Baildon Revert to Old Habits
Old Modernians under former coach Adam Faulkner have become a bit of a bogey side for Baildon.
Because this was a rearranged fixture in what should have been a rest weekend, both sides were missing influential players. An Old Mods stag do and a Baildon trip to Dublin accounting for most of the absentees.
For the first ten minutes it was all Old Modernians. For the next hour it was all Baildon. Then inexplicably, distressingly and in a complete reversal of the performance that saw the Jenny Laners keep a clean sheet against Harrogate Pythons, in the last ten minutes Baildon pressed a large red button marked “WARNING - SELF DESTRUCT – DO NOT PRESS”; metaphorically punching themselves in the face and kicking themselves in their own gentleman’s area simultaneously. Ouch!
Mod scored almost from the kick off, their outside centre strolling through a massive gap in the Baildon defence to score under the posts. The missed conversion underlined a crucial absentee in the Old Mods kicking department. (0-5)
Baildon responded. The line out functioned well with Matt Fox and Zack Orrell securing ball. Matt Withers started to use the boot to put Baildon in the right parts of the field.
Baildon earned a penalty when a Mods player failed to roll away in the ruck area and Baildon opted to turn down the points and kick to the corner. A back of the line peel set up ruck ball. Ollie Williams fed Guy Price who was in at the corner. (5-5)
Chinny Tomlinson chopped everything that ran at him, and when Baildon secured turnover ball they executed some beautiful rugby with great offloads that Old Mods could only stop by infringing.
Baildon had the nudge at scrum time, the Mods pack struggling to keep a straight push, but somehow avoiding the sort of penalty that a retreating pack usually sees. Marcus Dracup pounced on Mods ball from a retreating scrum and did win penalty, which was tapped quickly. A further penalty gave Ollie Williams at easy shot at goal for Baildon to take the lead. (8-5)
Almost on half time Harrison Strauss forced a turnover and broke a tackle before releasing Dan Fletcher for a 50 metre run in, with no Mods player at home. Ollie Williams added the extras. A great time to score. (15-5 HT)
Baildon took up on the second half where they left off in the first. Adam France almost scoring when put in by Dan Fletcher but knocking on at the crucial moment. Marcus Dracup’s tackling was destructive. Tom Cluett and Matt Withers continued to kick with intelligence.
A Mods player caught a ball in his own 22 and called for a mark. Tapping it quickly he ran into retreating Baildon players.
With ten minutes on the clock the referee spoke to both sides about appealing and warned that further attempts by players to referee the game would result in yellow cards being shown.
Almost the very next move a penalty was awarded to loud appeals from Mods players that one of their players had been held back as Baildon kicked through towards the Mods line.
With eight minutes remaining Baildon went into their shells and stopped competing. In a move with two flat passes, either of which might well have been judged forward, Mods crossed to bring the match to a one score game. (15-10)
Baildon started to give away penalties. One was tapped quickly for the next try. (15-15)
The momentum was all with Mods, their players standing six inches taller than earlier in the match and the Baildon players staring at their boots.
The last try was a comedy of errors. A shocking clearance kick and equally awful tackling gifted the final try. To rub salt in, the Mods kicker who had been off target all match, put the conversion over from the touch line. (15-22)
In the dying moments Baildon pressed and were awarded a penalty rather than the traditional scrum for accidental off side. There was time for the line out, but Baildon were lax at line out time and ended with a splutter. (15-22 FT)
Thanks to our officials, supporters, coaches and volunteers. It was a great weekend of rugby with Bumbles v Keighley Vets on the second team pitch and the England/Wales game some sort of consolation for red rose supporters. I feel the need to apologise on the team’s behalf for the capitulation in the last ten minutes.
Thanks to everyone who stepped up. It was great to host Mods, including our ex Baildon players, who wish us well in our attempts to stay in Yorkshire 3.
A losing bonus point on a weekend where the other relegation candidates picked up nothing gives us cause to hope. But we play our best rugby with big smiles and only when we believe. We have skills, fitness, commitment…..but we need to work on that belief of ours.