Old Yardleians RFC: Club News


Tue, 24 Jan 2012 08:14

Every now and again, the league fixture set up allows for a league-free saturday.  It gives the players carrying injuries a chance to rest and gives Peter a chance to do some calorie-loading to build up his strength for the next match.  It also gives the team selectors a chance to experiment.

We welcomed Old Griffs to play an Old Ys 'A' team and will post a match report as soon as it arrives.  

The 'B' team, similar in appearance to our Vandals entertained Harborne 3rds and althoughMartyn has dropped out of the literary group of match reporters, we seem to have found an able replacement in Eddie Butler or is it Mark Baldwin? Here we go.
In celebration of Tony Fitzgerald's 50th Birthday, Match Secretary, Tom Power arranged a home game for the Vandals as part of the 50th celebrations. Against a very young Harborne XV the big Vandals pack lost one of their major weapons when the visitors said they could only manage uncontested scrums. This was despite Old Yards offering them front row players. To counter this the Vandals used catch and drive lineouts whenever in the Harbrne twenty-two. With Phil Goldbourne dominating as usual, good ball was secured and early on forward drives lead to a brace for loose head prop Gary "Bobbo" Robinson. Further pressure lead to tries by scum half Sean Byrne and the Birthday boy himself Tony Fitz. Ralph added two conversions. Then another driving maul lead to the first try of the season for hooker Mark Baldwin. Half time arrived with a 29-0 lead. For the second half a number of changes were made that initially unsettled the team and Harborne managed a score. Then business as usual returned. Bobbo score another brace to give him four in the game.  Prop Tomo scored meaning all the font row scored in the same game and new Welsh centre Nick Saunders scored for the second week running. Ralph again added two conversions. Final score Vandals 53 - 7 Harborne 3rds

Minis and Juniors

Our stars of the future played Bournville on sunday.  I support the old saying, 'why keep a dog and bark yourself?' so here we go with the team managers' reports.


After playing Bournville away from home in the early season (on astroturf), we knew they would be another solid test after the last fixture against Bromsgrove.  The team consisisted of Adam, Alfie, Ben, George, Harley, Harry & William.

In our first game, bolstered by the return of William after a few weeks layoff, we started well with a try early doors from Ben.  The conditions were very windy and the lads passed well under the circumstances with very few handling errors to leave us 1 try up at half time.   In the second half we began to dominate with some great defence, managing 2 turnovers and also forcing Bournville into touch on more than one occasion.  The attacking play was excellent with all of the players making contributions and having some great runs.  William, Alfie, Adam, Harley and Harry all made several line breaks to pass to Ben and George who supported superbly and were able to get over the line.  We finished the game with a win at 7-4 with 3 tries each from Ben and George plus one from Harley.  Overall this was a really pleasing result against a good side.

In the second game we continued as we finished the first and played some good stuff.  As the game wore on Bournville were able to bring on fresh legs, a luxury we didn’t have, and towards the end of the game the boys began to tire, getting caught offside a few times.  Despite this they all stayed focused and tried their best, with all of them wanting the ball in attack and tagging mightily.  After some desperate defence at the end to keep Bournville out we finished the game with a draw at 5-5 with 4 tries from Ben and one from George. 

Well done boys!

A windy day greeted the under 8s for their first match of the season as home against Bournville.  We fielded a team of 7 players: Alex, Charlie, Dan E, Dan G, Ellis, Lewis and Presley. Alex took the role of captain and made sure that everyone got their turn to receive and organised the defensive line. The side played well throughout, but were a little rusty in their first match. As a result running sideways and dropping the ball cost them possession a few too many times, but the tackling was magnificient. They manage to take six tags successively from Bournville on a number of occasions, but then gave back possession cheaply when they dropped the ball. They were one try behind by the end of the first and finished up losing 6-3. Alex scored one try and Dan G got two.

They put it all back together in the second match and spread the ball round the team. As a result they emerged winners by 6 tries to 4 with two tries from Presley and a try a piece for Charlie, Alex, Dan G and Lewis. The lads had their second match of the season against Bourneville back in October. At that match it was Bournville who dominated. These matches were an entirely different story. This all goes to show the wonderful progress that the boys have made during the season. Well done lads. Keep it up!

Match report for the U9's vs Bournville

It was a cold and blustery January morning and for one reason or another U9 numbers were down to 8, but undeterred by the sight of 19 lads from Bournville our boys were in great spirits.

Although late in the transfer window we were bolstered by two players on loan from Bournville, so happily fielded a full strength side and what a great recipe for a Sunday morning. 

Ollie Lonie captained the first game and both teams were quickly out of the blocks, each battling hard in mid field to keep the ball changing hands.  Bournville were stronger in the maul, stealing the ball from us on more than one occasion, but our boys recycled the ball very well through the ruck, and on one occasion went through 5 phases of play without losing possession. So, 1-0 to Bournville soon became 1-1 as one of our 'on loan' players took advantage of some napping at the restart. 

Aydon again put in some great tackles but for the first time this season was outshone by Ethan as tackle monster, Ethan was outstanding and saved several strong attempts to breach the old Y's  line.  Shane, Josh, Samuel, Ollie & Toby all carried well and may be learning that going forwards makes sense, supported by Dan who showed very good awareness to distribute the ball well to get us out of trouble on more than one occasion.

After a very hard fought first game, a credible 5-3 deficit was testiment to a close, well played game.

Did I mention that Bournville brought 19 boys?  Fatigue evident, the second game was a little more 1 sided with Bournville crossing 8 times in succession, but with both sides singing along to 'we wish you a merry Christmas' in the dying moments, (despite a warning from the ref that unseasonal singing would result in a penalty) showed the boys enjoyed their outing and could walk away happy that they had put in the effort and had represented old Yardleians with pride and passion, and so deserved a bit of a sing!

Under 16s  v   Five ways

With some of our key players missing we travelled to Hopwood to challenge the hosts to a game that is always tight between the two sides.With gale force winds swirling all over the place and on a very cold day, the last thing we wanted was a referee who blew for every little technicality in the Law Book and would not let the game flow.  But guess what ! Anyway Fiveways had a goal kicker who bi-sected the posts when required.  The old cliche about a game of two halves certainly applied.  We didn't turn up until half-time having conceded a couple of soft tries and some penalties for reasons only known to a man in pink. The seceond half was a different story.  As frustration increased, especially in the front row, a difference of opinion took place and one of our props who shall remain nameless, made his feelings known to his opposite man with considerable expression.  We looked by far the better team at this point in time but although we finished level on 3 tries each, the game was won 25-15 by the home team, the difference being the success rate of the goal kicks.

Thanks to Five ways for another cracking game.  I guess we will have to educate our lads regarding some of the finer laws of the game, but boys, 'think what you want about the officials, but don't make it public or you will find that many of the 50/50 decisions go against you'.  Ask some of the older guys at the club about John McConell to discover what I mean.

The weekend fixtures

Saturday 28th January
            First XV     v         Shipston         Home     (league)
            Dev  XV     v         Spartans        Away
            Vandals       v         Spartans         Away

Sunday   29th  January
             Under 16    v        Old Saltleians  Away at Watton Lane, Water Orton  B46 1PH
              Under 7,8,9,11,    Training


  When asked about Tony (the bagpipe man's) 50th bash, my reporter, who asked to be nameless and that the name of a famous racehorse would not be too easy a clue to his identity, commented that there was good music, good food,  good beer and good night!

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