Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

A promising start to the season but can it be a successful launching pad for greater things?

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 11:30

Minis and Juniors

Well, my faith in BBC weather reports resulted in a real soaking.  Silly me I should have remembered that Shirley is not included as part of the region and that therefore the drenching was justified.
Considering it was the first week of training the levels of fitness, skill and enthusiasm were very good indeed.  We do need more players in all age groups so boys get out of your beds and get to the club.  You know it makes sense.  A big thanks to Chris and Matt (Crouchy) for helping with the under 15 session.
Training at the club please every sunday with fixtures (training games) arranged for Sept. 26th for the under 15 and under 13 squads.

First XV

We wait for Captain Dean to complete his report on the very impressive win over an enthusiastic Worcester Wanderers 2nds.  I hope that I am not tempting fate but it was a very encouraging performance.

Development xv

Captain Egg is working on his report but the team performed well against a useful Spartans 2nd team and lost to a very late try.


For those who played the full eighty minutes, remember the car crash feeling is temporary and you now have to play every week now to avoid it happening again.
With Ashby obviously having read the Lymington match report the first Saturday of the new season saw us in the sunshine at Tilehouse Lane in a rearranged game against Old Halesonians; a game which last season saw us ship sixty points and them having a ten strong bench..how times change with them turning up initially with just fourteen.  Fortunately we were able to dip into our three strong bench and loan them the NFG Martin, who in fairness tackled most things that came his way out on the wing.
Our side showing a few changes from our trip to the seaside, with Dai Baldwin unavailable (though showing up briefly just to get my hopes up) and us having to return Fridge back to the first team saw a front row of Shannon "Sidestep" Killarney (I saw at least two), Rick "Swing" Lowe at hooker and our new ball supplier Bill "eBay" Burrows playing tight, with a new partner in the second row for stunt skipper Lonie in Rupert  "the Major" Young moving from his usual position in the back row. In the back row our two hard tackling flankers Nick "the Assassin" Levey & Marcus "the Shark" Hope with Roger "the Dodger" Lazenby keeping John & Rupe's bums firmly glued together.
Out in the threequarters our Welsh sounding seaside halfback pairing of the Phil "the General" Evans & Gary "Smoking" Williams, Nick "the Barrel" Palmer & Tony "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the centres with Phil "Horse" Watson & Bob's mate Cedric Farrell on the wings, and  bringing up the rear Dave "Ralph" Rollins in his first and last game for a month or so at fullback. Ralph goes into hospital on Saturday to have surgery on his shoulder. We wish him well and a quick rehab. 
The Halesonians side contained a considerable amount of youth in their ranks with the odd seasoned campaigner giving directions; their big second row who gave us a considerable amount of strife last season watching from the sidelines having apparently twisted his knee at a pop festival, big Phil take note of the danger here of tall people dancing. 
Amazingly after thirty minutes neither side had managed to trouble the scorer but with Hales probably on top throughout the opening quarter, as we struggled to free the calcium from our bones whilst the more nimble opposition tried to go round, over and through our "experienced" and resolute defence; with lots of first up tackling from the Shark & Assassin, and similarly our good looking midfield trio of Smoking, Barrel & the Chairman knocking them over each and every time.
However, when it came to penalties conceded we were getting completely tonked, 9-3 against I made it in the first half, as both we and the referee (in his first competitive game incidentally) struggled to come to terms with the iRB's latest set of law tinkering surround the tackle. Chatting to the ref afterwards it might me worthwhile using the following link to log onto the North Mids Refs website http://northmidsrefs.com/ then on the right hand side of the page you will see a column "View latest iRB training videos" and watch videos 06,07,08 & 09 because you can bet your bottom dollar this is something we're going to have to get to grips with in the coming weeks. All credit to us we didn't let the frustration get to us (much) despite the cluster that this area of the game became. In fact I'm still not sure when, after all hands have been released, tackler and tackled player have frenziedly moved away, got showered, and changed, and we are all standing there staring at the pointy thing that we are free to use it!? How sometimes I yearn for pounds, shillings & pence, milk in glass bottles, free wheeling scrums, dummy passes, straight put ins and no gaps in the lineouts.
With Hales finally realising they were not coming through us they starting dipping into their burgeoning penalty bank and starting taking pots at goal with which they were finally successful with the third attempt and probably just about worth the lead 0-3 which I think was also a statement of lack of intent, which we seized with both hands.
With about five minutes to go before half time the mercurial (love that word) Smoking suffers a nasty cut to the cheek threating his pulling power for the week, and the referee once again applying the letter of the law sends him off for medical attention, but has to settle for a dollop of Vas off Nurse Slow. On comes newest Vandal former Solihull skipper Barry John Cole as blood replacement, BJ's dad himself a former Old Yard, apparently used to play alongside Sid, in fact I'm beginning to think most people have he's been around for so bloody long!
Within minute or two of the restart good clean possession saw it zipped through the hands of the backs to Horse taking the ball on their ten metre line and galloping through their tacklers including a despairing two footed slide tackle five metres out from their skipper (earning himself a brief talking to and a penalty from the restart) to score under the posts 5-3 Easy one for last season's  top scorer Ralph to open his account 7-3.
Blood bin reversed, and within minutes we are back inside their twenty two and Cedric comes in off his wing and powerfully forces his way over close to the posts 12-3 and again Ralphy steps up to convert for a 14-3 lead.
Under the posts the boys from the Black Country are muttering like good 'uns at the sudden change in fortunes and more or less straight after manage to score a well worked try virtually on the stroke of half time to make it 14-8 but miss the conversion.
Halftime 14-8 Slow forgets the isotonics and opts for no immediate changes.
Second half and we seem firmly in control with some tight scrummaging, a couple of good trademark Vandal rolling mauls (we do this for a rest I'm not daft) and we begin to dominate in the lineouts with Rick getting his eye in and hitting Marcus now hurled up at four by Nick & John. We even start to get the odd penalty come our way one of which sees Shannon taking a short pass off the General and unleashing the increasingly trademark Killarney blarney one-two. Big Bill also the day's senior player not wishing to be outdone by his front row mate also gets some short yardage trade off Phil as we start to soften the Hales defence up a touch
Shortly after we are awarded a scrum about five metres out, from which we get the nudge on and set up a steady launch pad for big Rog to perform a controlled descent to the line, in fairness you'd have to be a  forklift to keep him up from that range. 19-8 Ralph goes three for three and makes no mistake 21-8. (Note to front five: this one infinitely better than our first attempt earlier on in the game where Rog picked up we immediately stopped pushing and Rog ended up with his arse round his ears).
But Halesowen rally again to stay in the game and score 21-13 but conversion missed.
A measure of control is restored and after a storming couple of minutes of getting involved in everything ball shaped Bob's mate comes off and gets a game with the Development side, Fitz moves out onto the wing and Barry John slots into the centre alongside Barrel, but fifteen minutes in and Fitz gets hit by another sniper in the long grass and suffers a bad hamstring tear, and again wish a speedy recovery in the hands of his own "personal" physiotherapist. Captain Slow comes on to the wing.
Our final score sees the ball spun out way out wide on the right to own version of the Big Wing and Horse swats off two or three defenders to go over in the corner. Ralph's conversion goes just wide. 26-13
Final score 26-13 Final age a spritely 664.
This week's man of the match Barrel, lots of great defence and line breaks, new category of assists went to the General who whirled in Dervish fashion throughout, and also fulfilled a lifetime ambition of becoming a truck to everyone else's trailer.
Next up at Tilehouse Lane Kidderminster Carolians, a game which we were unlucky to lose by a point last season in the pouring rain over at Marlpool Lane.

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