Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

For those who missed the Vandals Rugby World write up..

Mon, 10 Jan 2011 07:50

You can also read the missing match report from the Shipston game on 11th Dec. 2010 (below the RW article) here.

Shipston Match Report - 11th Dec. 2010

With Kidderminster 3rds suffering from a very localised weather pattern, their pitch being playable on Wednesday evening, then snow covered and too hard on Friday evening (whilst their First team were able to play on a pitch 15 yards away), we were forced to dip a toe into the Pool on Saturday morning and having looked at the options out popped Shipston on Stour over at Mayo Road for Game 14.
In the pack Shannon "Stepmeister" Killarney, Rick "Swing" Lowe and Mark "Gethin" Baldwin, with the Freds, Andy Killarney & John Lonie providing the muscle, and in the back row today's stunt skipper Marcus "Shark" Hope, Nick "Assassin" Levy & Rupert "the Major" Young at No.8.
At half back Phil "the General" Evans partnering Ian "Nev" Neville, in the centre Nick "Barrel" Palmer & Gary "Smoking" Williams (someone I now realise is so laid back he's almost horizontal), on the wings wannabe openside Lee "Coatesy" Coates and the ever talkative Simon "Sideways" Singleton, with the Chairman Tony "Fitz" Fitzgerald bring up the rear. A small but well constructed bench this week in the versatile Robbie "Barstool" Bastock and as a last resort Captain Slow finally putting his kit back on.
On a fairly gloomy and cold afternoon Slow loses the toss, but unusually their skipper decides to play down the slope in the first half, giving us the kick off and the benefit of gravity in the second half.
In one of our now legendary comic starts Nev kick's off with only 14 Vandals on site; Smoking being nice and cosy and warm with twelve layers still in the changing room. Gary has the fingers of a concert pianist and you must understand these have to be protected with kilometres of precisely applied tape. Anyway with the rest of the attendants "politely" enquiring as to his whereabouts, Slow suggests we get on with it, I know we can cope. Gary emerges a few minutes later with his John Travolta street stride, I suggest he might want to get stripped off as we've started; guys knowing the crack outfit we are Gary thought we were running a few drills.... As his personal valet he is quickly disrobed and joins the fray.
The very robust Shipston side brimming with experienced players are into their stride straight away and we are forced to absorb an immense amount of early pressure, with lots of first up tackles coming in from the Major and the tackle twins Marcus & Nick
But with about six minutes gone the deadlock is broken and the Exocet that is Coatesy breaks free and shows a clean pair of heels to go over under the sticks 5-0 Nev makes no mistake 7-0
Shipston, undeterred, come straight back all guns blazing and again it is our tackling which impresses, with Barrel and Smokes knocking them over in midfield, and Fitz clearing up the stragglers. Just my opinion here but Shipston obviously having been pouring over the move manual, trying cut back after crash after scissors, in fact probably their undoing in the first half as they over complicate more often than not bringing it back inside and losing possession quite often.
A few minutes later Lee doubles up following great ball through the hands of the General, Nev, Nick & Gaz taking the ball on the Shipston ten, (now I'm standing over his shoulder here and I can see the gap between the defenders all the way through to the line) but only Lee's searing pace makes it possible to bisect them making them look motionless in the process to score under the posts. Nev converts for a 14-0 lead.
Shannon takes the restart (is it where he stands?) and sells a cheeky one (practicing for the big one later) sets off and the Freds Andy & John are first to him followed by Gethin & Shark and the General barks out his instructions as the rest of the 677 join in and we take it on a good fifteen metres, but it is eventually turned over.
Not long after Shipston are awarded a scrum and Rick single handedly drives Shipston off the ball and whilst pulling seven Vandals along with him too (sure that's how he told it in the bar afterwards).
Out line outs are solid as always with Marcus taking the lion's share on our ball and along with the flapping hands of the Major at two making it difficult for Shipston to secure any tidy possession on theirs; similarly this week's youthful 145 year old front row of Steps, Swing & Gethin make life uncomfortable for the Warwickshire side's scrums.
Our third try of the game is scored by Smoking, a great individual effort, I can't remember who he took the ball from just outside their twenty two, but he looks to throw a big high curler over the head of the Shipston second row, who buys it, Gaz ghosts past him, dummies another defender and rounds the winger and runs round to score under the posts to make it easy for Nev 21-0
The Assassin is next to make a mark with a bone cruncher on one of the Shipston second rows, you know it's a good one when the 677 wince when they talk about it, this being one of many Nick makes in the first half around the fringes, as his seniors gym membership continues to pay off!
With about seven minutes to halftime the General spins it out and it goes through the through the hands of Nev, Barrel & Smoking to Sideways and Simes shows his pace as he gasses his man to go over five metres in from the corner, collecting a late hit in the process much to his obvious annoyance, 26-0, Nev's conversion attempt falls short. Simon chats to the referee about the unseasonal weather.
Shipston's restart finds the Stepmeister on the run, despite the earlier dress rehearsal the last thing they expect is the outrageous dummy pass inside and all buy it as the Quiet man hurtles twenty five metres up the touchline virtually untouched, sadly all his hard work comes to naught when Shannon's inside pass finds a Shipston player who clears to touch.
Having failed to go through us the Shipston fly half tries going over a couple of times but our back three of Coatesy, Fitz & Simes sweep up without problem. But right on the stroke of halftime we do concede a very sloppy converted try from a quickly taken tap penalty just inside their half, where their classy centre basically ran through an awful lot of us to dot down under the posts. This guy is a constant strong running thorn in our side throughout most of the game (see later) - he reminded me a lot of Bob's better looking mate Kendo.
Halftime 26-7. Nasty blue Isotonics all round. The Major swaps places for Barstool.
The second half starts as the first finished with another try to Shipston following good work from their forwards, the conversion courtesy of the upright 26-14.
Industrious Shipston sensing a bit of a comeback continue to pile on the pressure for the first ten or so minutes and only our resolute defence keeps them at bay; and it is during this period that Andy K gives their stand out player an early Christmas present when he takes him man and ball and leaves him needing a long lie down, finally having to temporarily go off as a result.
We take full advantage and eventually our midfield of Barrel and Smoking work some space for Coatesy to exploit to go over for his fifth hat trick of the season. 31-14. Nev converts his fourth, 33-14.
The Shipston fly half is next for some treatment, as Barstool picks up from the base of the following scrum and seeks him out and runs right over the top of him making great yardage in the process, any fly half's out there please take note Rob doesn't like talkers!!
Not long after, Lee gets a fourth and in my opinion his best of the day where receiving the ball just inside our half he goes one on one with his opposite number, stands him up and burns him to score under the posts. With Barstool taking the shorter more direct route and being the closest as a result gets his second drop kicked conversion of the season for a 40-14 lead.
The versatile Major comes back on for the last fifteen and slots into the second row alongside John and hard working Andy K comes off.
Coatesy puts the game to bed not long after with his fifth 45-14 Nev's conversion going wide.
Right at the death Shipston score their third and the game's final try - once more by their centre his head now clear, and again the conversion goes over via the upright 45-21.
Final Score 45-21 Final Age 642.
Whilst equalling the most tries scored against us this season, this was still the most points we have conceded thanks to the last of that pair of streaky conversions off the uprights. The game was a really good workout played in a really good spirit and a chance to blow away the cobwebs after a couple of weeks of inactivity, and probably much more of a contest than Ice Station Kidderminster could have mustered with all sixteen of our players contributing especially in defence.
Another excellent five tries to Lee, with a game breaking second half hat trick, taking his personal tally for the season to twenty five, but for his outstanding defensive duties especially in the first half where he tackled anything with the ball and occasionally without I think this week's man of the match goes to the Assassin Nick Levey.
Apologies for the late one this week, not been the best.
 Balsall and Berkswell v Vandals (hidden match report)

Saturday 5th March and our twenty third game of the season saw us in action against Berkswell & Balsall Common "Vets" over at Meer End, a game celebrating the 50th birthday of B&B's Derek Hicks & the 45th of our very own Simon "the Time Lord" Davis. In the wardrobe department this week Bill "Bilbo" Burrows at loosehead, Rick "Swing" Lowe at hooker and Mark "bend it like" Baldwin at tighthead; in the second row the Gouldbourn boys Phil & Alistair, with the tackle twins Nick "the Assassin" Levey and Marcus "Shark" Hope on the flanks and Rob "Barstool" Bastock at No.8. On the catwalk Phil "the General" Evans at scrum half (fresh from feeding his flock) with Ian "Nev" Neville at fly half, birthday boy Simon "the Time Lord" Davis partnering Gary "Smokin" Williams in midfield, with wings Phil "Horse" Watson and Sean " Bean" Byrne, with Dave "Ralph" Rollins directing traffic at fullback. On the  casting couch  this week Chris "Crash" Rowe, Alan "the Colt" Arkell, Iain "Johnno" Johnson, Nick "Barrel" Palmer, Lee "Coatesy" Coates, Paul "Goose" Gower & Captain Slow. John "Fingers" Lonie having failed his late fitness test jogging over to the pitch. B&B and the ref decide that 35 minutes each way is the order of the day and then stunt skipper Shark steps up and wins the fairly critical toss and we opt to play up the deceptively steep incline in the first half. Big Phil catches the kick off and sets off into traffic, he's held and we set, Barstool takes the short pop off the General but he's well tackled but presents well and the General sends it out to Nev, to Simon who spills it but it goes backwards and Smokin' scoops it up and passes, but the ref reckons Gary's knocked it on in the pick up....never. Anyway first scrum of the game to B&B a metre or so inside our twenty two, steady ball, scrum half picks up and goes but he's stopped by the Assassin, so they recycle as we stand off and defend. The ball comes out to their fly half who dinks it over the top and Horse takes it and calls for the mark (must be like buses we don't see any for ages then we get two in two weeks). Horse's kick goes out on our ten metre line, they take the quick throw and we watch admiringly and again they go aerial to Horse, he's not so fortunate this time as the ball comes off him and goes into touch, but we come back for the scrum about five metres  from our twenty two. Another steady scrum from B&B but it's almost fudged at the base but they manage to get it away and there's an unconvincing scissors, which makes about a metre before the ball carrier is brought down. The scrum half gets it away from the loose to his wing but he's driven into touch by Horse for a throw to Yards. BMT nudges it forward in the line and B&B reply in kind so it goes back for the first knock on and another scrum to B&B who are making all the running in the opening minutes. Not quite a feed but not far off, ball reaches the No.8's feet and they get a bit of a shove on, the General's all over his opposite number as he tries to get the pass away and it goes straight to the rather surprised inside centre and we all pile in. They manage to retain possession and go the short side but our tackling's resolute and they have to set again. Ball comes out, the B&B player takes it on the hoof, and it's a good run but it's Shark who finally brings him down; they're about five metres out from our line and they go short again but this time nobody picks up the runner, I think the prop and he goes over virtually untouched 0-5 Conversion missed. But at least that's this week's warm up finished! Nev's sends a low restart up the hill, and after a couple of phases B&B hoof it back down the hill to Ralph who sends it back from whence it came, and B&B run it back and get as far as the halfway line before we pick them up and we're penalised for not rolling away in the tackle. They opt to kick for touch and the ball goes out five metres inside our twenty two. They secure their ball and get a good drive on but it looks like Gethin who rather cunningly brings it down and to add insult to injury we turn the ball over, just before the whistle goes and we're awarded a scrum about eight metres from our line. A steady shove sees it safely at Barstool's feet and Phil ships it out to Nev, who does a step and puts it up, it goes through the catchers hands but backwards between his legs and our defence are up quickly and into their faces as they try to string a few passes together. First tackle is by Bean on his opposite number, Spasm the next, and then a thumper from Barstool as we halt their momentum in it tracks. They go again and Nick Levey makes the next tackle and it goes to ground and B&B are penalised for fannying about with it on the deck, Nev puts it out on their ten metre line. Mark combines cleverly with Shark who takes at the front just on the five and he makes a yard and we set, Rob takes the crash ball and goes through, passes to the Assassin in support but his pass is knocked forward by the General on their twenty two; ref plays advantage but we too are penalised for some grass based handiwork, and then someone offers an opinion and he sends us back another ten metres. They take it quickly and the General makes amends as his tackle sees the ball knocked free from his opposite number and the Assassin picks up and we set, ball coming out to Nev, to Simon, to Rick (in the line!!!!), to Smokin' to Ralph to Sean who then sets off in field. He's tackled and offloads to Ralph in support, he's tackled and B&B are penalised for coming over the top, and Nev puts it into the corner via the hand of Sideways' nephew (I think who's playing on the wing). Lineout is about eight metres from the B&B line and big Phil takes it at four and we drive, then splinter off towards the posts with Balders at the back, ball comes back, Ali G goes and knocks on, and B&B try and run it out from under the posts as the ref plays advantage, eventually with space running out they punt ahead and Ralph stops it with his feet and Horse picks up and goes, he breaks the first tackle, offloads to Smokin' to Simon, long pass to Sean who pins his ears back but is tracked by a slow mover (should have burnt him there Bean) so flicks it back inside, but it's collected by their cover defence and punted back down the hill where it's taken by Barrel who passes to Smokin', to Marcus, he's tackled we set and then spin, but whistle goes for a scrum four or five metres outside the B&B twenty two. We, sorry Rick takes it against the head, and Barstool picks up and goes, offloads to the General, he makes a couple more and we set and Rob goes again and breaks the gain line, then the twenty two. Nev comes in at scrum half, looking for a long pass, but comes short  to Shark and he cuts in looking for for his friends, offloads to Bilbo who finds Nick in support, and we set as the backs realign. Phil goes short to Rick and we drive him on before spinning wide, the General goes, pops it to Smokin' who does a step, then another but ball is eventually spilled in the tackle and again B&B kick away their advantage and Horse has to see it out just inside their ten metre line. Alistair steals their throw and we drive him on a metre or two before the General sends it out to Nev, who dummies Simon, flat pass to Smokin' who finds Ralph in the line but it's knocked on for a scrum to B&B midway between their ten and twenty two. They secure and spin and their fly half punts it down the pitch and Horse collects and goes, bludgeoning his way through the first two tackles before his inside pass finds Nick Levey via the deck and an almost interception and he takes it into contact, and we spin again and Simon goes route one, he offloads to Barstool following the same route; ball comes back, and we're lucky to get away with an accidental offside as the General runs in to Spasm. He finds Rob who goes to ground, and a B&B player comes through the gate legally and we're pinged for holding on. They kick to touch to relieve the pressure the ball going out on their ten metre line. Shark looks at first to have stolen it at two, but it's big Phil who eventually nicks it and drops it down to Barstool who passes to the General who outruns his support as he sees the wide open spaces ahead, he's a bit isolated but Shark's to him then BMT, the pass comes out, which Nev takes off the floor, passes to Simon who chips ahead and the ball goes out a metre or so inside their twenty two. They just about take at two, and they try to run it out about five metres from their line (remember when we were at school, defending, inside your twenty two just kick it off the bloody island!) anyway they break though our first line of defence, though they're still penned in inside their twenty two. Finally after a couple of phases they cross the twenty two with a strong run from their rotund "Barrelesque" centre but he's brought down by Barstool, so they're forced to recycle and I think it's their hooker who wellies it down field where it's fielded cleanly by Ralph and the cries go up from the touchline "feed the Horse" and he duly obliges with a great timed pass to Phil and he sets off through the middle of them and he crosses the their twenty two. Bean's with him in support off his wing, the pass back comes to BMT, he's stopped, we go short to Horse again and he takes it into contact, and we set and take it on a yard, the ball now at the back with Barstool. We go wide Nev to Smokin', steps his man, takes the next tackle and pops it off the deck to Spasm he puts his tackler on his back and the 677 drive over it, the General picks up sees no one at home and chips over the top and wins the race for the touchdown to score a couple of metres in from the touchline 5-5 Conversion is missed by Ralph from wide out & uphill & probably against the breeze too!! That's the last significant action of the half other than Horse's monster up and under, as we start to warm to the task pinning B&B in their half for the remaining ten or so minutes.
Halftime 5-5 Lots of constructive words from all assembled. Johnno comes on for the General, Barrel on for Birthday boy and Coatesy for Bean. Nev's restart is a deep one, evading the first set of feet and is eventually picked up a few metres inside their twenty two by one of their youngsters who passes to their scrum half who puts in a good kick the ball going out just on halfway (see that's the way to do it). Big Phil takes it at four, we set and Johnno tells them to drive it on, Mark comes round into steerage, trips over and shows every one his G-string athletic support and builders bottom, but quickly regains his modesty and rejoins the advancing maul. A pod splits off for a bit of handbags but the main drive continues at which point somehow we cough it up and they bang it up field albeit aimlessly and Ralph collects and passes to Coatesy, who lights them up and crosses the halfway line where he sends a less than sympathetic pass out to Barrel who misses it and Ralph is forced to put it out on the volley. They overthrow at the line and it goes loose and we secure and Johnno sends out a long pass to Nev who does well to take it, to Smokin' to Coatesy in off his wing, and he drives it into contact, Horse picks up the pop back, bats off a couple, passes inside to Barrel, to Chris Crash, to Johnno, inside to Horse who returns it inside to Johnno and he goes over 10-5 and normal service  is  resumed. Conversion goes wide. Six minutes into the half the Major comes on at No.8 and Goose comes onto the flank, with Barstool & Shark taking their bows. Not long after B&B are awarded a scrum for a knock on, their No.8 picks and goes, straight pass to the scrum half, and Smokin' makes the tackle and ball goes backwards it's picked up and Barrel puts in an absolute thumper knocking his man on his ar3e, but rather harshly he's penalised for not releasing. They take it quick and Chris makes the tackle but they manage to get it away into midfield but are making little or no forward progress and Chris again makes the tackle, they recycle and the second row takes it close, and Rick has a nibble, and the ball is eventually coughed up and it's Coatesy who comes away with it, but ref comes back for a scrum to B&B. Bit of an injury break while one of the B&B players has a bit of a lie down and has to come off. It's a bit crooked but B&B get away with it, it's a quick flick from the No.8 to the scrum half and Chris gets him, the ball comes back to B&B and we stand off and defend and under pressure B&B obligingly knock on, scrum Yards. Steady scrum, the Major picks up and goes, Goose his first to him, we're only metres away from their line as we pile in and it's a short pop pass to Alistair who goes through them virtually untouched to score under the posts. 15-5 It's a sitter for Ralph 17-5. The restart sails straight into touch and we go back for a scrum back. We split the line and the ball comes back cleanly to Johnno and he ships it out right to Nev who dummies Barrel, and passes to Coatesy who lights them up and goes straight through them, Goose in support. Lee offloads to BMT and it goes to ground about six or seven metres out and B&B come over the top, penalty Yards. Johnno takes it quickly, but too quick so he gets another go and sends a long pass out to Smokin', who has to stand it up and Crash is first to him, then BMT, then Ralph. We set, Horse is standing off, but Swing beats him to the pass and takes it in to contact, ball comes back and Rupe has the next go and breaks through the first tackle, and we set and Johnno sends it out to Coatesy who hands off his man and goes over wide out 22-5 and we reach 999 for the season. The pressure's too much for Ralph as his conversion narrowly misses...next score wins it....the Port obviously, as we've already reached the opposition's point of no return at 22 points.
The restart finds Bilbo who takes it on at "pace" (it's all relative) then offloads to Johnno who neatly pops it to Rick, we set, Johnno to Nev and Goose takes it off his inside shoulder, but the ball goes forward, and ref plays advantage to B&B but they just kick away and Coatesy makes like a seal and misses it completely and Ralph trying to contain his laughter fly hacks it into touch. No matter we win the lineout as Goose takes it then pops it to Johnno who goes through the middle, he tackled and we set, Coatesy's in at scrum half and whips it out to Nev who's long cut out pass finds Smokin' (just) so he has to stand it up. Barrel and Ralph are to him first and it goes to ground and we drive over, Big Phil takes it, offloads to Nev, to Chris who wangs it to....... Rick at fullback! And our hooker kicks and more amazingly finds a good touch. They take it at two and spin but it's all a bit lateral and the fly half kicks ahead and has the misfortune of finding Coatesy who winds it up and goes right through the middle of them, refusing to pass to his mate Barrel (or anyone else for that matter) and scores under the posts to bring up the 1000 points 27-5 Another easy one for Ralph 29-5 Handshakes all round well done Gentlemen. Nev takes a breather, Ralph moves to fly half with Sean returning to the field at fullback, and the Colt Arkell comes on for Spasm in the second row. Chris takes the restart and the 677 gather round, Johnno looks to spin to Nev but Rick beginning to believe his own publicity, or wanting a transfer out into the backs takes it at first receiver and promptly knocks it on, there's no advantage for B&B and we go back for the scrum. It's steady ball for B&B, they pick and go, we all buy the excellent dummy and he's through and it's only a great last ditch tackle by Bean about eight metres from the line that saves our blushes, a cracking effort that also sees the ball go forward to earn us the defensive scrum. Rock solid scrum from our Eight, ball comes back to the Major and Johnno sends it out but the ref decides to give them a scrum for a knock on five metres from our line. Rick deciding where he really belongs (out of f**king harms way) picks up the lads and we drive them off their ball and the Major picks up and goes, offloads it to Horse, who passes to big Phil and we cross our twenty two, he passes to Johnno who finds Smokin' who sells a sharp dummy, and makes another couple of metres but his pass is knocked forward and we toe poke ahead The ref plays advantage as B&B try to bring it back up the mountain, but following another crash tackle by Chris they end up kicking their advantage away (is it me or did they kick more often uphill than down?). Sean takes it cleanly, but takes a little too long and is clobbered and they turn it over and go, Smokin's puts in a great tackle and the ball goes loose and in the ensuing clusterf**k on the floor we pinch it back and Ralph punts it long back down the hill. The ball doesn't do enough on the blue tac to find touch and B&B bring it back up the hill with their young backs, they have numbers but again end up chipping it forward, Coatesy gets away with a knock on but is forced to kick to touch. Smokin' comes off and the Time Lord rematerialises. They win their line despite pressure from BMT but the ball goes to ground and we pour through and they're forced to clear to touch and we gain four or five metres and the throw-in. We're about ten or so metres out, Mark puts it up and big Phil takes it cleanly at four, Rick tidies up and we drive it on a bit, we spin but we contrive to cough it up. B&B try to run it metres from their line, Ralph makes the first tackle, Johnno the next, Chris after him, and the ball goes to ground, they're still trying to pass their way out of trouble but the pressure finally tells and they knock it on, scrum Yards. Johnno ships it out to Ralph and Simon comes in on the scissors and crosses the gain line and we set, it looks like we've come up short again but the birthday boy comes away with it and goes, he finds Johnno in support who passes to Barrel who makes great inroads before getting stopped, we recycle Johnno to Ralph to Simon who takes it into contact. Coatesy's in at scrum half, to Johnno, his reverse pass goes to ground and B&B snaffle it up but our tackling's up front and personal and we turn it back over, ball comes out to Ralph long one to Horse who gallops over the line in the corner but then runs it under the sticks 34-5 Ralph gets his third 36-5.  Horse comes off Slow comes on and gets their big centre soon after, not the best of tackles but I did slow him up a bit and he did have to go round my crumpled heap. Our final try of the day saw Coatesy coming all the way off the right wing onto mine firing up the afterburners, fatherhood obviously not affecting his top speed and leaving a trail of defenders in his wake before straightening up and commencing his downhill run, with Captain Slow doing his very best to keep up and running interference with their young prop, Lee going over under the posts to complete his second half hat trick 41-5 Up stepped our newest goal kicker Mark "bend it like" Baldwin having persuaded Ralphy to let him have a crack so desperate is Mark for that extra point or two to give him bragging rights over Roger the Dodger, unfortunately too much backspin saw the ball go to the left of the upright below the level of the crossbar, I believe technically that's called a shocker!
Final Score 41-5 Final Age 649 do the math.
A large score in the end but special mention to the starting XV who did all the hard uphill graft in the first half, allowing us to change over level, and giving us the platform to utilise gravity in the second.  Congratulations to all involved, thousand point seasons don't come around very often, this is only my second in 37 years! Man in the dirtiest shirt this week goes to Coatesy for his second half hat trick and in doing so breaking the 1000 point barrier with his 29th try of the season.
Those of you who are coming to Bath on the 2nd and who haven't already confirmed in writing please do so ASAP. The game is only three weeks away start looking for accommodation with your mates! I'm going down with Mark on the Friday to reconnoitre the ale houses, is there anybody else thinking of doing the two nighter?
If you're not mentioned below, it's because you STILL haven't put pen to paper yet or finger to button!!!!

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