Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

A positive end to the season.

Tue, 10 May 2011 01:22

First XV

For their final league (Midlands west/south div 3) game of the season the Old Yards travelled to Newbold-on-Avon to play in front of a large home crowd who were there to celebrate their club's promotion success.  However, a determined Yards spoiled the party.  Magnificent defence kept the hosts out whilst Y's youngsters Lee Purdy and Joe Patrick each scored a try and fly half Max Gimson kicked two conversions to take the visitors to a well-deserved 14 -12 victory.  Next season's newly elected captain, Anthony Thompson, must have been impressed by the character shown by this young Y's team as he looks to lead the club into a promotion challenging outfit.

Vandals XV

The success story of the year surely goes to the Yards Vandals XV which could be described as a veterans team but which includes one or two younger players from time to time as a learning experience. The Vandal's playing record this season is played 30, won 30.  The 100% record was sealed with the final match of the season which was a 33 - 14 win against Tamworth.The team scored over 1300 points with top individual scorers being wingers Phil Watson with 35 tries,  Lee Coates with 34 tries and prop Bill Burrows not too far behind.  As the expression 'retire at the top' suggests, both team captain Martyn Cartwright and top scorer Phil Watson have decided to hang up their boots and the club hopes that they will bring their vast experience to support the coaching of the clubs younger players. Full match report below.

Just one weekend to go!

Friday night at the club is the annual dinner.  Tickets available from the committee.

Saturday evening at the club is the annual Minis and Juniors presentation evening.  Any support from the senior players would be appreciated.

New Committee

Following the recent AGM new officials have been elected.  The full list will be published as soon as the Publicity Officer,  i.e. me gets the details.  However, I can tell you that Northern Bloke, Sean Byrne, is the new Chairman.  I have played rugby with him and I feel certain that he will make a better chairman than a player.  Only joking mate!
A big thanks to outgoing Chairman Tony Fitz who was the driving force behind the transformation of the clubhouse into it's present splendid facility. 

Vandals vs. Tamworth Vets - Saturday 7th May 2011 - Presidents Day

Well it all boiled down to this, President's Day and game 30 of a long old season against our old mates Tamworth, and two fairly comfortable victories earlier on in the season meant skipper Graham Hakes and his friends wouldn't make it a third. Thankfully the heavens had opened in the proceeding 36 hours meaning the wide expanses of the First team pitch had softened up a touch bringing some welcome relief for our aging joints.

In the forwards this week Bill "Bilbo" Burrows at loosehead, Rick "Swing" Lowe at hooker and Mark "Gethin" Baldwin at tighthead, in the boiler room John "Casper" Lonie alongside Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn with Nick "the Assassin" Levey and Marcus "Shark" Hope on the flanks with Roger "the Dodger" Lazenby returning at No.8.

In the backs Phil "the General" Evans at scrum half, alongside  Ian "Nev" Neville at fly half, Nick "Barrel" Palmer partnering Tony "Fitz" Fitzgerald in midfield, with wings  Phil "Horse" Watson and Lee "Coatesy" Coates with the multi-purpose Simon "Slippery" Singleton at fullback.

Given the occasion virtually a second XV available on the bench Shannon "Steps" Killarney, Gary "Smokin" Williams, Alan "the Colt" Arkell, Rob "Barstool" Bastock, Iain "Johnno" Johnson, Andy "Fred" Killarney, Mike "Nearly" Neary, Billy "Wishbone" Hendon, Ed "Forrest" McDonald, Tim "Nemo" Russell, Chris "Golf Ball" Rowe, Steve "Grainge" Grainger & bringing up the water bottles for the last time Captain Slow.

Rashly Captain Slow flips the coin this week and Tamworth's Graham Hakes calls heads and heads it is and Tamworth elect to play towards the Clubhouse in the first half, unwittingly giving us the scent of beer in the second.

It's very nip and tuck and after 23 minutes the scoreboard (if we had one) remained untroubled, the only light relief of a tense opening twenty minutes being provided by our referee for the day Mr Ian Armitage (who tells me he reads these) who whilst taking evasive action from a Tamworth kick inadvertently collides with the bony hip of big Phil and his nose erupts in crimson. A few minutes later the former Eds prop forward, his nose bunged up with Vaseline returns to the park to rousing applause from the modest crowd.

A few additional older heads for Tamworth this time out, at No.8 (not that he was ever really joined to the scrum at any point), at prop and at inside centre have added steel to that already provided by Hakesy and big Andy and in fairness were probably worth the opening score on 24 minutes. When following a scrum about five metres from our line Tamworth are awarded a penalty for offside, they opt to go for another scrum, and following last week's successes Rick decides to go fishing and is unlucky not to pinch it. The ball comes back and their No.8 picks & goes but he's held up on the line by Rog and a few others, the ball goes to ground they manage to get it back. Sir's looking like he's wanting to give another penalty, which eventually he does as we impede the ball's progress. Hakesy tries to take it quickly but Sir wants a word with Casper, no doubt the word persistent & red zone being uppermost in his mind.

Tamworth thinking they have us on the rack go for the scrum again, five metres out from our line, they get the drive on, Roger sneaks round onto the Assassin's shoulder to cover the break, but we can't prevent them from scoring the push-over close to the posts 5-0. Simple conversion for a 7-0 lead.

It's a low trajectory restart from Nev which ricochets of a pair of Tamworth shins and Shark's first to the rebound, Bilbo picks and his pass back to big Phil is almost intercepted by Rick! We spin, the General out to Nev who sees a gap over the top and kicks for position the ball going out one or two metres inside the Tamworth twenty two. They throw it short and just about come away with it, scrum half to fly half who kicks it downfield where it's taken by Slippery at fullback, he looks to open it out but then decides to chip ahead, and a Tamworth player collects, plays it safe and kicks to touch.

Quickly taken lineout, we secure and the ball finds Horse who brings it in field. He's stopped and we recycle, General digs it out, to Nev to Fitz, who's held up and the ball illegally held in and we get the penalty. Nev kicks for touch the ball going out about five metres inside their twenty two. Gethin's throw despite Hakesy's best efforts hits BMT at four and we set then drive, so Hakesy takes to tunnelling instead and nicks the ball from our midst, and Tamworth get the nudge on before the scrum half gets it and box kicks over the top, but straight to Coatsey who lights them up and sets off on the diagonal towards the opposite corner, but you know he's never gonna pass to Horse, instead he gives the inside pass to Barrel at the last minute and he goes over about six or seven metres in from the touchline for his 13th try of the season 5-7. It's a great conversion from wide out by Nev to give us parity at 7-7

The game becomes tight again for a five minute spell after our equaliser with tackles coming in from both sides. Following a forward pass we are awarded a scrum midway between the Tamworth ten & twenty two, Tamworth get a big shove on but we survive it and the General picks & spins to Nev who finds Barrel who breaks the first couple of tackles and gets behind the line of the Tamworth scrum before he's gang tackled and the ball spills forward. Sir plays good advantage as Tamworth look to run but then decide to kick their advantage away, Coatesy chases after it, collects, turns, sees the gap and sets off through the now broken field. Someone manages to get a glove on him and the pill spills, but it goes backwards and Casper's first to it. He pops it up and we spin to Nev, he kicks over the top, but finds their winger instead of touch, he comes back inside, beats Nev and it's Fitz who makes the tackle and the ball pops free and it's Fitz who reacts the quickest and finds Horse who sets off and the cries go up "feed the Horse" and the big man thunders down the tram lines to go over wide out 12-7. It's a cracking kick by Nev who's obviously brought his kicking boots with him today 14-7.

Nick Levey eventually takes the bouncing ball from the restart on the deck between our ten & twenty two and Tamworth come tumbling over the top and Hakesy seems to have pinched it, but not for the first time this season Casper manages to get his toe to it and it comes firing out the back and into midfield. Tamworth collect the loose ball and start to bring it back and Nev makes the first up tackle, Barrel's next in and it looks at first like we've turned it over, but at the last minute it squirts out the side and Tamworth come away with it and link a good series of passes together and get into our twenty two and it's Symes who makes the tackle, but the ref's whistle goes, what he's given we're not so sure, but the Tamworth No.8 is and takes it quickly, confusion reigns as he gets almost to the line before he's held up, but the ref's whistle goes again, not retreating I guess and we come back for another penalty for Tamworth about five metres out. Again they opt to take the scrum, the first one goes down and we have another go, their powerful unit gets on the move once and it's their No.8 who goes over close to the posts 14-12. Straight foward conversion and all square at 14-14. Game on.

It's another low restart that reaches the Tamworth twenty two before it's gathered and big Phil makes the tackle and Roger's first to him but they set then spin, Nev makes the tackle, and they recycle and go again via big Andy in close, Nev's in there closely followed by Rog, but again they get it away and a Tamworth player spots the gap and it's the General who looks to close it, but they get past him so the next tackle's off Coatsey as Tamworth start to cleverly string the short pop & drives together. Hakesy's next to have a go, he's tackled and goes to ground, they recycle and this time they go wide and their youngsters create space and set off, Horse is beaten, then Symes and it's Coatesy who has to get back to make the final tackle, the ball comes free and Fitzy wellies it into touch to bring the half to a close

Halftime 14-14 & a drop of Port for a change, shares in Sainsbury's isotonics plummet and some stern words off Johnno. Four changes at halftime, Johnno comes on for the General, Barstool for Roger, Shannon for Bilbo and Smokin' for Tony Fitz.

It's a very long restart by Nev and the Tamworth fullback is forced to field it about five metres from his line, he looks to bring it out and Shannon's straight into the action with the tackle, and we drive over and we're pinged as Barstool neglects the gate and climbs over the fence instead. They kick to clear finding a good touch a few metres from the halfway line, but the Tamworth throw's deemed not straight so we get the scrum. Steady ball, Johnno picks but his pass doesn't find Coatsey, but Nev scoops it up and chips ahead and catches his own work, so then tries a dummy chip, but they don't fall for it and he's driven into touch around the halfway line for a throw to Tamworth.

They just about win the linout but the ref's whistle goes and we get a free kick, which Johnno takes quickly, sells a dummy and heads for the corner, he gets to within a couple of metres of the goal line before he's held up, the Assassin's first to him (not bad for 50) he secures it then spins out blind and goes over to score a great try in the corner 19-14 Nev is desperately unlucky as his conversion attempt comes back off the far upright.

The Stepmiester calls for it, but it's a bit too high and it passes through his hands and big Phil picks up and he makes his customary few metres before looking inside, but goes to ground instead and we drive over. Barstool pops it up off the deck to Johnno who chips ahead and makes a crunching tackle on the catcher before bundling him into touch. There's a few minutes delay for a Tamworth injury before we take the lineout. Gethin wangs it in, but Hakesy beats BMT to it, but whistle goes anyway and Tamworth get a free kick, which they take quickly through their No.8. He takes the tackle and they all pile in and drive it on, but we stall it first, then drive it back a yard so they take it to ground, recycle and go close but the ball comes loose and big Phil's on it in a flash and we turn it over. Johnno spins to Coatesy who chips ahead for Horse to run onto but it cannons off his fetlocks and goes into touch for a Tamworth lineout, but ref decides it's come off more than his knees and they get the scrum instead. Nick Levey comes off and the Colt Arkell comes on.

Ball comes in, the Tamworth the scrum half decides to stand his ground blocking Johnno's progress to the ball so Johnno unceremoneously dumps him on his backside. Penalty Tamworth and a few words off Mr Armitage. Tamworth kick for touch the ball going out on the halfway line but the resulting throw is not straight and we get the scrum. Barstool picks up at the base and goes, he's snagged so offloads inside to Marcus who takes it to ground and the 677 pile in. Johnno picks up short pop to Shannon who sells his customary dummy and breaks the line before offloading to big Phil who drops it. Scrum Tamworth.

The No.8 picks up and goes and Rob makes the tackle, cue minor unpleasantness, but they manage to get it away into midfield where Arks manages to hold the man up and the ball in and we get the put in at the resulting scrum on the Tamworth ten metre line. Steady ball comes to Barstool's feet, Johnno picks up and feeds to Nev, dummy scissors Barrel, to Smokin', gets held but breaks free and makes another metre before off loading to Barstool in support but it's adjudged forward, scrum to Tamworth about five or six metres outside their twenty two.

The scrum half comes blind but the Colt has him, and we turn it over and Coatsey comes away with it steps in steps out, starts looking for his fellow backs, finds Barrel, to Smokin' and it's a great timed pass to Horse, massive hand off heads to the corner, crosses the line and brings it all the way across to the posts...great try 24-14 Nev drop kicks over the conversion 26-14.

Casper comes off and Andy K comes on. Brother Shannon calls for the restart, catches and dummies Andy, makes a yard before giving Andy a real pass and he takes it into contact as we start to warm to the task, we go to ground. Johnno picks up passes to Nev who puts it up & over, the Tamworth winger collects and brings it on and Johnno puts in another great tackle but is quickly penalised for not rolling away, penalty Tamworth. They kick to touch the ball going out on our ten metre line.

They take at two and drive, making some good yardage before the massive holds them up, they go again, it goes to ground, Sir spots something, penalty advantage Tamworth, they spin Barrel makes the tackle in midfield, then Johnno finishes the job and upends him and Barstool strips him of the ball, before the ref decides no advantage gained..at least we got some tackle practice in. Scrum half takes it pops it to Hakesy and it comes loose, Rick picks it up offloads to Johnno who kicks ahead and gives chase. The Tamworth winger brings it out and they spin and Coatsey makes the first tackle and Barrel the next and it goes forward in the tackle and we get the scrum. Shark comes off on Steve Grainger comes on, Gethin makes way for Billy Hendon.

The first one goes down, the second a lot more steady Barstool picks up & goes, he bounces off Hakesy and keeps on going, he finally goes to ground and we set over, referee calls ruck but the Tamworth hands remain in and we get the penalty and we kick for position. The lineout's messy and the ball goes forward off a Yards hand, and after another long injury stoppage Tamworth get the scrum.

The No.8 picks up at the base & goes, and Johnno makes a great tackle and earns a scrum for a knock on; but we squander the opportunity as they take it against the head, though the wheeling scrum prevents them from taking any immediate advantage. Scrum Tamworth, we have a couple of goes at it before their No.8 picks up and it's sent out and Coatsey & Grainger make the tackle in midfield. Arks joins the party and we look to have contained it, before Hakesy tries to take it through the middle. He gets isolated as we pile in and Barstool comes away with it and pops it to Johnno, to Coatesy who kicks and gives us something to run onto, Horse is first to the catcher but his tackle is deemed high and Tamworth get the penalty at which point Wishbone comes off for a bloody head wound and a dollop of Vaseline.

The ambitious kick doesn't make touch and finds Slippery instead who looks to come up the touchline, but he's driven into touch. Tamworth secure their ball and take it round the fringe and Steve Grainger makes the tackle, and they have to recycle and go wide where Barstool makes the next tackle in midfield, they go short then via big Andy, but we stand firm and then drive them back. Going nowhere they kick ahead but it goes dirct into touch. Tim Russell comes on at tighthead, Wishbone moves across to hooker and Rick takes a hard earned bow.

With just under ten minutes to go a deep kick into our territory from the Tamworth fly half finds Slippery who picks the ball up inside our twenty two, makes a typically searing mazy break, beats the outside centre and gets to the halfway line where he finds Coatesy in support, who lights them up and he gets to within about ten metres of the Tamworth line, refusing to pass it back to Slippery (apparently) despite his repeated requests, instead Lee finds Smokin' who cuts back inside and takes the scoring pass to go over 31-14 Nev steps up and slots his fourth conversion of the afternoon 33-14.

With five minutes to go Slow comes on for the final time with Barrel giving way, Mike Neary comes on for Slippery at fullback, and Ed McDonald comes on for Coatesy.

Even with time running out Tamworth refuse to give in and pressurise us to the last, with some final belligerent defence from Grainger & Barstool to the fore

Job done, Mr Armitage blows his whistle, Slow gets something in his eye.

Final Score 33-14 Final Age a spritely 629 and an unbeaten season.

Thanks to Tamworth for a very good game played in an excellent spirit throughout.

30 games 30 wins 1310 for, 261 against, 217 tries.......not bad for "a bunch of fat old b*stards"

Man in the dirtiest shirt goes to all who participated this season.

Lots of photos on the Orphan's Facebook page and our fixture list on our website is now on view for all the world to see.

This has been a hard one to write.... thank f**k I don't have to do another one LOL!

This is Slow signing off.


PS: As you may have heard Eds are playing HAC RFC in the Junior Vase final in a few weeks, should anybody be curious, as I was, it stands for The Honourable Artillery Company, who have just won back to back promotions, so tough prospect in sight for Eds.

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