Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Weekend Rugby Round-up 5th April 2014 Midlands 3 West (South)

Mon, 07 Apr 2014 12:00

Old Yardleians challenge for back to back league titles remains on track despite a stuttering first half performance in their latest Midlands 3 West (South) fixture over at Nuneaton based side Manor Park.

The home side were promoted behind Yards last term so it was also a good indication on how far Yards had progressed. However, by the time the half time whistle was blown it didn't seem that far, with a lacklustre first half performance from the title hopefuls and the home side utilising the slope to good advantage to secure a deserved 20-5 lead.

Manor Park had opened the afternoon's proceedings with a penalty before Yards opened their account through an unconverted try from scrum half Tom Grocott. But the home side regained the lead shortly after with another penalty before increasing it further with a well worked converted try in the corner for a 13-5 lead. It was then that Manor Park's young scrum half received his marching orders for rashly getting involved in an off the ball scuffle whilst already serving ten minutes in the sin bin for an earlier infringement. However, this only seemed to spur the home side on as they went on to score their second try of the afternoon under the posts to reach the turnaround fifteen points ahead.

However, with an eleven match unbeaten streak ironically going back to the previous meeting between the two sides Yards have been difficult to handle at the best of times but against fourteen men, and at one point thirteen they proved irresistible in the second period scoring 27 unanswered points, no doubt spurred on by some choice half time words from the coach. Most notable in this five try blitz was a second half hat trick from last season's Greater Birmingham scrum half Tom Grocott who on current form must now be in line to reprise his roll in this season's RLF Three Counties Championship. Lock Phil Painter scored the pick of Yards' other two tries with a bludgeoning solo effort from a quickly taken penalty. With regular kicker Jake White unavailable centre Ian Walker added the side's only conversion giving a final score of 32-20 to the visitors.

With Coventry side Pinley being deducted five points this latest bonus point victory puts Yards back on top, knowing that a win on Saturday against third placed Old Wheatleyans will guarantee Yards the title regardless of other results.

In a good day all round for Yards, the Club's improving second string beat a useful looking Sutton Coldfield 3rds in a tight encounter 21-10 with Dan McBride scoring both of Yards' two tries, with skipper Jamie Walton adding three penalties and a conversion.

The Vandals, the Club's veterans, made the short trip to play Woodrush 2nds and recorded a solid 27-5 victory. The game also was notable for long serving second row Phil Gouldbourn who played alongside his two teenage sons Sam & Joe who both went on to celebrate by scoring a try apiece. The Vandals' other scores coming from wing Phil Watson(2) and former Dallas fly half Barry Gunningham, with fullback Dave Rollins adding a conversion. The Vandals now travel to Bridgnorth next week where a win will secure Mark Baldwin's men the Worcester & Hereford Merit League 3 title.

The Club's fourth string, the Hornets, a blend of youth & experience, easily overcame the challenge of Telford 3rds comfortably running out 76-5 winners at Tilehouse Lane. Pleasingly, the future looks bright as eleven of the twelve tries scored came from last season's crop of under 17's, through Jack Seifas (4), Callum Hanson (3), Alex Miller (2), Cameron Powell (2) with experienced Rob Willis bringing up the rear. Fly half Powell capped a fine display by adding eight conversions to his brace of tries.

Martyn Cartwright
Honorary Secretary
Old Yardleians RFC

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