Old Yardleians RFC: Club News


Tue, 02 Oct 2012 10:54

Nothing is meant to be straightforward.Some of our readers think that we should celebrate success, as we don't see much of it, whereas others tell me that if we lift our heads too high then they are likely to be shot at.  I think I know what both groups are saying but it does not make it easy when I try to write my weekly report.  Our senior teams remain unbeaten as do the Under 17s, but how long that will last is anyone's guess.

First XV
This was the first league meeting between ourselves and Claverdon, who led us to believe that they would roll over and die and some of us almost believed it.  From the very start, Claverdon with the stiff breeze in their favour showed they they were prepared to match us for effort and determination which showed in their tackling and support play.  Neither team looked like scoring until Yard's winger Adam Walker, found space and left the opposition standing as he scored the opening try of the match.  The only other addition to the score came from a penalty to the visitors in front of the posts which saw half time arrive with Yard's leading by 5-3.
Turning round for the second half with the wind at their backs, home team star centre, Jamie, felt that we should dish out an aerial bombardment with high kicks putting pressure on the away team's back three. However, keeping the ball in hand was the best means of attack and as the second half progressed the strength and fitness of the home team, particularly the pack of forwards was starting to control the game as the valiant efforts of the visitors up to this stage was now showing signs of fatigue.  Further tries for the home side came from winger Adam Walker, second row, Phil Painter and back row forwards Ben Honey and Steve Grainger.  Jake White added four conversions.  The away side scored a breakaway try with an excellent counter attack from their winger, to make the final score 33 - 8 to the Yards.
Next saturday should be a real test of how well we are playing at present as we are scheduled to visit Nuneaton side, Manor Park who are also undefeated so far.

Development XV
The Yardleians youngsters hosted a Dudley Kingswinford side who are always well organised and with a lot more experience than the home side.  However, on the day it was the strength of the home forwards that set up the victory with Matthew Spence and Luke Harris looking particularly impressive.  A final score of 22 - 12 in favour of the home team was well deserved.

Vandals XV
A visit to long time rivals, Redditch Vets, with their trademark pink kit as well as their traditional rendition of the Hokey-Kokey to lay down the challenge to their opponents.  With an extended report likey tto arrive later in the week I shall briefly mention the resultt which was a win for the Vandals by 24 - 12 with our tries scored by Arks, Jason G. Simon S. and Marcus Hope.  Somebody must have kicked two conversions and I would imagine that it was Ralph.

Redditch 3rds vs Vandals - full match report

With Birmingham Civil Service being unable to field a side in our scheduled Greater Birmingham Merit League fixture our man in the WIA found us Redditch Vets swimming about in the in the Pool, and for once they were just that, with quite a few familiar if older faces from years gone by, in fact for once we may have been slightly younger overall with young Alex dragging down the average age a touch.
The pack this week then Stavros “Steps” Killarney, Rick “Swing” Lowe & Peter “Fridge” Butler in the front row, Andy "Harry Hill" Killarney partnering Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn in the boiler room,  with a back row of Nick "Assassin" Levey ,  Chris "Golfball" Rowe and  Ali "Spasm" Gouldbourn at No.8. 
Half backs this week scrum half  Phil "General" Evans &  at fly half our Jack of all trades Dave “ Ralph” Rollins, with an ex-Solihull partnership in midfield in the shape of Iain “Johnno” Johnson And Jace “the Ace” Goodwin with Alex “Conan” Doyle & Simon “Sideways” Singleton on the wings with by eck as like Sean "Squealer" Bryne at  full back.   A strong bench in Alan "the Colt" Arkell (lured here under false pretences he’d have you think), Marcus "Shark" Hope, Rupert “the Major” Young, Ian “Nev” Neville (fresh from resting his wedding tackle), Pat “Austin” Waldron-Healy and former Dallas RFC fly half (I kid you not) & mate of Jason’s Barry Gunningham.
With Slow on long term knackered list & Casper off lighting candles Stavros got the opportunity to win the toss and quite wisely opted to play up the not too inconsiderable slope in the first half. Sides like Handsworth, Exiles & Redditch must so look forward to coming to the nice flat pitches of Tilehouse Lane ….as we do if we ever get another home game!
As usual the boys in blue & pink observe their pre-game ritual, the Worcestershire Haka, the Hokey Cokey
A good 80% of the first forty is spent in our own half as using local knowledge they utilise the slope to good advantage, well with a six foot four fly half who wouldn’t? Our scrum however, is dominant on both feeds forcing their No.8 on more than one occasion to scoop the ball up from the bootlaces of their retreating second rows. Similarly Nick & big Phil cause disruption on their throws at the lineouts and stealing the odd one or two. However, it is Redditch who open the scoring on about ten minutes following an attacking lineout a metre or so inside our twenty two; which they take cleanly, spin and their big unit at ten goes on the crash, Stavros makes the first up tackle, but the guy is still moving, big Phil joins in and they have to set. They go through a couple more close quarter phases and get to within a metre or so of our line before spinning it wide left, working an overlap and going over in the corner 0-5 conversion missed. Despite lots more pressure from the home side and our worryingly high penalty count that is the only score of the half and think Redditch realise it might not be enough, given our dominance in the set pieces. Nick still suffering the after effects of playing hooker last week comes off just before half time and Marcus comes on.
Halftime 0-5 Simon snarls he's staying on and for the first time this season the home side provides refreshments.
We concede yet another penalty straight from Ralph’s restart kick, and Slow begins to wonder about the rub of the green, or pink in this case, and would I have the nerve to walk the side off. But early pressure is from Yards as we start to use the slope and Ralph’s trusty boot. Ten minutes in Harry Hill removes his scrum cap comes wandering off and Arks comes on adding just a few more pounds to our scrum; which increases still further a few minutes later when Chris takes a bow & the Major comes onto the flank.
A couple more changes soon follow, the first enforced as the General limps off with groin trouble, which sets off a major reshuffle as Johnno slots in at scrum half, Nev comes on at fly half and Ralph moves to partner Jace in the centre.
The equalising score is not long in coming, ironically following another penalty to Redditch, at which Harry Hill starts to go ballistic in my ear, the kick doesn’t find touch only big Phil instead and he gallops forward, but he’s held, we recycle, Johnno offloads to Fridge at “pace” he’s stopped just on their twenty two, we set, go blind and a strong run from Marcus sees him go over wide out 5-5 conversion missed. 
Our scrummage is now beginning to overpower the Redditch Eight as we repeatedly drive them off their own ball, and we begin to use the rolling maul more & more, but it’s from a lineout just inside their half our next score comes, Rupert takes the catch at the back, offloads to Phil, he takes on a yard before finding Fridge who bounces his man out of the way and the Massive join in, we reach their twenty two and Johnno calls for it, he spins to Nev in midfield, Jace comes in on the scissors and does his Ariston as he goes on & on breaking tackles and heading toward Alvechurch but finally crossing the line in the right hand corner 10-5 Conversion missed.
Our next score comes from a quickly taken penalty after a sustained period of pressure in the Redditch twenty two, Johnno taps it from about ten metres out and the human bulldozer that is Arkell takes it on the run, he has time to dip the shoulder & despatch their flanker before going in under the posts 15-5 & Ralph gets his first of the day 17-5
Shannon takes the restart and rumbles off downhill into contact, there's a visible spring in our step now, Johnno calls for it, to Nev, to Marcus who steps inside his man, offloads to Ralph, who finds Sideways looking for trade on his shoulder and who proceeds to wriggle through their defence to emerge the other side to go under the posts 22-5 and with the aid of the upright Ralph converts 24-5.
Last few replacements come on, Sean, Rick & Alex all taking a breather, Ralph reverts to fullback and Barry Gunningham comes on to partner Jace in the centre, Pat takes Alex's place on the wing and Gethin comes on to hook.
Unfortunately as with the previous week we concede probably what we’d consider a soft try right at the death to their strong running centre, despite Simon’s last ditch tap tackle, which agonisingly brings him down just short of the line but not enough to stop him scrambling over to score under the posts for a converted try 24-12 which given our second half domination domination probably flatters the boys in Pink.
Final score 24-12 Final age 647 and still averaging over 43 this week.
The dirty shirt award this week goes to big Phil for his work in the lineouts but more noticeably his rampaging breaks with ball in hand.
Finally a special mention to that move we pulled in the backs in the second half, which considering as a back line we'd never played together before, was a joy to behold & completely mesmerised their defence.
One final message the Club is holding a Comedy evening on Friday 12th October, tickets a bargain at only a tenner each given these guys have been on Buzzcocks & such like.
This week Old Salts in the GB Merit League

Under 17s
Sunday morning saw our first home league match of the season with Aston Old Eds being our visitors.  Games between us have always been very tight and this was no different.  A home win by 20 - 0 is not really a true reflection of  the game as Aston were very committed but the opportunism of the winners was the most obvious difference between the sides.  A big thank you to North Mids Society referee John Kelly and to Pete Carroll and his colleagues for bringing his team to play us.  One player who has rarely been mentioned over the last season or two is Alister our scrum-half and utility back.He joined in with the senior players pre-season fitness training and has gained strength and confidence which is evident in his performances.  Well done.

Minis / Juniors
The season began for our younger players with a visit to Kings Norton for their first action of the year.
I think it was a sort of training/festival arrangement and I will bring you the news as I receive it.

Fixtures this weekend
Saturday       First XV      away    v      Manor Park       League   3.00 kick off
                     Development XV     Home      v     University School of Engineering    3.00 kick off
                     Vandals   XV        away           v     Old Saltleians     3.00 kick off    Merit table

Sunday           Under 17s        v   Willenhall       away   friendly      11.00    kick off  (WV11 2BA) and address  is  Bognop Road, Essington, Staffs .
                      All the other mini/juniors training at the club

Social events
A night of amazing live comedy at the club on friday 12th October at 8.00.  Tickets available from Mark Baldwin or from the club at £10 each.

A general knowledge quiz evening at the club on wednesday 31st October from 7.00 to 9.45 , teams of up to six at £2 per head.  Further details from Dave Adams.

And Finally
I am still thinking about this week's thought which I will bring to you as soon as I can.

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