Old Yardleians RFC: Club News


Tue, 20 Nov 2012 12:23

The boots on the other foot

I think that's how the saying goes but even if I've got it wrong we still know what I mean.  Many times last season I stood on the touchline with a range of wise men such as Blox, Brian, Mark and many others, wondering if we had reached the lowest point in rugby terms.  Fitness was poor, tactics were non-existent, discipline was lacking and morale was as low as it gets.  We even got a 100 point trouncing in one of our away games. It was desperate, embarrasing and extremely uncomfortable.

Do miracles happen?  It certainly seems like it.  In reality, the sheer hard work of a number of loyal and committed Old Yardleians members and players started the ball rolling and it has had a snowballing effect.  The determination shown from everyone at the club, players, committee, coaches, spectators, mini and junior players and supporters has been brilliant and the question must be asked, does it feel good? all answers to be shown via sustained action not just words.

First XV
Well, how do I start?  117 points to 7 suggests that last saturday's game against Warwickians was somewhat one-sided.  I guess it was that way, but I think that whoever we might have played would have struggled.  Our fitness, speed, tactical organisation and motivation were all of the highest order and although our opponents worked hard in order to maintain their pride and deservedly scored a try and conversion, they were not in the same class.  I hope that they can bounce back and enjoy the rest of the season, but their skill level will only produce better performances if they can reach a level of fitness that would enable them to compete effectively.  There are too many scores to detail but I was impressed by the way that players drafted in from the Developmet squad fitted in to the team with a look that might suggest that they had been in the team all season.  Congratulations to Dave Langley, Rob, Andy, Lee and Shannon junior.  Having stregth in depth is vital over the length of a season especially when you are aiming for success on three fronts.

Other scores
Development XV       v       Alcester           won   31 - 19
Vandals   XV              v      Yardley and D  won   49 - 5
 Under  17s                  v      Exiles               won 20 - 7

Vandals vs Yardley & District 3rd (Away) - full match report

With Five Ways Old Eds unable to raise a side for our scheduled Greater Birmingham merit game our esteemed Fixture Secretary was forced to dip his toe in the Pool this week and pulled out Yardley & District 3rds over at Colehall Lane on a fairly unpleasant Autumnal afternoon. A somewhat surprising fixture given we are scheduled to play their 2nds in the league before Christmas, but beggars can't be choosers.
Despite having five or six on the lash down at HQ we arrived in good order at their place and being left to our own devices opted to get changed in their spacious weights room at which point we were informed by their skipper that they only had eight or nine players and no referee, so we decide to slow the changing process down to allow for more reinforcements to arrive. With Sid valiantly volunteering to ref the game Yardley took to the field with thirteen players including a couple of replacements nicked off their first team, and with Chris Rowe & young debutant Connor Jones offering to play for the oppostion a game that twenty odd minutes earlier was looking doubtful began with even numbers.
In the forwards then Shannon "Steps" Killarney, Rick "Swing" Lowe & Mark "Gethin" Baldwin in the front row, Andy "Harry Hill" Killarney partnering Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn  in the boiler room;  with a back row of  Marcus "Shark" Hope, Captain Slow returning after eight weeks to celebrate his coming of age and Roger "the Dodger" Lazenby at No .8. 
The glory boys this week, at scrum half Phil "the General" Evans  alongside Ian "Nev" Neville at fly half, in midfield Jace "the Ace" Goodwin & Dave "Blade" McGill (very unassuming nick names these former Solihull lads have) with a back three of Sean "Squealer" Byrne, Alex "Conan" Doyle and Dave "Ralph" Rollins treading water at full back.     
With Golfball & Connor starting for the opposition & the previously mentioned international call ups a small bench in Alan "the Colt" Arkell & Tony "Fitz" Fitgerald also returning after a long lay off.
Captain Slow loses the toss (technically guessing which hand the blade of grass is in), but Yardley decide to remain where they are and opt to play towards their Clubhouse in the first half.
So with Slow starting on the flank no detailed match report for the first half other than we controlled it and scored four unconverted tries; a strong running brace from Jase the Ace, punctuated by one from Harry Hill. And with the General limping off early doors, Squealer & his bullet pass comes in at nine, Slow moves out onto the wing and Arkell comes into the back row in time to score the fourth and maintain his place as top try scorer on eight. Just before half time Slow's on the end of a good move from the backs only for his good knee to go again and Fitz replaces him on the wing. The most notable fact of the half is Ralph's aversion to the luminous orange ball as all four of his conversion attempts go wide, and I simply can't remember that happening before. Couple of cheap shots in there too, a sneaky elbow in the face for Slow leaving both eyes & nose streaming, and then Gethin gives Golfball a friendly slap in a case of mistaken identity.
Halftime 20-0 and Yardley now have a full compliment so Alex comes off & Connor comes onto our wing.
A few minutes in Rog sportingly moves to tighthead, Mark takes a breather, and Golfball swaps shirts and goes onto the flank.
We continue to score regularly throughout the second half with a further five more tries added, a pair from Roger the Dodger both following driving mauls, and despite the Yardley eight locking out in both cases they simply plough backwards through the mud against the sheer tonnage of our pack 30-0 Ralph's conversions are both unsuccessful, but a least he sees the lighter side.
Not long after Harry Hill picks up a loose ball & makes a clean break and despite finally being tackled a great flick up off the deck sees Blade in support to go over for a debut try to the left of the posts and Ralph finally pops one over 37-0 with about seventeen minutes to go.
Rick comes off and Gethin goes back on at hooker, but Rick's back in action soon after when they lose a man and Rick continues his proud tradition of playing for the opposition, but this time on the flank. And it's not long after he makes an impact when he takes a quick penalty (given by Sid for us moaning too much) which following a couple of passes & a few missed tackles later sees them go over for their only try of the afternoon 37-5.
Our eighth try of the day is follows a pin point grubber by Ralph, the ball rolling out about five metres from the Yardley try line. The Yardley throw sails right over the top to Golfball whose flat pass finds Blade who in turn finds big Phil who goes over to score 42-5 and Ralph converts 44-5
Our final try of the day follows turnover ball in midfield by Shannon who finds Shark in support and his gritty run in from about thirty five metres shrugging off at least two tackles, makes up for his earlier attempt wiped out for a forward pass 49-5 conversion missed.
Final Score 49-5 final age 674 and still an average of nearly 45. 
Man in the dirtiest shirt this week Harry Hill for a good solid all round performance, and for them Rick obviously for starting the move from which they scored their try!!!
All to play for this week the top of the table clash against Wyvern 1sts.
Finally a call for Annual Subs £50.00 please as soon as you can to either Mark or myself, part payments or cheeky token gestures welcome!


Saturday 24th  November

First XV             v         Alcester        away     league      kick off    2.15
Dev  XV             v         Veseyans       home 
Vandals XV        v          Wyvern         Home   merit table

Sunday   25th  November

Under  7         v     Eds         home       11.00
Under  8          v    Eds         home        11.00
Under 10       v    Eds         away         11.00
Under 17         v    Eds          home       11.00

RFU Junior Vase
Next round  on  December 1st   v   Uttoxeter   away

Guess Who
Originally from The Forest of Dean, this bloke played and coached at the Old Ys many years ago.  He also performed his second row or number 8 duties at the Griffs.  If you bump into him at the Red Lion or Sharmans on a monday evening and ask him to tell you about his time at Lydney Rugby Club, he will almost certainly buy you a cider while you listen to his tales.

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