Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Very 'Andy' use of the bench

Thu, 21 Feb 2013 10:08

Replacement winger, Andy Pearce, who was making his comeback from injury came on to the field in the second half and almost immediately scored the try that turned the game in Ys favour.
Playing against Harbury the only side to have beaten us this season this match went a long way towards deciding who would win the league title.  It was also an opportunity for the sides to study each other's form before they meet again in the Midlands final of the RFU Junior Vase on 16th March.

In front of another good crowd the first half was a fairly even affair with defences mainly on top but there was a touch of tension and, at times, a little bit of niggle creeping into the game.
The second half saw Harbury impose themselves  on the game and force their way into the lead 20 - 12 with only a quarter of an hour remaining, with many of the spectators thinking that victory was going to the visitors.

However, the turning point came when home coach Richard McCrainor played his trump card. Bringing on forward replacements, Gary Robinson and Rob Bastock, made life very difficult for the tiring Harbury pack and the arrival of winger Andy Pearce was also very effective. As has often been the case  this season the superior fitness of the Yards began to tell as did the sin-binning of the visitors most influential player, which seemed to leave them rudderless as the pressure mounted. More tries came from Tom Growcott, Dino Markou, Steve Goode as well as some aaccurate goal kicking from Jake White to bring the final score to 31-20 to the Yards. 

Home Captain, Ben Honey, was emphatic in his post-match press conference as he pointed out that Harbury were a very well organised side who deserve respect. He said, 'We cannot afford to go off the boil or good sides will take advantage of our lapses.  It is also imperative that we show discipline as we have lost too many players into the sin-bin.  We are going to work hard on these areas of our game and this will start at Coventry Welsh on saturday.'

Vandals XV
played at Harborne in a merit table game and my reporter at the game, veteran winger Dave Hanson, suggests that the team are following the example of our first team by allowing opponents to take the lead and then seeing if we have what it takes to take control of the game and to achieve victory.  Clearly it has been successful so far as the Vandals remain undefeated including the 40 - 15 win on saturday. See the full match report below.

Under 17s
Here we go!  If the firsts and Vandals can do it then so can we.  Playing a Tamworth team who have always given us close and hard games, we did the same thing, i.e.we don't start playing until we give the opposition an early lead.  In similar style we showed better fitness than Tamworth and sharper finishing including four tries for the flying Tre'rail.  The final score of 41 - 12 is a little unkind to Tamworth, who were better than the final score suggests.  A big thank you to Pete and his team for another good contest and to referee, Alex Knock from the North Mids Society.


First XV      v       Coventry Welsh   away     league   2.15
Dev   XV     v       Aston Old Eds     away      2.15
Vandals        v        Camp Hill     home    2.15
Under 17     v        Alcester   away   11.00   (B49 5QF)
Under 9        v       Stourbridge    home   11.00


 The last one was excellent and this one looks equally inviting. 
Tickets from Shannon, Pat or any of the committee.
£10 and well worth it.

It was good to see
Another ex Alderbrook P.E. teacher,and former Shirley Park scrum half, Dave White, who was very impressed by his visit.
Also, a winger from past years, Bob Anderson.  How a bloke of that age can look so smooth.  If you find out Bob, bottle it and make a fortune. (that 'll cost you one pint mate!)

Harborne 2nds vs Vandals (Merit) - full match report

Last Saturday & Round 16 of the Greater Birmingham Merit League saw the Vandals in action over at Metchley Park Lane against Harborne 2nds, a tougher prospect than of late on the cards with only nine points separating the sides when they met in November. From Pie Chucker's photo reconnaissance earlier on in the week from the Baldwin's suite at the Women's Hospital when the pitches were covered in snow the pitch was in excellent condition albeit a bit too inclined for the Club's Old Guard!
The pack this week at loosehead Shannon "Stepmeister" Killarney, Mark "Pie Chucker" Baldwin & Pete "Fudge" Butler at tight, John "Casper" Lonie alongside Phil "BMT" Gouldbourn in the boiler room, with a back row of  Marcus "Shark" Hope,  Nick "the Assassin" Levey & Paul "Goose" Gower at No.8.
The girls this week at scrum half Phil "the General" Evans alongside Max "Gimo" Gimson,  Tony "Fitz" Fitgerald & Dave "Blade" McGill  in midfield with a back three of Gary "Smokin" Williams, Mike "PFI" Neary and Dave "Ralph" Rollins at full back.
A five strong chaise long this week heavy on the forward side in Shane "Shazza" Rowland, Chris "Golfball" Rowe, Alan "the Colt" Arkell, Rick "Swing" Lowe and better late than never Dave "Chicken" Hanson.
As usual good to see the opposition going through their pre-match warm ups & drills though reading their match report the dangers of these are self evident when they managed to break a player before kick off! A fairly young looking side on the whole (aren't they always) so with that & the incline the toss became rather important and Shark didn't let us down calling correctly and opting for a playing up the slope in the first half relying on gravity to see us home in the second. The man in the middle this week an affiliate of one of our league rivals Aston in Mr Jag Singh.
It's a deep kick off and it's fielded by Smoking who sends it back the ball going out around our ten metre line. They opt for a four man lineout, gotta love innovation, but Shark gets a glove to it at two, and it's tidied up by big Phil who takes it on a yard before setting, the ball comes back & out to Smoking who rifles it uphill and courtesy of a flailing Harborne hand as he clears it we also get the lineout just inside their ten metre line. Gethin overcooks the throw as it sails over the tallest bloke on the pitch and the General has to tidy up the crumbs, but the ref blows as he's seen a slight knock on off a Harborne hand and we get the scrum. We get the nudge on and Goose picks up at the base & goes blind and passes to Smokin, back inside to the General, he makes a couple before offloading to his bigger namesake, Phil gets to their twenty two before he's finally stopped. We recycle, the General gives the short pop to Shannon, does the step, finds big Phil, offloads to Goose in support, he's tackled, the Massive pile in & Phil zips it out to Max, Fitz on the scissors, breaks the line, he's brought down, we gather round but the whistle goes, penalty Yards for offside. League pragmatism rules apply so we opt for the three points and Ralph doesn't disappoint as he opens our account with a crisply struck effort 3-0.
Goose catches the restart on the gallop and breaks the first couple of tackles before he's brought down and the General has to dig it out, ref signals penalty advantage Yards as we spin to the QE side, Blade has to stand it up initially, before the ball continues along the line to Mike, but no real yardage gained so we come back for the penalty, which Max takes, the ball going into touch about five metres outside their twenty two. It all goes awry at the lineout & Harborne come away with it and welly it down the slope, tricky bounce for Mike as it disappears between his legs, he recovers it just in time to get mugged by the chasers, and being on his lonesome is forced to die with it, penalty Harborne, as the first of the afternoon's handbags are thrown. Harborne use the slope and kick for position the ball going out two or three metres inside our twenty two. Harborne shorten the line, Shark manages to get a hand to it but it's not enough, and they spin, ball goes loose & Blade almost makes the "interception" but the bounce just evades him and it's left to Fitz to tidy up, his attempted clearance whilst having snow on it, doesn't find touch but Smokin instead, and he as to stand it up; but whistle goes just as he's dragged into touch, and we come back for a Yards scrum, the original loose pass by Harborne being deemed to having gone forward.
Steady scrum from us a few metres outside our twenty two before the General finds Gimo and kicks it into touch, the ball going out on halfway, unfortunately though the lineout comes back as the ball was passed back into the twenty two (another crap law change I might add, not much you can do when the scrum's just outside the twenty two). Harborne shorten the line, and take and one of their bigger units comes on the charge, he's felled by Smokin, but gets the pass away, they're almost on our line now, as we go balls to the wall in defence & manage to turn them over and Ralph kicks to clear. The ball doesn't find touch and Harborne begin their downhill assault again as they go through three or four phases keeping it tight and despite some last ditch tackles Harborne finally breach our defence about five metres to the right of the posts, which they duly convert off the upright for a 3-7 lead.
Our restart goes direct to jail, so we come back for a scrum in the middle, we get a good nudge on and whilst their pack go into reverse, forcing their No.8 to pick up there follows another period of pressure from the Harborne lads keeping the ball in hand and using the slope to good effect culminating in some more goal line defence, with tackles flying in from Nick, Goose, Fudge & Ralph before we finally concede a penalty. They take it quickly but get held up over our line, but Jag gives them another go but this time their heads rule their hearts and they opt to successfully kick for goal 3-10.
Harborne continue to besiege our line from the restart, and within minutes a long kick out of hand by sees Harborne once more back inside our twenty two, Pie Chucker
burns the pastry again as it sails over BMT's head and is taken by their flanker, he's tackled by Goose, they recycle then spin but Blade makes a cracking interception & wellies it up field, the lively fullback makes his ground then steps a couple of ours before getting clobbered by Shark but we are pinged for hands in at the ruck and we then show our generous side as some discussion of matters of a technical nature sees us going back a further ten metres. And it's not long before another penalty sees us back where we started with a Harborne lineout just on our twenty two, however, the throw's not straight and we get the scrum, nice steady ball for the General, he spins to Max and he clears safely to touch.
As the half wears on we start to creep more & more into the game, and play begins to inch back up the hill, and from a lineout we are awarded a penalty when big Phil finally catches a pasty but is pulled down in the process, shorter Phil takes it quickly before offloading to Mike who's driven into touch on halfway. They secure and go close a couple of times before trailer I think bumps truck and we get the scrum. Steady ball from our Eight, Phil to Max, and Fitzy comes in on the scissors, breaks the tackle, offloads to Goose in support, ref signals penalty advantage Yards, Goose to the General, to Max, to Ralph who works hard & gets inside their twenty two before his pass to Mike goes to ground and/or forward (sorry too far for my ailing eyesight). There then follows a fairly lengthy water break, with one or two Harborne players taking the opportunity for a lie down, and Slow remarks idly to no one in particular "we are physical if nothing else". We put their scrum under tremendous pressure when the game finally gets going again and once more their No.8 is forced to pick up between his retreating ankles and he's immediately tackled by the General, the ball goes loose but behind and to a defender but Goose (undercarriage down) is quick to him and we turn it over as the whistle goes long & hard, penalty Yards. We take it quickly through Shannon he gets to withing five or six metres of thier line, we recycle and the General goes sniping, he's held up so we drive it on, Fudge has it now, goes on the charge only for it to squirt upwards like a bar of soap and they get the scrum five metres from their own line. Our lightweight 136 stone Eight drive them off their ball, Goose picks up & goes over, simple as that 8-10. Surprisingly Ralph's conversion is unsuccessful.
Shortly after followed this week's comedy moment when one of their forwards had to briefly leave the field to leave a carrot deposit on the sidelines, even funnier still the footprint I saw in it later.
Apart from another good attacking run by their lively fullback, leaving a trail of Vandals in his wake, until he's finally brought down by Nick Levey that is the last of the meaningful action of the half, although Harborne do spurn the opportunity at another kickable penalty in favour of taking a quick one which is brought to heel by Goose & Fudge. The half ends in touchline guffaws with Mark attempting to bring the half to a close by kicking to touch, only to drop the ball ....and miss his foot! Somehow or other the ball finally does roll over the line, and the ref blows.
Halftime 8-10 No changes at halftime and literally all downhill from here, Slow confident two points is not enough to defend.
It's a cracking deep kick from Max to start the second half the ball finally coming to rest on the Harborne five metre line, the young scrum half collects & manages to escape Marcus' attention and sets off up the slope, we finally manage to thwart Harborne's progess deep in our half, and their fly half opts to kick ahead for position. Our lineout continues to misfire & Harborne come away with it off BMT's fingertips and Goose has to make the tackle, Nick's to him and they hold the ball carrier up, no advantage so Harborne get the scrum for the knock on at the lineout. We put them under pressure but they get it away cleanly and come blind, where they have numbers and their fullback beats Ralph to go over to score 8-15 the conversion goes begging but certainly not the start we were hoping for.
It's another deep kick into their twenty two, the second row picks up and takes it on a yard before he's upended by the General & the ball squirts loose, the General picks up but whistle goes for the knock on and we get the scrum. The ball comes out the back of the scrum like a bloody Exocet, and the General does well to gather and find Smokin on the narrow side, Gaz kicks ahead but the ball goes direct into touch albeit narrowly. Harborne opt for the four man line, but Shark gets a gloved mitt to it & Phil comes away with it and his well timed flat pass finds Goose who gets over the twenty two, and draws the penalty advantage for offside as he does, Nick's next to take it on a bit further, then we spin, to Max to Blade but no real advantage, so we come back for the penalty. Slow muses C&D but we opt for the posts and Ralph bangs it over to cut their lead to a less than score 11-15.
Nick catches the restart midway between our ten & twenty two sees a gap, head down and sets off down the slope, he weaves his way to the halfway line before finally being halted, everybody piles in & whistle goes. At which point Nick swaps for the mad Welshman Golfball. Our put in and the General comes away with it and takes it into contact, but he's turned over and they come away with it, Max makes the tackle, and we turn them over, General finds Ralph and he puts one up and their big winger not for the first time knocks it forward, scrum Yards between their twenty two & ten metre lines. Chicken comes on for Mike. We drive them backwards and Goose picks up and goes through the fly half and gets into the twenty two before going to ground, General snipes but in the process goes behind his taller namesake and he's pinged for crossing. At the resulting scrum our Eight rumble right over the top of theirs, and several of the Harborne forwards are slow in getting back to their feet, we have two more goes at it before they manage to secure possession and their No.8 finds their scrum half who kicks to clear; the ball however only finds Chicken who does his mandatory swervy thing beats two men before popping a well timed inside pass to Blade and he goes over in the corner 16-15. Ralph's conversion attempt is unsuccessful, but we're back in the lead.
Slow turns to his bench and Shane & Rick come on in the front row for Shannon & Mark. Loud call off BMT at the restart and he takes it into contact, we recycle General to Max, to Goose who goosesteps his way through a couple of tackles. We recycle, and the General comes blind, offloads to Smokin, he steps their big winger, gets a slight nudge, but just about stays on his feet, pops it inside to Phil (E), to Marcus as we cross their twenty two, to Max he cuts back into traffic, looks for support, finds Shazza. He goes to ground and we recycle, the General goes blind to Max,  he finds Blade, to Marcus couple of hand offs and over he goes wide out 21-15. Ralph puts a great one over with a couple of inches to spare 23-15.
Not for the first time this season a side admits defeat up front and Harborne as they did in our earlier encounter ask to go uncontested, mind we did weigh 142 stone that day, but on that occasion they accepted Rick's kind offer of assistance, but not Mark's offer today. Slow ponders had they then gone onto win with uncontested scrums would they forfeit two of their four points for winning...something to check I think.
We have a full head of steam now and it's not long before we increase our lead following a rare driving maul in midfield the General releases Max, dummy scissors on Fitz, the gap opens up and Max darts through, passes to Blade, to Smokin who crosses the twenty two & pins his ears back for the corner. He's held up just short and the cavalry arrive, out it comes, Phil (E) to Max to Goose, he leaves it behind & they pick up the loose ball, no chance of any real advantage, so Subbuteo scrum to Harborne. The ball safely comes back to the fly half but he too fluffs his lines but somehow Harborne manage to scramble it into touch. But ever alert Smokin spots and opportunity and takes a quick throw to Shark who bundles over for his second 28-15. Conversion unsuccessful. Marcus having injured his tail bone (bum to you & I) in the act of scoring comes off and Arks adds his considerable presence onto the flank and our pack weight creeps well over the 140 stone mark.
Minutes later we go out of sight, following another driving maul we spin General to Max, he puts one over the top and we give chase, their fullback fields it and brings it back, but he's tackled and ball spills loose and Chicken collects, passes to Blade, to Ralph he puts it up and the winger not having the best of days spills it again, scrum Yards twenty or so metres out. Ball comes back (obviously) Phil (E) to Max he spots the gap, feints to Fitz, keeps going and gets to about five metres from their line before he's stopped. We recycle, ball comes out to Fitz, to Golfball he drives it back to their five metre line, then the General has a go, gets held up, we go again and this time it's Shane who takes it & he boshes his way over to score 33-15. Ralph no doubt a sleepless night on the cards misses the conversion, but there's no coming back for Harborne now.
Not long after the try that never was, starting with a scrum midfield, we come blind, Max rifles one down, it's fielded on their twenty two, but the catcher promptly then falls over, gets up and moreorless kicks it straight out for a lineout to Yards just in front of their twenty two. Rick hits BMT takes at four and we drive it on a yard before Rick peels off with it, he gets stopped and the Massive gather round and we walk it slowly forward before Fudge also peels away with it on about the five he gets close but we're forced to recycle, Phil gets sucked in so Smokin steps in at nine finds Arks, he's stopped almost over the line, we come blind through Max and he scoots over, and brings it closer to the posts to "score"...but no the ref says he didn't ground it correctly or dropped it in the act of scoring or some such nonsense.
With about five minutes to go Nick comes back on for Goose & Arks switches to No.8.
Then the try he never wanted as Chicken takes a long pass off Chris just outside their twenty two, gasses his man and hurtles towards the corner but seeing three defenders heading his way & being concerened for his good looks decides to wrongfoot all three cutting back inside before slinging out a Hail Mary and the move comes to nought & Slow spits feathers.
But right at the death the General keeps up his recent run of good form as he scampers over from close range to score our final try 38-15 Ralph adds the extras 40-15 and that's about it for the afternoon as Mr Singh blows right after.
Final Score 40-15 final age 678 averaging a shade over 45 all based on a great defensive effort in the first half.
Man in the Dirtiest Shirt this week goes to Shark for leading from the front and his brace, but a special mention for John who didn't get a mention, no doubt doing all that unsung devious undercover sh*t!
Many thanks for those three who opted to help with the laundry this week, these shirts are good to go at 60oC, but anybody scooped up an odd sock?
Home game this week and with Warwickian 2nds crying off early doors we have Camp Hill 3rds out of the Pool.

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