Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Weekend Rugby Round-up 12th April Midlands 3 West (South)

Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:00

Old Yardleians quest for back to back leagues titles ended in success on Saturday when they were crowned champions of Midlands 3 West (South) with two games to spare after a nail biting 18-17 win over third placed Coventry side Old Wheatleyans at Tilehouse Lane.

With previously top placed Pinley being docked five points at the start of the week, the visitors were guaranteed to arrive full of purpose because a bonus point win against Yards would keep their own slim hopes of promotion alive.

But it was Yards who started the brighter determined to protect their two season long unbeaten home record and led at the half hour mark through two unconverted tries from flanker Will Ralph and fly half Jake White. However, undaunted Old Wheats hit back with a converted try of their own and the sides turned round with Yards holding on to a slim 10-7 lead at half-time.

Yards tightened their grip on the title early in the second half with a third unconverted try from their talismanic scrum half Tom Grocott and a penalty kick from White to make the score 18-10 in Yards favour. The remainder of the half was nip and tuck with little to separate the two sides befitting their relative positions but with about ten minutes to play Old Wheats capitalised on a charged down clearance kick to score and with the conversion bisecting the uprights bringing them to within a point it was to be an exceptionally tense finish in front of the large home crowd.

This was made even more so in the dying minutes when centre Joe Merriman was taken off after being knocked unconscious making a last ditch tackle, but Yards were not to be denied and held on to secure the title and promotion to Midlands 2 West (South) next term.

This coming Saturday sees the Club on Easter tour in the historical city of York, with a fixture against York Railway Institute RFC, before their final scheduled league fixtures away to Pershore and Cheltenham North.

The Club's second XV travelled to Worcester Wanderers for their final Worcester & Hereford Merit League 1 game and the home side were no match for Skipper Jamie Walton's men as they ran in nine tries in a one sided affair. Yard's tries were scored by centre Dean Brain (3) winger Lee Purdy (2), flanker Dan McBride, No.8 Ian Walker, centre Dino Markou and fly half Walton who also kicked a penalty and seven conversions in the 62-15 win. This result now guarantees the side a top five finish in their first season in the competition.

The Vandals, the Club's elderly gentlemen also secured their own back to back league title on Saturday when they despatched a much younger Bridgnorth 3rds to secure the Worcester & Hereford Merit League 3 crown having taken the Greater Birmingham Merit title last season. Despite their now customary slow start and trailing 8-3 early in the first half, the Vandals were always in control and ran out comfortable 51-15 winners. The highlight of the afternoon was a superb hat trick from former Solihull wing Phil Watson, whose third try involved a fifty metre run up the touchline handing off five defenders in the process. The Vandals' other tries came from former Army three-quarter Steve Roberts (2), fly half Max Gimson and flanker Chris Rowe. Fullback Dave Rollins adding two penalties and five conversions.

The Club's fourth string, the Hornets, a side made up mainly of last season's under 17's went down 12-0 at home to Spartans 4ths. Spartans have only lost on three occasions this season so the Club's youngsters can still take great credit from this result.

Please find some photos below from the first team game, Yards in their Black change strip.

Martyn Cartwright
Honorary Secretary

Victorious Yards

Flanker Will Ralph puts man into Space!

Fly Half Jake White makes a break

Scrum half Tom Grocott makes a break

Scrum half Tom Grocott puts fly half White into space

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