Old Yardleians v Ledbury 1st XV
LRFC 1st XV Match Report v Old Yardleians away 1 Dec 2018
Ledbury 19 Old Yardleians 13
The month of December was already living up to its reputation with heavy grey clouds looming overhead as Ledbury RFC travelled to their penultimate away game of the calendar year at Old Yardleians. Buoyed by their recent form the men in black and white took to the field seeking another win on the road and to secure their top 4 position in the league.
The referee signalled the start of the game and with the Yards fly half promptly putting boot to ball the game started with somewhat of an anti-climax as the ball sailed out over the awaiting Ledbury forwards on the full resulting in a midfield scrum. The first scrum of the game was won well by Ledbury and with a set move plotted by the backs the ball reached out of position prop Arron Almond who played No.8 he picked and passed to scrum half Cameron Hunter only for the pass to be intercepted by a suspiciously speedy Yards flanker who hacked on for his scrum half to chase and touch down over the line for a Yardleians score in the first minute. 0-5
Ledbury shook off the cobwebs and seemed to settle into their defensive duties with Yards sending their big men up the middle only to be chopped down time after time by the men in black and white. For the next twenty minutes Ledbury continued to struggle to find their footing and gain a score. A penalty awarded to Old Yards saw them take the score to 0-8.
Play continued in this manner until Chris Stokes, on the wing again this week, blindsided Old Yards with a trailblazing run down the touchline, out pacing his opposing winger, Chris dotted down for the first Ledbury score of the day, duly converted. 7-8
The laboured pace of the game prevented Ledbury from imposing their open style of rugby against the heavier Old Yards side until a well-placed kick took Ledbury to within 5 metres of the oppositions goal line and a lineout followed with driving maul saw Cam Hunter diving across the whitewash. The score took it to 14-8 just before halftime.
The second half ensued and Ledbury continued to pressurise Old Yards with driving mauls from lineouts won through a serious amount of penalties, but saw no scores come to fruition. The game had taken an awkward downshift due to an unnatural amount of penalties stopping and starting at regular intervals. Having eluded to Ledbury domination for the first 10 minutes of the second half, yellow cards were subsequently dished to both sides evenly, James Seager and Chris Simcock both seeing the wrong side of the referees whistle.
Old Yards did manage to get a try, after a bit of play from the scrum-half, drawing the score to 14-13. The ever present Jonny Whitting quickly put the pace back into the game after nearly scoring from kick-off after a show of mishandling by the Old Yards on their own line and after a long period of pressure from the Ledbury team Chris Stokes slid the over the line, after slipping through a narrow gap. 19-13
Substitutions were made with 15 minutes to go bringing on forwards coach Ben Smith, after a long layoff with a shoulder injury, at wing and the backs coach Stuart Bradfield into the front row. Unfortunately, Ledbury’s sustained pressure inside the Yards 22 couldn’t secure the bonus point try before the referee blew his whistle for the final time.
Ledbury face Pinley RFC in their final home game of 2018 on Saturday 8th of December with a packed Vice President’s lunch and a keen interest to close the gap on the top 2. Kick-off is at 2:15pm with hot food and outside bar with plenty of mulled cider to warm you up on what’s proving to be a chilly December. Wrap up warm and cheer on your local club!