Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

A feast of rugby on president's day

Sat, 08 May 2010 11:13

Development xv

Too exhausted to write a report, Egg provides news of the Development teams last game of the season which was against local friends, Kings Norton 2nds who we always welcome to our humble stadium.
Youth and with its superior speed and staying power saw the Ys victorious by 64-7.  Adam, son of Gringo, Walker showed high quality finishing scoring 5 tries and I hope he didn't forget the jug!  It was great to see (and hear) Craig Flemming refereeing and how much slimmer he looks compared to his days at the Ys.

Under 14s

A cold sunday morning saw our promising young lads play at the end of Birmingham Airport's Runway, i.e. The Exiles.  It was the end of season President's day for the hosts and their team had a very mature look about them.  However, with powerful number 8 Dan Cushing surrging through their midfield with good support from young Pricey the situation looked promising.  But, just like many of our performances during the season we failed to turn good territorial advantage into points. The sheer pace of  'Academy' boys, Jordan and Tre'rail Peters led to two superb individual tries but the advantage to the hosts of having many replacements to provide fresh legs in the 2nd half eventually resulted in a home win by 20-10.

Best wishes go to our classy outside half, Jack Molloy who is also a footballer, as he lines up in the St. Thomas Aquinas (aka The Academy) squad at Villa Park on Monday, kick-off 6.15, against Solihull based Tudor Grange School in the final of The Aston Villa schools cup.Entry by programme £2. We will let you know if we win!


Saturday May the 1st, our President's day saw us play our final game of the "regular" (just in case) season with a third fixture against Tamworth Vets/3rds. Now I arranged this fixture because excluding our obvious two early season hiccups they have been one of our toughest opponents and because I knew you would much prefer a serious workout to end the season on; the previous games ending 28-14 & 19-11 (a game barring a couple of dodgy refereeing decisions they possibly should have won). 
A 142 year old front row saw a welcome return of tighthead Mark "Dai" Baldwin finally back from his volcanically extended holiday in the Caribbean, DJ Shannon at loosehead with "young" Rick "Swing" Lowe suspended in between. In the engine room it was business as usual with our most "capped" forward John "only the" Lonie & Phil "get me to the church on time" Gouldbourn providing the grunt; with a seriously young and spritely back row containing our two promising youngsters Marcus "the Shark" Hope & Rob "Barstool" Bastock both still only 37 bless, with parental guidance coming in the form of Nick "the Assassin" Levey.
For the Attendants a second outing (eventually...he made Gary's arrival look positively premature!) for Junior Williams stepping in again for Shaun the sheep at scrum half, who like Officer Burrows was on call for work, but who unlike Officer Burrows didn't come to watch! Outside him the classy limousine of a fly half that is Ian Neville and in the centres that vintage Yards pairing of Chairman Fitz & his young apprentice Gary "Fishnet" Williams, with Simon "the Time Lord" Davis a late runner coming in on the wing (he'd apparently told me he was available last week but I was too bladdered following our Moseley frockfest to remember), "Spliff" Farrell on the opposite wing and Ralphy Rollins at fullback.
Another big bench with David "Chicken" Hanson continuing his comeback after a season sadly ravaged with a serious knee injury, our sexagenarian (yes that is a real word) Steve Painter (showing that most of you still have another ten seasons left) "the Colt" Arkell, fellow camper & club coach Gary "Bobo" Robinson, Richard "Jacko" Jacks (after moonlighting first for the Development Team), Alistair Goldbourn (who now can't seem to stay away, please start your season a little earlier next time Al) and bringing up the rear, the port, the water, the first aid kit and the balls Captain Slow.
We win the toss and I opt to stay where we're standing (& not warming up) and play away from the Club hoping the smell from Sid,Tom & Pricey's BBQ will spur us on in the second half. I had a nice brand new Gilbert match ball for the occasion, stolen from the police by the police most likely, but were were unable to start with it as it unfortunately lacked some air so off I go in search of a pump.
I spoke to Graham the Tamworth captain on arrival who informed me that his side contained a couple of younger lads....a couple!.. more like their entire back division, but nothing that we haven't seen off before. As expected the opening five or so minutes were very much nip & tuck in the forwards, with perhaps us shading it in the backs with Nev bringing Simon in off the wing to make some great penetrating runs.
It is from one of these barnstorming runs that Simon burst through the Tamworth midfield to be hauled down about five metres out but makes a great pass off the deck to Fitz following in his wake to crash over for the game's first try close to the posts 5-0 Ralph strokes the conversion over for a 7-0 lead.
With our scrum solid No.8 Barstool begins his one man assault on their fringes, picking up from the base and making good yardage time after time with Nick & Marcus in close support as we begin to string good passages of play together and with Rick hitting Phil & Marcus in the lineouts the pressure begins to mount on Tamworth in the opening quarter. Twenty minutes in we are awarded a free kick, which Nev takes quickly, sells some double glazing before spinning it out to that wannabe threequarter Shannon who takes two men out before returning the pass, and Nev sidesteps the last defender to score under the posts 12-0. Ralph converts for a healthy 14-0 lead.
Understandably we probably ease off a touch allowing them to come back into the game and a fine run by their winger sees him go over mid way out right hand side, and a successful kick sees our lead cut in half 14-7. The useful outfit that they are, Tamworth come more & more into the game with some good passages of play of their own and finally manage to isolate Cedric a few metres from our line to go over wide out 14-12 conversion missed. Shortly after Cedric who had been soldiering on with a leg injury sustained earlier on in the half comes off, Chicken comes on.
14-12 Half-time & Port taken in a leisurely interval, even Trevor the ref has a snifter. Marcus & Simon take themselves off to participate in the Dads v Lads game, John & Rick just go off (sure I'm supposed to have some say in all this) Arks, Slow, Ali G & Jacko all on in that positional order.
Slow tactically withdraws from the fray with the unexpected return of the Time Lord, just in time for Tamworth to score a breakaway try to take the lead for the first time 14-17 conversion missed. No panic yet, we've been here before and Vandals don't lie down.
Then a moment of the sublime, we are awarded a penalty about ten metres out which we take quickly the ball is spun out to Nev who in a pre-planned move with Barstool runs laterally and Rob comes thundering in on the crash taking all the defence with him as Nev proceeds to sell an outrageous dummy of truly biblical proportions to glide through the young defence to score under the sticks 19-17 & class will out. Ralph again converts 21-17.
Our tireless midfield of Fitz & Smoking, marshalled by the ever vocal Hanson continue to put in the hard yards making tackle after tackle against their younger opponents Fitz making one great last ditch effort in the far corner to prevent a certain score.
Dai is now struggling with his mysterious ankle injury so Bobo suits up and becomes the season's 72nd and final Vandal. Our pack now probably being as big as it has been all season begins to reassert its' first half dominance and starts to shunt the Tamworth eight around. Rob takes a breather, Steve Painter comes on into the second row, Alistair switches to the flank, and Arks goes to eight.Slow sneaks back onto the wing long enough to make a controlled collision on one of their centres much to the delight of Chicken, and no we never had sixteen on at the same time.  Simon comes off.
Our final try is a direct result from our forward domination as the big lads take it on from just inside the Tamworth 22 for a couple of phases, before Shannon breaks clear and drives for the line, capping a fine game in the loose; he is tackled just short but manages to get the pass away to Jacko in support who juggles the ball around his ears to go over next to the posts 26-17. Ralph makes no mistake making it four from four 28-17.
There is no further score as we run down the clock, a full 80 minutes work this week too.
Final score 28-17 Final age a massive 686 which I'll save you the bother is an average age 45.75!!!! And no I'm not changing all the shirts as 677 sounds infinitley more like a crack bomber squadron.
A special thanks to John, Bobo & Arks who returned from camping especially for the game (and to have a few hours peace from the wives obviously).
Thanks too, to those who voted in this season's Vandal's Vandal, but please don't vote for the captain next time as I don't count & I also have the power of veto; anyway for those not present, this prestigious new accolade went to Dave Rollins, who was an almost ever present throughout the season, playing in every Attendant's position from scrum half to fullback and being the side's (despite Coatesy's & Horse's spectacular efforts) top scorer amassing a personal points tally of 147 points. Well done Ralph.
For those with insomnia I've attached our statistics for the season, plus our fixtures for the year, but summarising that was competitive win number 18 with just the 5 losses, our final try was our 107th (an average of nearly five a game) and we remained unbeaten at Tilehouse Lane. We lost five games to the weather, and another five to a combination of opposition cry-offs, international weekends & giving work experience upwards. One final interesting statistic is that we kicked just six penalties all season, nothing to do with the quality of our two front line kickers more an indication that wherever possible we chose either to run or kick to the corners.
We can be very proud of what we have achieved this season, I said at the beginning of the season I wanted us to get on the park at least twenty times, but to win twenty times with the two inter-club games, has been a massive achievement. Thanks also to those new & old faces who came, liked what they saw & stayed along for the ride.
One serious point before I sign off for the Summer, the thorny issue of pre-season training, this will start in September but unfortunately this will probably coincide with our first fixture.....

Friends of the Yards

It was good to see Keith (Bert) Black at the club and he still looks young enough to be playing.
At the Eds Vets Bash,  it was good to bump into Birmingham Barbarian (Kynoch) legend John Ross as well as the Spencer brothers.

Submit News Articles

Interested in helping to administer this site?
Contact Shannon for details.

Submit a news item to:
Shannon or Dave Adams