Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Let's play 'catch up' rugby!

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 10:27

First XV

In the good old days we used to build a lead and then test our fitness by hanging on to the final whistle.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't.  Now last saturday in what should really have been a straightforward game for us we tried a new approach.  In the time it took to park the car and put on some boots the boys managed to give the visitors from Redditch a nice start of 17 points made up of 3 tries and a conversion.  Simple enough really we had the rest of the game to catch up!  With a lot of graft we almost got there.  Our pack gradually took control and we came within a whisker of winning, clawing back 14 points.  Redditch just about held on to win by 17-14.  We seem to camp in opposition territory but fail to convert pressure into points.  When we get it right some team or another will feel the backlash we hope.

Development XV

With captain Egg taking time out to sit exams, young front-row star, Luke has taken over the reins.  There are times when youth wins the day and other times when experience counts and over at Veseyans 2nds we fell victims to the latter.  Dave Hanson (Chicken) informs me that the score flatters the hosts but that's often the way it goes.  A special mention for Dave Langley for yet another try from our powerhouse second row.

Vandals XV

Like night follows day then win follows win, well so far it has been the case. Against a more than decent Civil Service 2nd team we had our work cut out and it was only when our visitors tired in the second half that the points started to accumulate.  Tries came from Nick Palmer x2, Ralph(aka Peter Pan), Phil Goldbourn and a couple of our equine friends, Alan Arkell and Phil the horse Watson.  Nev stroking over 5 conversions.  The final score being 45-7 in our favour.

See full natch report below.

Minis and Juniors

Sunday saw all of our youngsters playing at home against the Eds.Marcus and John are very chuffed with their under 10s who played with 2 players short but still did the business.  It's good to see the very young under 7s and under 8s developing nicely.  Well done to Andrew Pemberton.  The under 15s lost by 2 points in a game that could have gone either way.  The under 14s were well beaten.

Fixtures this weekend

Saturday      First XV  away to Shipston (league)
                    Dev XV  home  to Tamworth 2nds
                    Vaandals   away to Sils 3rds

Sunday        Under15    home to Fiveways
                    Under 7, 8, 10, 14   training

This week's special mentions

VPs Dinner and Gathering

Last saturday saw the opportunity for our vice presidents to gather together for a meal, a drink, a chance to watch the present-day players hopelessly trying to match the talents of previous old Yardleian teams and, most important of all, to put right the many ills of the world in general.  Thanks go to Terry (Tex) Wales for coordinating the day, to his good lady, Maggie, for allowing him out, to Pat, Barbara Kim and the catering/bar staff for feeding them, a challenge in itself and a big thank you to anybody who I have overlooked.

Craig Fleming

Thanks go to Craig of the North Mids Referees Society for taking control of our under 15 match on sunday.  As a former player at both Ys and Eds it was a good gesture and Craig we were amazed at how your fitness has improved and the new, slim former prop was barely recognisable.  Sorry that you had to take some abuse from a couple of ignorant idiots on the touchline but the vast majority who actually know a little about the game appreciate your help.  Well done and thank you.

Chris Watts

Congratulations to Chris on being accepted into the University of the Third Age.  You fully deserve the honour which is bestowed on only the most intelligent and special individuals.  This makes you the third Old Yardleian to receive the call following in the footsteps of Tex and some other smart bloke!  Chris, as you might or might not know has captained our First and Second XVs and as Head of P. E. at Yardleys School, was responsible for introducing many of you to the game of rugby and to the Old Yards club. Well done Chris ( that is if you understand the internet!).
Vandals v Birmingham Civil Service 2nds

With Birmingham Barbarians 2nds going the way of Warley Vets the previous week this Saturday saw us at home in another Pool game versus Birmingham Civil Service 2nds. Having played for them the season before last I know a couple, including their Les Battersby lookalike (who also played against us last season for Claverdon, if you're reading this sorry I don't know your real name) who told me they were hoping to play our thirds and not our Vets, because apparently our Vets are scarier than our thirds!
Starting fifteen this week loosehead Shannon "Steps" Killarney, Rick "King of Swing" Lowe at hooker and Mark "What's Appertaining" Baldwin at tight, with Lonie given a week to recuperate from his nasty broken pinkie Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn was harnessed to his shorter (and even tardier) kid brother Alistair in the second row. With the Assassin visiting Tin Tin in Belgium Marcus "Shark" Hope had a new but equally lethal partner in Simon "Sideways" Singleton on the flanks with our business guru & drinking game aficionado Rupert "the Major" Young at No.8. 
In the attendants this week Phil "the General" Evans at scrum half & Ian "Nev" Neville at fly half, with centres Nick "Barrel" Palmer & birthday boy Tony "Fitz" Fitzgerald; on the wings Phil "Horse" Watson & Mike "Nearly" Neary with Dave "Ralph" Rollins as last man standing.
On the chaise long this week Alan "the Colt" Arkell, Iain "Johnno" Johnson, and the surviving member of Right said Fred, Andy Killarney.
With our beloved tundra of pitch Three incorporating a new water feature we took to a moist pitch Two, and with stunt skipper Shark losing the toss Civil Service elected to kick towards the Club (not realising they'd played into our hands allowing us to play towards the beer in the second half)
The kick off evades catchmeister Shannon but eventually finds big Phil, we set and the General ships it out to Nev and he rifles one ahead which goes out on the Service ten metre line. The line out's a messy affair, lots of bibble bobble and knock ons but the referee Alex Nock (Nocker to his mates at Five Ways) decides on a scrum to the Service.  The Service scrum half starts as he means to finish with a crooked feed, not quite into the second row but seemingly not far off, but he gets away with it, collects at the base and goes on a bit of a run, popping it to their winger & Les Battersley (Corry...no I don't watch it either) stunt double but he's quickly driven into touch for a lineout to Yards.
We take a quick throw and Sideways comes away with it, he feeds Barrel who cuts through, breaks the first tackle but gets caught and Nocker penalises him for holding on.  Service choose not to run and it's a decent kick with the ball going out just on our twenty two. Everybody is up in the air but the throw's not straight and it's a scrum to Yards which we secure nice & easy and the Major guides the ball to the back where the General picks up and spins to Nev, he makes a little step just to make some space then puts it over the top. 
The Service full back slips but manages to scoop it up and sets off down the tramlines, Nearly lets him go believing he's stepped into touch (their linesman that side) but no matter as he runs into into traffic, we promptly turn him over & the General box kicks it back from whence it came and we all run on.
The General takes the catcher and the pack drive the pair of them into touch for a lineout to Yards. Big Phil secures good ball and we set and Phil sends it out to Nev, he brings Barrel in on his first scissors of the day and scythes straight through, looks for support, is tackled, (more of a forward roll really) gets up and sets off again, Simon's in support, he pops to Fitz and he goes to ground. The Major dives on and we set. The General pops it to Shark, to Steps who sells his first of the day, passes to Ralph, he cuts back inside, we realign, but the whistle goes for offside (probably all of them), penalty to Yards. Going with doctrine Nev puts a great one into the corner for an attacking lineout to Yards about five metres out. Throw's not straight (mind it was blowing a gale) and it's a scrum to Civil Service.  Pressure comes on from our unholy trio of Steps, Swing & Gethin and it goes down, but they get to have another go and the Service scrum half feeds again, and gets away with it again, but the ball pops out the side, Marcus scoops it up and goes over but the whistle's gone for yet another scrum.
We reset, Service put in, ball goes to the back, No.8 picks up, but everybody's on top of him & he drops it over the line so its an attacking scrum five metres out.  Its a good drive by Service and the General gets sucked in at the base and knocks on, scrum to Service. They get the nudge on & its a good kick by their fly half, the ball going out just inside the halfway line.Gethin throws in, it's gets tapped down, Gethin's round to secure it at the back as we all pile in. The General gives a short pop to his bigger namesake who takes it on the crash. He goes through the first couple, gets held and we're all in. Out it comes, Nev dummies Barrel, then Fitz, goes through the gap, sells another, and offloads to Ralph who's come into the line, who feeds the Horse who still has work to do, thirty metres and  a couple of big hand offs later he goes over in the corner 5-0. Nev's conversion unluckily comes back off the post.
Its a streaky restart which we fail to deal with and Service come away with the ball. Their fly half puts it over wide out and Mike Neary takes it in his stride and finds Ralph, who wellies it up field, it bounces over their ten before they try and run it out. They evade Ralph's attentions then Simon's and its Fitz who makes the final tackle, they set and spin the ball and the pass goes right over the top and Barrel takes man and ball and turns him our side and the General digs the ball out, and Alastair takes the short pop right through the middle, we set again, Phil pops it to Nev but it's knocked on. Shannon limps over, and Arkell says to me he's not going on yet. Shannon's okay to scrum which is a couple of metres from our ten metre line. It's a good steady shove from Service and there's a scissors in the midfield, Marcus takes the incoming player but they recycle, and they get a penalty advantage, and one of the Service flankers comes away with it and takes it in to contact making a few yards, but whistle goes as no real advantage gained.  They elect to kick & it goes out for a lineout to Service on our twenty two. Shark's up nice & high to put them off a bit, but they retain possession and peel round on the narrow side, they set and the ball comes out and they spin it back wide and the fly half puts a little chip through, but Ralph is first to it.  Ralph flips it to the General and he puts into touch.
It's another good take at the lineout from the Service, but the Major's through the middle and looks to have stolen it, but Service get the drive on. It becomes a bit messy and the whistle goes & Simon has his first chat of the game with the referee. It's an equally messy scrum & it starts to wheel all over the shop (Slow mutters rubbish). Scrum resets and their scrum half brings in Les off his wing but he knocks on & runs into one of his own players and its an accidental offside. Nev takes the kick, the ball going out just past their twenty two. There's a knock on by Service in the lineout, so it's a scrum to Yards. Clean possession from our hard working eight, the General lets it go to Nev, dummy scissors Barrel to Fitz, makes the break but gets caught, ball squirts loose and Horse fly hacks it on, but Nocker adjudges it's gone forward, so scrum back to Service. Steady ball comes out to their fly half, surely he's knocked it on, but gets away with it but does collect our back row marauders instead but the referee deems someone has hung on a bit too long & its a penalty to Civil Service.
Their kick goes out on our ten, ball comes in, Rupert's really unlucky not to get to it, and we look to have got away with a knock on as their scrum half picks up and runs right through the middle of us. Big Phil knocks him over and they recycle as Sideways tries to get hold of it, but ref had spotted the earlier infringement, it's no advantage so it's back for a scrum on the ten metre line. But Swing comes to our rescue picking up both Gethin & Steps under his arms he single handedly drives the Service pack off the ball as he takes one against the head and Rupe picks up, takes it on a metre, confusing the crowd by wearing number 9 shirt (apparently he thought he'd put 19 on). We set, again the two Phils work in tandem with BMT making the hard yards, we set again and Barrel's to him first, the General whips it out to Ralph who puts one up, their centre fields it cleanly and sends it back with the General just about making the catch (it went backwards). Nearly tidies up for him and puts a chip over the winger's head but it goes out just on the half way line, ping the ref has seen an offside and was playing advantage.
Nev takes it quickly to Ralph who puts a chip over & Horse runs on to it, has time to gear down and collect and takes it on, he's tackled, but pops it off the deck to Fitz, to Ralph, to Simon who breaks through and passes to Alistair who passes a neat one out the back of his hand to brother Phil. High tempo stuff, BMT's stopped we set again and the General goes old school and uses his feet judiciously to extract the ball, he ships it to Ralph, to Rupe who takes it back into contact.  We set again,  then spin it out, dummy by Nev, he gets clobbered, we recycle and Ralph puts a chip over the top and their winger takes it, but it's another penalty to us for offside, Nev puts it into the corner, five metres out from the Service line. Amongst all that Symes has suffered a dead leg and he limps off temporarily, and we're down to 14. It's a good catch and drive by the 677 (despite the ref not noticing they'd an extra man) and we drive all the way to the line and Gethin is unlucky not to get his maiden try of the season and even more unlucky when for reasons known best only to the referee, he awards a drop out twenty two to Civil Service.
Mike Neary takes the catch from the twenty two, and puts a lovely kick over into space, gives chase & takes the catcher & drives him out, lineout Yards; we try to take a quick one but the referee's having none of it. Sideways still suffering the effects limps back on.  It's a poor one, but Alastair manages to rescue it and we set. Mike Neary comes in off his wing and feeds BMT, to the General who takes it into contact, ref blows, penalty Yards Alistair takes it quick and gets right to the line, we set, the Major under orders from the General is told to dig it out, but they come right over the top and its another penalty five minutes out (should've been a yellow card shown at some point)
We look, to take it quickly, Steps comes hurtling in but the pop is too hot to handle and it goes to ground and it's a scrum to Civil Service five metres out from their line. Steady scrum but the General's round the back ready to poach, but the Service scrum half manages to get it away to the fly half who clears, the ball going out about 20 metres from the line. Big Phil takes the throw cleanly, we drive on making great ground. Ball's at the back cradled safely by Gethin, he pops to Phil, to Nev and Barrel comes in on the scissors, goes through the line and offloads to his partner in crime Fitz who goes over under the posts...great try 10-0 Easy one for Nev 12-0
Its a long restart, the General gathers it up and passes it to Nev, who puts a nice high one up, it's caught cleanly and the Service player brings it back evading the first couple of tackles, but not Ali G and the ball goes forward in the tackle, scrum Yards. Good scrummage despite the Service's best attempts to disrupt it. Phil gets it away & Nev puts it up in the air and the Service fullback fluffs it, Barrel's first to him but the whistle goes, penalty to Yards for an accidental offside. 
We take it quickly, but the ball's knocked on by the General, scrum to Service on the twenty two. Their No.8 picks up at the base, Marcus is first to him, followed by Symes but they recycle and the ball finds the fly half who hoofs it down the park & the ball goes out midway between the half way and ten metre line. Despite Gethin's throw not being the straightest the referee allows play on, we secure and spin it, Phil to Nev to Barrel, he looks to pass, doesn't and takes it on a metre, finds Fitz to Ralph to Horse who runs the next twenty metres his hand attached to their outside centre's head looking like a sort of human catamaran, Horse finally pops it back inside to Ralph who goes over midway out 17-0. Great kick by Nev 19-0. 
The restart comes to Nev, who takes it cleanly and kicks to clear the ball going out just inside the halfway line. They catch and spin and the scissors in the midfield only finds Barrel and the ball carrier is pinged for not releasing. Nev puts in a great kick going out about 30 metres from their line. Another 'wind affected' throw finds the Major and he drives into the twenty two before the rest of the 677 gather round, Swing's got the ball at the back, passes to Shannon who does his thing, but gets caught so has to drive on with it, BMT's first to him, Rick picks up and goes he gets another couple of yards. The General takes it, pops it to Alastair who feeds Symes and he jinks his way through before offloading to big Phil who goes over and scores 24-0. Nev slots his third conversion 26-0.
That brings up half time, Slow's forgot the isotonics. Symes still struggling with his dead leg comes off and the Colt comes on to the flank. 
Our restart doesn't make ten!!!! (answers on a postcard please), scrum to Service, but we pinch another against the head and the Major picks & goes, Marcus is first to him, then the General who goes on one of his typically sniping runs, passes to Nev, he gets caught, Barrel's in support, Phil takes it and dummies the pass to Ralph, then gives it as Ralph cuts inside, but ball is spilled forward, but referee plays good advantage and the Service clear to touch, ball going out just on the halfway line. Not good enough the referee's seen something else and awards them a penalty back. They kick and it's taken by big Phil who sets off and offloads to the Colt who bounces the first one and keeps going another yard or two before we set, Alistair takes the next short pop and takes it into contact, but the ref's whistle goes again and it's another penalty to Service. They kick and again it doesn't make touch and again it's taken by big Phil, who runs a yard before giving it to Mike Neary who puts one up in the air, and it's taken cleanly by the Service's fullback, who eludes first Mike then Shannon and continues to bounce his way all the way to the halfway line before getting finally stopped. They recycle and spin and bang one over the top and it goes straight to Horse who winds it up and goes past the fullback, then does the centre with another trademark hand off, but weight of numbers sees him finally driven out on the ten metre line.
We win the lineout, BMT taps down, goes through the General's hands, Rick's in there next, it's a slippery one, as we make life difficult for ourselves, finally it's Alistair who secures it, and the General puts it into touch. But the God's smile as referee gives us a penalty, Nev fakes the kick and gives to Shannon who makes a few yards, we all pile in, Phil feeds Nev, long one to Barrel, to Tony Fitz who cuts inside and is away sees Ralph in support who gives to Mike and he's away but is tackled by Les Battersby and the ball is knocked on in the tackle. The game's becoming a bit tatty and is being played between the two ten metre lines. Scrum to civil service, it breaks up and shortly after one of their players their skipper I think runs from the halfway line straight through the middle of us and scores under the posts . I get the impression we thought the whistle had gone there given we all stood quizzically watching on. 26-5 conversion a formality 26-7.  
Mark comes off to take his conference call  (I kid you not) and multi-purpose Arkell moves into prop albeit somewhat reluctantly. Andy K is given the order to get changed which seems to take an age as he ends up having to take his boots off to slip his track bottoms off. In the meantime we resume once again with 14 players. (Captains note: buy roll of Velcro for Andy next Christmas).  
Game continues and from the restart the Service are awarded a scrum and its 8 against 7 (Andy wherefore art thou? ). They spin, the ball comes round the back and the ball is punted forward but food & drink to Ralph who clears up and puts it out  for a lineout to Civil service.  It's a good throw by Service but is undone by a nudge forward, scrum to Yards. Andy K finally gets on & slots into second row , Alastair goes to No.8 and Rupe goes on to the flank.  Steady scrummage but we are made to work hard against a big set of lads who try to drive us off it. General spins to Nev who dummies the kick and cuts straight through and sees the General in support, Phil gets stopped gets a bit messy on the deck and somehow they get a penalty, they take it quick and it's deemed a deliberate knock on by Barrel & go again and they put this one up in the air but Nev takes it just inside the twenty two and makes a good touch on the half way line.  
Service win their line, and spin, their  centre kicks ahead,  but it's not a good one, Barrel scoops up, feeds Marcus but we give it away in contact and Service try to run but they pass it forward, scrum Yards.  Ralph comes off, Mike switches to full back and Johnno comes onto the wing. It's yet another feed so we spin the scrum but they manage to get the ball away, their fly half takes it on, Nev makes the tackle and has a lie down with him. Ball 's recycled and comes out to their tall centre, Barrel takes him and we steal it.  Phil to Neville who chips over the top, Horse gives chase.  The full back collects but is swallowed up and turned by Horse and we set again. Big Phil takes it short and knocks one completely off his arse, we drive again and spin short to Alastair who makes a couple more yards. Ball comes out and we spin it, Rupert takes it back inside, we've got lots of numbers, Phil spins it out to Nev who cuts inside sells a dummy, gets tackled, but offloads to Marcus, Barrel is first to him, then Alastair, ball comes out Phil spins to Nev, to Shannon sells the dummy and is unlucky not to score.  
So its a scrum to Service, Arkell goes down, manages to get back up and we're driving but they clear the ball and kick ahead. Mike Neary takes the catch looks for support but decides to go on a run and makes good ground, keeps going, passes to Horse who pops to Rupert who goes to ground, they are all over it again, referee signals penalty advantage, but we don't need it as the Colt turns his man and ball comes out to Fitz who's unlucky not to get a second when he's held up but sharply offloads to Barrel who does go over 31- 7 Nev's attempt just goes wide. 
Horse is also now also suffering from a dead leg (they shoot horses don't they?) and Arkell a broken finger nail.The restart for a second week comes off Ricks shins and we set nicely, ball comes out, big Phil takes it on the hoof, breaks the tackle, stands it up everybody's gathered round, first the Major, then the General,  he spins Andy K takes it in midfield, looks desperately for someone to pass to but we set and it's knocked on by Barrel in the midfield and he kicks the ball out in disgust. So scrum to  Civil  Service they come blind Iain Johnson makes the first tackle, Alastair  the next and the ball comes loose. Johnno scoops it off the deck but is tackled and ball goes forward, but advantage to Service they spin it back wide, lots of miss passes and extra men out wide but Tony Fitz does just enough to halt the attack and the ref brings it back for a scrum on the twenty two.  
Ball comes straight out and the Major's on it like a flash, but they come right over the top, penalty Yards and another ten metres for not getting off quickly  enough. Johnno's in there and takes it quickly and cleverly makes contact with a non retreating player and we get another ten.  We kick and it goes out about thirty metres out. Rick hits big Phil, we set and drive on, Andy K takes it in the caboose. Then it's Rupert and Arkell's turn and we drive it on further and they look like they've collapsed it but the General spins it out but they turn it over in midfield Horse takes the runner and comes away with it, passes to Nearly, two side steps, keeps going offloads to Marcus who spins to Fitz who goes to ground and they come all over the top. Penalty Yards and another ten metres for backchat . And It's one of our methodically planned, very scientific...no give it to the big bloke type of moves and the Colt Arkell bounces his way through several despairing tackles to go over under the posts 36-7and another easy conversion for Nev 38-7.  
It's a long deep restart, and big Phil allows it to bounce in front of him before collecting and setting off, he's stopped so his younger sibling drives him on, with Arkell stands menacingly close by, but the whistle goes, penalty to Civil Service because we've obviously done something very technical wrong. They kick to touch, and it's a lineout which they secure, ball comes out it's all a bit messy, but they are still trying to play in fairness with all their big units still running, but we're just standing off giving them plenty of breathing space as they spin across but not very forward.  Fly half passes to the outside centre who's tackled by Johnno, and then Barrel, but they recycle and it comes out and the flanker takes it on but the whistle goes as Johnno and the fly half are throwing handbags...time to talk to the skippers.
Penalty to Civil service, just a few metres outside our twenty two and they put it into the corner.  We've got Arks & Shannon lifting his brother and the Gouldbourns lifting Rupert, with Marcus at the tail. They knock it forward over the line and we dot down for a twenty two restart. Nev hoiks it down deep and their winger takes it on, but he's tackled, we spread and let them have it but ref sees something and gives them a penalty. It's a good kick by the fly half the ball going out five metres inside our twenty two. They just about get it in, there's a knock forward by us in the lineout, ref allows them to play on, they try to run it and it goes through several pairs of hands but no real advantage so we come back for a scrum. Steady scrum and they spin, fly half looks for an inside ball but they drop it, Nev picks up and keeps running, sends a Hail Mary of a pass out to Fitz and it goes forward. Scrummage then to Service on the ten metre line. It's a great scrummage from our Eight and we drive and then wheel it, it goes ninety referee blows, put in to us.  We split the line, no need as Rupe picks up feeds the General and pops a great pass to Barrel, who canters in to score under the posts 43-7. Nev makes it five for the afternoon 45-7.
Johnno moves to outside centre Fitz comes onto the wing. Very little time left, though still enough for Johhno to get in another set of handbags with one of their players and the final highlight of the game sees young Arks taking a short pass off the General and going on a twenty metre run bouncing players as he goes.
Final Score 45-7 Final age 654
This weeks man in the dirtiest shirt award goes to Mike "Nearly" Neary who caught everything kicked in his direction and sidestepped anything that moved.
All in all, a much more fluent game this week against a strong, unyielding and largely offside set of lads, and where we got into our stride a lot quicker than the previous week and scored regularly throughout.
Next week one of the 2009/10 Payback Series Silhillians Saints at Copt Heath. Vandals Polos please if you have them!!

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