Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

U8s & U7s Combined v Redditch away

Sun, 20 Feb 2011 12:00

The growing strength of the squad was demonstrated as we fielded eleven players against Redditch away from home despite the half term holidays. Two teams were formed with some players floating to allow us to field 2 seven a side teams. The A side stepped forward first under the captaincy of Dan H. Redditch were able to manage the exuberance of the half term holiday slightly better in the first half as we came up against a team who were a little more organised. As a result they won the half by five tries to two. Some excellent team work put Josh H into score both of the tries for Old Yards. The B side came to the field determined to push Redditch a little harder. They succeeded by closing the gap on Redditch. Josh T scored the first, Samuel a second and Ellis the third. All three tries came from some excellent running from the team. Redditch scored four tries by carefully avoiding the touch line. On their return to the pitch the A side put it all together to win the half by three tries to two. Frankie captained the side. They team put together the best defensive session of the day and manage to turn the ball over by taking six tags in succession. Josh T scored the first two tries and Josh H the third. Josh H captained the team for the final half. Josh T scored a wonderful try when he showed how to run the length of the blind side of the pitch through the narrowest of gaps. He added another three tries to his tally in the half and Ellis scored early in the match to tie the half with Redditch at five tries all. Overall it was a wonderful display with the play improving half by half despite increasingly numb fingers from the cold. It was a real delight to see a number of debutants getting to grips with the game. This gives us every confidence that we can field two sides for the end of season rugby tournaments. A very determined display by all!

Bournville vs. Vandals - 19th March 2011 - match report tucked away

With, as predicted by Uncle Tom, Birmingham Exiles crying off Saturday 19th March our twenty fifth game of the season saw us in a Pool game against Bournville 3rds over at Metchley Park Road. The last game being one of the season's tightest encounters so far finishing 23-12, this being only one of five games Bournville have lost all season. At the coal face this week Shannon "Steps" Killarney at loose, Steve Sidwell & Rick "Swing" Lowe job sharing at hooker, and similarly Mark "Gethin" Baldwin & Bill "Bilbo" Burrows at tighthead, in the warp core the brothers Gouldbourn "BMT" and "Spasm" with Chris "Crash" Rowe and Nick "the Assassin" Levey on the flanks with Rupert "the Major" Young at No.8. In the garden Phil "the General" Evans at scrum half alongside Ian "Nev" Neville at fly half, Nick "Barrel" Palmer partnering Gary "Smokin" Williams in midfield, with wings Sean " Bean" Byrne and Simon "Slippery" Singleton and Dave "Ralph" Rollins sweeping up the leaves at the back. With international call ups not so much a bench more a milking stool this week with just the two & Captain Slow. . Arriving in what was good time for us, it was gratifying to see the Bournville lads taking us seriously, and not only being all changed but all out on the park doing drills in the unseasonal Spring sunshine, with what looked like two or three first teamers, including one of their big Southern Hemisphere lads, no doubt all recovering from injuries I'm sure, and the fact that their first team were having the day off being purely coincidental. With the considerable slope it was an important toss to win, and as you know tails never fails, so I picked heads and struck lucky, and then rather confusingly (for me anyway) their South African skipper opted to give us the kick too. Going uphill then in the first half we started with Sid & Balders in the front row , Slow having some vague notion of using youth & mobility off the bench in the second half (that'd be you Rick & Bilbo in that order)! Nev's kick off sails into the heart of the Bournville forwards where it is caught cleanly and immediately post their intentions by spinning the ball out and Barrel puts in a thumper on his man and dislodges the ball forward, our referee for the day Adrian Pembleton looks to play advantage but none occurs and we are awarded the game's first scrum just inside their ten. Slow ball forces the General to box kick one over, and Bean gives chase, it's an awkward bounce for Bournville as it stays infield inside their twenty two and they try to run it out. They're stopped just on the twenty two and we almost turn it over, but they manage to get it away and their fly half hoofs it down the slope where Ralph takes it, steps the first chaser then chips ahead but the ball goes direct into touch for a lineout back between our ten & twenty two. They secure a messy ball, set and then spin and their big Islander takes it on a yard before shipping it to his partner where it's spilled forward, then grubbered ahead, but the ref's seen the knock on and we get another scrum with the Major's feet just about on their ten metre line. We have a couple of goes at it as the scrum clock ticks over before the ball finally finds the General who ships it out to Nev, as Slippery starts to move off his wing, Barrel comes in on the scissors and breaks the gain line before being hauled down but pops it off the deck to Nev who finds Smokin', to Ralph to Sean who's stopped by one of their big units and it goes to ground and we drive over. The General digs it out and passes to Nev who puts it up, and the Bournville fullback fluffs his first one but it goes backwards and he regathers off the deck and runs it out but not that far before he's stopped by Chris, and the 677 drive him back towards the line, and then go one better and turn it over. But the the ball comes out the back messily and misses the General altogether so Alistair has no option but to pick up and drive it forward, but he's brought down and we're pinged for hands in at the ruck. Bournville through their Islander take it quickly and literally runs over our first couple of would be tacklers and sets off into open field and they go onto score under the posts 5-0 and their slight fly half drop kicks over the conversion 0-7. Not the best of starts though it's not the first time we've conceded the first try and Slow idly wonders to himself whether cheats do prosper. Nev's restart is taken well by one of the Bournville forwards and he sets off and finds Shannon waiting and manages to give away a penalty almost immediately. Shannon takes it quickly and offloads to the General who sees space up ahead and chips for the corner and gives chase, and he's up quickly on the fullback and charges the attempted clearance down the ball going out right on the corner flag. So lineout to Bournville five metres out from their line which they take without much fuss and drive it on a couple before shipping it out to the fly half who bangs it down the hill. Ralph takes it cleanly and sets off back up the hill, passes to Smokin' who finds Slippery in support who beats his man and cuts infield. He's stopped and we recycle, the General to Nev to Smokin' who beats his man but is eventually forced into touch about twenty metres from the Bournville line. Rupert steals brilliantly at two and the General sends it out to Nev, dummy scissors Barrel, pass to Smokin' whose onward pass is knocked forward by Bournville as they try the interception, scrum to Yards. The ball comes straight out the back and the General scoops it up and wings it out to Nev who finds Sean who escapes a couple before having to stand it up and we drive him on. The ball comes safely to the back and the General has a snipe, he offloads to Chris Crash who's tackled pops it off the deck to big Phil who takes on the Antipodean and we set again. Ball comes out to Nev, he gives the dummy and has a go and we set and go a couple of times before the referee decides the Antipodean's definition of a tackle on BMT differs to his. We try to take it quickly but the ref's having none of it so Ralph bangs it into touch on the Bournville twenty two. Big Phil takes it at four and it's a quick set, drive and spin out by the General to Nev who brings Barrel in on another dummy scissors, passes to Smokin' who steps his man, who's then hit late, and ref looks to play advantage, but none comes, penalty Yards. The kick doesn't find touch but kindly bounces back towards the chasing Chris who scoops it up but is driven into touch about fifteen metres from the Bournville line. They take it at two and the scrum half looks to go and sells Nick the dummy but gets the old man instead, then Chris makes the next tackle but finally Bournville do the sensible thing and kick pass to Ralph downfield. He puts it up in the air and the fullback makes a complete mess of it and it's one of his centres who saves his blushes, but he's tackled well by Bean and looks like he's turned over as he picks up the loose ball, but ref brings it back and awards us the scrum about five metres inside their twenty two centre field. Shannon comes off briefly to powder his nose. Nev splits the line, Ralph & Sean right, Nick, Gary & Symes left. The Major picks up and finds the General at his side who cuts inside and makes good ground before it's knocked on in the tackle, and ref blows for a scrum to Bournville. El Presidente inspires his men on and we drive them off their ball and Rupe picks up and takes it into contact and then to ground and the 677 drive over and the General sends it out to Nev, who improvises one over the top of Barrel's head to Smokin' who spins it to Symes who comes the long way round and takes it into contact and we gather round. It looks like we've lost it as someone in maroon appears to be being very "industrious" but then out pops Sid rather nonchalantly with it and the ball is chipped ahead, the ball going out in the right hand corner for a Bournville throw on the five metre line. The windmill at two that is the Major gets one of his dish plates in to disrupt their throw and BMT wraps up the catcher and we gather and the General barks "everyone drive" and our Eight oblige their scrum half and the catcher is driven into touch for another five metre throw. Sid's throw is straight as a die and big Phil takes it at four, comes down with it and we drive it over for the score and it's Gethin who marches eleven places up the scoring table with his second try of the campaign 5-7. Ralph's conversion attempt goes just a half a metre shy of the right hand upright but we're up and running again. At this point my gadget gives up the ghost, but quite honestly I just want to watch, so the rest is from memory (& in the case of Sid's try all Gethin's as it was too far away for my failing eyesight). It's not long after when more pressure earns us another attacking lineout five metres from the Bournville line and cub reporter Baldwin takes over . "Hooker Sidwell threw in, a lofted throw over the out stretched grasp of the defenders' front jumper. Just behind the ball landed in the safe and reliable shovels of the Vandals lineout king Phil Gouldbourn. He towered above all, held securely in the air by the Herculean lifters, his brother Ali and Bilbo. At the same time Gethin Baldwin came round from the front of the lineout to secure the ball, receiving it from Phil and cradling it beneath his mighty torso. The maul was set and the Vandals moved forward towards the Bournville line. Gethin started to sweat, getting excited about scoring his second try of the game when the maul started to falter. Not to worry as the General was there to operate Plan B. He accepted the ball and went left. Just outside him was the ageless club President Sidwell, who caught a short pass from the General. Two metres out, with nobody in front of him, Sidwell jumped and dived across the line to become oldest ever Vandal to score a try." 10-7 Another difficult conversion attempt for Ralph from the corner and it's achingly close but just misses. Halftime 10-7 Isotonics all round, including one for the ref ;o) and boy did we need them. Sid & Mark take a bow and Rick & Bilbo come on for the downhill leg. A few minutes after halftime we increase our lead when swift hands and an even swifter Slippery goes over and under the posts to score 15-7 Ralph makes no mistake 17-7 But about five minutes later we concede what is by our standards a really soft try as Bournville take a quick penalty between their ten and twenty two and their diminutive but talkative fly half streaks up the touchline and despite Chris Crash's best attempt from the other side of the pitch to head him off he dots down under the posts 12-17. The conversion a formality 14-17. Bournville now hit a purple patch as we begin to tire a touch, and following some crisp interpassing their big dreadlocked winger runs it up the middle from just outside our twenty to go over underneath the posts for another converted try 21-17. This is the first time anybody has managed to score twice in succession against us all season and things are looking a mite grim! But we're not quite done yet as the Vandal Massive draws on previously untapped reserves of stubborness and following slick handling by Nev & the boys Simon is again unleashed out on the wing to score his second 22-21 (how they must miss him at his old Club...oh that would be Bournville) And we're back in the lead, which Ralph increases when his conversion sails over 24-21. Spasm who's stoically been carrying a shoulder from the first half, tucking his hand into his collar for support at every breakdown finally has to admit defeat and Slow comes on at No.8 for a couple of scrums until he comes up with a better idea, substitutes himself, moves Bilbo into the second row and brings Gethin back on at tighthead. Our tails are up and it's left to the Stepmeister to sell a bit of magic to the Bournville youngsters from about ten metres out and go over with about ten minutes to go to seal what is without doubt our hardest fought victory 29-21. It's some relief as the ref's final whistle goes, our back row of Nick, Chris and Rupe are pretty much out on their feet having tackled themselves pretty much to a standstill, similarly our midfield duo Barrel & Smokin' and the back three of Symes, Sean & Ralph having coped with pretty much relentless attacks in those closing few minutes. Final Score 29-21 Final Age 681 Incidentally our starting age was a new record of 693!! And yes you'd be right that's mostly Sid's extra 15 years, which works out at a 46.2 average, 681 is still our 2nd oldest final age, the forwards' average age was at the start 50.4 and still 48.5 at the end. Perhaps Simon you could pass these numbers onto the Bournville's whinging Chairman when you see him next!!! Three tries from the front row, now how often does that happen?! And looking at Bournville's three, all essentially breakaway tries by younger lads especially the one from the young whippet of a fly half in the second half, whereas all five of ours were based on solid teamwork and good hands in both the forwards & the backs. So Man in the dirtiest shirt this week goes to Shannon, Sid, Rick, Bill, Mark, Phil, Alistair, Nick, Chris, Rupert, Phil, Nev, Nick, Gary, Sean, Simon & David, you all deserve it for balls to the wall defence & plain old belligerence. And Bilbo remarks to me after the game imagine how good we'd be if we trained!! The last try was our 181st, still time to reach 200 which would be a real achievement, last year we only managed 107 Slow

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