Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

'Many hands make light work' etc. so a few more helpers would be good.

Tue, 18 Dec 2012 07:10

Games this weekend
Although anything can happen right up to kick-off time, the arrangements for this saturday (22nd Dec) look like this,
First XV     v      Kenilworth 2nds    Home     2.15
Dev  XV     v      Veseyans 2nds      Away      2.15
Vandals       v      Bham Exiles 'A'     Home      2.15

Come along and get a bit of fresh air, have a chat and maybe a drink.  Even watch a bit of rugby !

Senior rugby
Whilst I stayed at 'Le Stade Tilehouse' my agent reported back to me in brief.  With all our points coming in the first half it was apparently all over bar the shouting by the interval.  Now it might have been that we relaxed a little or it might have been that Atherstone upped their game or maybe a combination of all these factors but the second half saw no addition to the score of 29 - 7 in favour of the Ys.  A slight concern is developing about the frequency of ten minute rest periods that we are picking up.  When the pressure really builds, our team discipline needs to be in order.

The Development XV have been in very good form all season and on saturday they were too hot to handle for a very decent opposition in the shape of Wednesbury.  A final score of 41 - 0 to the Yards was a little flattering but nevertheless, it was a very powerful performance by the pack that provided the scoring opportunities for our speedy backs.  A special mention to one of our fairly new players, Shane, who is still uncertain about whether to play front row or second row.  Right Shane, the votes are in and everyone agrees, you are a front row star and we want to see you continue to channel that moody agressive style of yours into a long and enjoyable career as an Old Yards legend  following in the footsteps of the likes of Bert, Peter, Hilton, Lee, Robbie and so on.  It was good to see Tom (Pickle) Mead back playing even if it was for the opposition.  Nice one all of you.

Meanwhile, our 'Experienced' Vandals played host to a fairly aggressive and also quite skillful Y and D second team in a game that was good to watch in places, especially the display of awesome scrummaging from the front row of Fridge, Shannon and Mark / Rick.  Tries came from Phil the scrum-half x2, Ali Goldie, Roger and Fridge plus the usual kicks from David.  Final score 32 - 7.  Well played chaps. Full match report below.

Minis and Juniors
The arrival of Santa and his (Elfess) provided the younger members of our club with excitement and the usual few superstars with an unseasonal pile of work to do. As usual it was a brilliant afternoon/evening with  a good deal of cash crossing the bar but to be honest, a few more adult volunteers would be very helpful, hence, 'many hands' etc etc.

Fixture news
Over the Festive Season, there tends to be a lot of last minute chopping and changing  but if you watch this space I will attempt to keep you informed.
The Mini/Junior teams return to action on Sunday January 6th.  The Under 7,8,9,10 and hopefully under 12 teams will have training while the Under 17s are scheduled to play Five Ways,on January 13th so enjoy your mid-season break.

North Mids Vase
Not the National one which sees us play Bedford Swifts at home, but the North Mids version saw us win at Exiles, had us drawn to play Clee Hill at home but they have dropped out which means that we are now through to the semi final stage where we are drawn to play away at the winners of Civil Service or Warley probably on 23rd Feb.

Would you believe it?
Along with very old ex- players Simon Brown and Brendan Fahy and three glamorous women who latched onto us, we recently made a cultural trip to Moseley and our first stop was that historic public house, now known as Kavanaghs where as usual, Harley Williams was telling anybody who was listening about his former talents.  We moved swiftly on to a very select Curry Cafe across the road where we bumped into a blast from the past, well known for his excellent refereeing, his worldly knowledge and his membership of that memorable club frrom Shirley Park.  Yes, you got it in one, John McNally.  And where did he hold court, yes, The Spotted Dog in Digbeth or that area.
Now, there is a link coming.  Refereeing our Vandals was a bloke who used to play for possibly Erdington or Old Salts and he also used to frequent the very same Spotted Dog.  Mr Graham Daly was the name and he did perform very well indeed as the referee.  So, is there a connection?  is the 'Dog' a breeding ground for rugby referees or are they both lovers of the 'Flavour of Ireland'?

And finally,
Happy Christmas to all of our readers from Mr Wenger and myself. 

Vandals v Yardley and District 2nds (Merit League) - full match report

This Saturday found us at home in the final game of the first half of our Greater Birmingham Merit League season against Yardley & District 2nds, and compared to recent weeks the weather was positively balmy by comparison.
The pack this week Shannon "Steps" Killarney,  Mark "Pie Chucker" Baldwin & Peter "Fudge" Butler in the front row,  John "Casper" Lonie  partnering  Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn in steerage, with a back row of Marcus "Shark" Hope,  Nick "the Assassin" Levey &  Roger "the Dodger" at No . 8. 
The Ladies,  at scrum half  Phil "the General" Evans  and  alongside  Ian "Nev" Neville , in midfield  former Colts (thirty years ago) Sean "Kendo" Kenwrick & Gary "Smokin'" Williams with a back three of youngster Max "Gimo" Gimson (at 36) Chris "Golfball" Rowe and Dave "Ralph" Rollins at full back.         
A Full tactical bench  this week  in Ali "Spasm" Gouldbourn, Andy "Harry Hill" Killarney, Tony "Fitz" Fitzgerald, Rick "Swing" Lowe and Dave "Chicken" Hanson .
As with our game against their thirds a month or so ago the opposition appeared to be struggling for numbers, arriving with eight or nine initially with Cookie their third team skipper filling in at fullback as Christmas shopping took its toll but finally the game kicked off some ten minutes late with Yardley having just thirteen players on the park.
We kick off with a low trajectory special from Nev and it's taken by their second row just inside their ten, they set & spin and the inside centre comes in off the fly half and it's Nev I think who makes the tackle and the Yardley forwards come piling in, and the best I can describe it is old skool rucking as the yellow & blue boots come flying in. The ref blows up moreorless immediateley but not before Nev gains a nasty cut above the eye, the ref proceeds to give the Yardley forwards a good talking to and awards us the penalty which Ralph despatches into the corner; it doesn't find touch but their winger instead who obligingly knocks it into touch for us. So attacking lineout five or six metres out, big Phil takes & not so big big Phil goes sniping but he's caught and lays the ball back and Roger goes on a trundle and gets close to the line, before laying it off to the General and he goes over to score 5-0 Conversion goes wide.
We're unlucky not to score again a few minutes later when Max rifles a long one down field where it's fielded by their fullback and he sets off but gets clattered by Kendo in his first game this season, and Casper & BMT pile in, ref signals penalty advantage as the tackled player is hanging on, but BMT gets it away to Shannon but his potato onto Smokin' is too hot to hold and it goes for ground with a clear run in, not sure where our advantage was as the ref gives Yardley the put in. At this point another Yardley player joins the fray bringing them up to fourteen.
With about ten minutes gone the ref has to have another chat with the Yardley skipper as yet another Yardley player turns up on the touchline and they're up to a full compliment, this one was prop shaped, and quite honestly I thought he was playing in loafers from where I stood. Anyway Gethin & the boys drive them off their ball at the scrum restart, and draw a penalty advantage, Shark picks the ball out from the debris of their scrum and sets off, gives one his trademark hand off before going to ground, we recycle & spin and one of theirs sticks one hand into the passing movement and the ball goes loose, ref signals penalty advantage, we recover the pill and the General spins to Ralph who offloads to Marcus who takes it into contact, but no real advantage so we come back for the deliberate knock on. Vandal league pragmatism rules apply and Ralph slots it over for an 8-0 lead.
Their restart doesn't go ten so we go back for scrum in the middle, which we lose against the head (shock, horror) though looks like it came out the side but Nick does enough to slow down any meaningful ball and their nine is forced to box kick it away.
Few minutes later mercurial Nev takes an interception and sets off on the long road to glory, a bit too long as he looks to flip one out to his support and the ball goes comically forward and the crowd go wild, other tens described as mercurial....Gregor Townsend & Stuart Barnes! From the scrum they try to run it out only to get themselves into trouble in midfield around their twenty two and we turn them over, Phil to Ralph taking Kendo with him, Ralph grubbers ahead, Kendo runs onto it, pick up pops it back inside to Shannon, back inside to Ralph who gets to the line but is driven out in the corner just as he's getting the pass away.
So defensive lineout five metres out, and it all goes horribly wrong for Yardley as the ball goes loose and they have to touch it down in goal for a five metre scrum to us. Casper & his opposite number have a heated discussion before we get down to business, ball comes in, General barks directions and we drive them over their line and Rog dots it down 13-0 Ralph adds the conversion 15-0.
The restart again doesn't go ten and we come back for the scrum, the first one goes down so Shannon gives his young opposite number a quick masterclass before the next one, and Slow cracks up.
A few minutes later we drive them off their own scrum ball again as we start to dominate in the tight, Roger picks up offloads to the General who in turn finds the Assassin in support, he gives the fly half a slice of palm pie, but the ten doggedly hangs on to Nick's cuff and he's forced to lay it back, ball bounces loose and Nick not one to hang about dives on his own pass back...I kid you not! They then get pinged for going over, and their ten has a brief lie down before Shannon helps him up, dusts him off and shakes his hand...guilty conscience?? Nev puts up the bomb into midfield and they knock it on for a scrum five metres inside their twenty two, scrum to Yards with about five minutes to go. Phil tells Rog he wants it, pick and spins to Nev dummy scissors off Kendo and Smokin takes the crash ball and makes great yards before offloading to Roger in support, he makes some hard yards before we spin again to Ralph and he puts one in behind them but they win the race to the touchdown for a twenty two drop out and their fly half has another lie down. It's a good kick but an even better take by Max as he fires a low trajectory bouncer back down the park the ball going out about fifteen metres from their line.
Defensive lineout goes awry and the ball goes loose, someone fly hacks it across and it fortuitously goes into the scrum half's hands who then kicks to clear but Ralph takes it, his pass goes loose but big Phil scoops it up (great hands for a big bloke) and he offloads to Nick Levey in support, he takes it into contact, ruck forms & the General moves everybody out the way and zips it to Nev, to Kendo, he dummies his way past a couple before getting tackled, Shannon picks up and Max like a good winger drives his prop forward. Shan goes to ground six or so metres from their line, and the ball disappears from sight in a flurry of blue & yellow, whistle goes penalty Yards. We look to go quickly, but then opt for the scrum. Clean strike and our Eight rumble forward with a yard to go Rog picks & goes, he's held up on the line, ball comes back and the General dives over for his second 20-0 and Ralph converts 22-0 and that's the half over.
Halftime 22-0 and a vast improvement on the previous week  and pretty much all going according to plan. Slow opts for no immediate changes  at half time.
Nobody claims the restart and the ball sails out midway between our ten & twenty two. We catch and drive, the ball safe with Fridge at the back, then we spin to Nev, inside ball to Chris who's come off his wing, he weaves his way past a couple before offloading to BMT, who in turn finds Kendo, ref calls "penalty advantage green" for
another deliberate knock on as Kendo's onward pass to Smokin is interrupted. No advantage, and we pause while another Yardley player has a rest. Nev shapes to kick then takes the mark himself and goes, passes to Kendo, to Smokin, to Golfball, but it's a touch high and ball goes into touch but great enterprise.
Shark does his bit at two and gets a neoprene clad hand to their ball and the General scoops it up and darts through their fragmented lineout before going to ground then something you don't see very often these days even at international level as Mark "Gareth Edwards" Baldwin standing in at nine gets the ball and unleashes his dive pass out to Nev who releases Kendo, to Smokin, to Ralph, to Max out wide, great hands, Max puts in the crossfield kick and just as their No.8 goes to catch it just inside their twenty two he's levelled by Levey, but just a fraction too early the ref decides, penalty Yardley. Their kick goes nowhere near touch and Ralph takes the catch, makes a few yards before wanging it back down field, the ball landing on their twenty two and their scrum half takes it as Nick hunts him down and makes the tackle and Yardley are pinged for not rolling away. We kick to touch the ball going out about fifteen metres from their line. The Pie Chucker cocks his arm, the ball sails high, two handed take by BMT & we drive but the ball spills loose, but the ref's seen something, penalty Yards. This time the kick goes into the corner and we can smell the whitewash. Take two, Pie Chucker hits BMT, Fridge tidies up and is scooped up by his mates and we drive him over the line to score, possibly the perfect catch & drive, they simply had no time to react 27-0. Conversion missed.
They kick against the grain at the restart and we knock on, scrum Yardley and we take the opportunity to ring the changes, Nev comes off, Max moves to fly half, Smokin switches to wing, Fitz comes on at centre, Mark makes way for Rick, John for Andy & Rog for Alaistair. Rick takes it against the head but we knock it on at the base. But their scrum is visibly creaking now as we drive them off their own ball and Marcus picks up, he finds Ralph who puts one over the top, they kick it back and Marcus takes the catch, he's tackled but manages to offload to Fitz, who passes to Golfball but the ball goes forward. No matter as we take another against the head and big Al picks up and bounces the first tackler. He's stopped by the next and lays it back, the General fizzes one to BMT but it's too hot to handle so Fitz wellies it forward on the half volley, it's taken by one of their props but he gets no change out of Fudge, so they recycle and spin through a couple of sets of hands before having to start the whole process again before we're pinged for hands in at the next breakdown. They take it quickly through their robust scrum half who makes good yards, before offloading to the fly half, he's dragged down by Kendo but manages to get a flea flicker away to a support runner who's tackled on the line by Nick, but they have numbers and go again and score close to the posts and with the conversion score moves onto 27-7. 
It's a deep restart by Max and we're there in numbers to halt their progress just inside their twenty two, and pin them down before turning them over, and Nick has another chance to bend time as he tidies up his own ball for a second time before they infringe. Chicken comes onto the park in place of Chris to complete the Yards Eighties Brat Pack as one of theirs is sent off for back chat and then use of naughty non Yuletide phrase. This ultimately was a collective red card apparently for persistent back chat to the referee throughout the game. We kick to the corner, not the best of lineouts but Nick tidies it up and we spin, Phil to Max, Fitz comes in on the scissors and carves his way through to within ten or so metres of the line before offloading to Harry who takes it into contact. We recycle, Phil to Max to Sean but it's nudged forward for a scrum to Yardley, but again their scrum begins to fold and have to hurriedly get it away and they try to run it out from their twenty two, but the move is halted by Nick's tackle. The ball pops free, Fitz picks up passes to Rick on his shoulder, to Alaister who takes it into contact. We spin, Phil to Fitz, to Sean who goes it alone and he's mugged and ball spills forward for a scrum to Yardley about five metres out. The first one collapses, so we reset and we take the next against the head and Al picks up & rolls blind and twists and turns his way over to score in the corner 32-7 Ralph's conversion attempt is close but not close enough.
We then have a few minutes rest for one of the more unusual stoppages as one of their players goes in search of a Mars bar to raise his blood sugar levels.
But with about ten minutes to go that's the last score of the afternoon, but we still have time to see some great passages of play from our former Colts plus one of Chicken's trademark runs from deep leaving lads half his age for dead as he runs from our twenty two to their twenty two before he's finally stopped. Time also to see another strong run by Nick, and Fitz putting in two real show stoppers. Not be outdone Fridge also stops one dead in his tracks. We almost score in the closing minutes as we show great hands to put Phil in for his jug but Al is harshly penalised for some shirt collar work right at the death.
Final Score 32-7 final age 709!! that's averaging over 47, sorry Max you just gained eleven years.
Man in the Dirtiest Shirt this week goes to Nick Levey who quite literally was all over the place! 
This Saturday we face Birmingham Exiles 2nds in the first of the Merit League rematches, I can't remember ever playing them at home on a flat pitch!!
Club drinking night this week after the game if you are available, unlike the youngsters I know we have wives, others & children, but if you do go I believe a Christmas sweater is a mandatory requirement, Arks found a reasonably priced 3XL on eBay the other night.

Finally can I wish you and yours all a very Merry Christmas.

Captain Slow.

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