 0-5, touchline conversion missed. Not the best of starts and some sniggers in the Warley camp already thinking this was going to be win number eleven, oh how wrong they were after being confronted with perhaps one of the best halves of joined up rugby we've played all season!

From the restart comes the first trundle by their big unit, trundle being the operative word, but knowing where he was going all the same in aiming for our fly half, but Gaz was having none of it and down he goes  like a sack of  potatoes. Can't remember who said it but similarities drawn with Master Blaster of Mad Max 3 fame.

Our equalising try wasn't long in coming, the forwards consolidating possession just inside the Warley twenty two the ball spun out to Ralphy who "scrambled" (his words) past two defenders; now I have a feeling the General said we had two or three men available, so it was a good job he got over. Ralph converts for 7-5  lead.

Warley undaunted by our swift reply get things going again and from a scrum spin the ball across the park but Ralph has glanced into his crystal balls anticipating the pass and comes into the line taking the interception on our ten metre line and legs it in under the posts to score. Nice easy conversion.

 Ralph 14 Warley 5

Despite the Warley put-ins beginning to resemble those of Hull KR, their scrum is beginning to creak at the seams under the pressure from our eight, with Jacko going fishing and taking several balls against the head, or else we simply drive 'em off it. It's a similar story in the lineouts with the Major causing all manner of chaos at two on their throw in and big Phil as usual cleaning up at four.

Finally someone else gets on the score sheet when Nick the Younger, barrels his way through the Warley defence, but gets held up just short, but the General is in support to take the pass and go over. Ralph goes 3 for 3 for a 21-5 lead.

Our next try is by a man called Horse, who if at first you don't succeed, holds onto Smoke's inside pass just inside the Warley ten metre line and bludgeons his way through the cover defence brushing off would be tacklers to score. Ralph now well and truly in the zone converts 28-5

With the Warley line under pressure they try to clear but our rush defence is in their faces and their kick is charged down by Rimski who collects and goes over for our fifth unanswered try. Ralph converts for a perfect five from five.

Half time 35-5 and one of their replacements remarking that they'd just been taught a rugby lesson.

The game already lost, Warley with nothing to lose come out all guns blazing and spend the first five minutes of the half camped on our line, but our defence is resolute repelling attack after attack, with us finally turning the ball over and kicking to touch, the defensive efforts of our forwards matching the attacking first half exploits of our backs with Roger, Shan, & Nick the Elder all to the fore.

Ten minutes in Dom Lonie goes off and on rumbles Ali G for his first game of the season, packing down with big brother.

However, Warley do manage to notch up three second half tries, one of them converted, as we lose a bit of defensive shape allowing young legs to get in behind us, their best player and fullback notching up a hat trick. In between these Horse gets his second, the ball being spun out to him wide on the wing, breaking tackle after tackle, but getting stopped a yard or two short (he is human after all) he gets some help from his friends who drive him forward enough for his immense reach to ground the ball 40-22. This kick proves a little too far out for Ralph.

Phil goes off and on comes Nev for the remainder of the game staying out of trouble on the wing, and Slow has a last few minutes on the flank as Nick the Elder goes off. Whistle goes shortly after.

Final score 40-22 Final age 651 (those two infants in our midfield bringing the age down)
Man of the match Ralph for a great individual performance and a twenty point haul including a perfect first half five for five.

There were a couple of RFU non approved training camps at the weekend.  We await Mark's report from Dublin with interest.

Meanwhile, I was lucky enough to play a part in the Bristol squad session led by the very knowledgeable Stephen C Painter (Dip F. D.) Steve knew useful things such as Daniel Defoe writing 'Robinson Crusue'  in a pub that we were visiting  and Steve was only a colt at the time!and that Gary Glitter was tried in the courthouse opposite our hotel. For my sins I was trapped in the lift with 10 fascinating (very loud) members of a hen party, including 3 generations of the bride's family.  Grandma, just in case you read this, yes you are still very attractive, even though you come from Erdington and yes I did know what that 'object' sticking out of your hat was supposed to be.  Memories hey what!  Jan Ullah reports that Weston was nice.  Get off at the right station next time and don't fall asleep.
Predictions for this weekend, wins for France, Ireland and Wales and in round ball, Arsenal to win again as they march towards the double. With last week's predictions being 100% correct, watch this space!

Sunday morning games

Under 16 v Stratford  (away)
Under 14 v Eds    (away)
Under 8  v  Eds  (home)

Under 9s and Under 12s check with your team managers.




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