The kestrals finished the year with a very good game v Mowden. Mowden have made massive strides in the last twelve months and certainly had the advantage in the forwards
Following on from the disappointment of the having so little playing time in the fixture against Redcar we managed to secure a home fixture for the U10s only v Mowden Park. This would be the final fixture of 2011 and it was tremendous to have 17 out of the 18 man squad fit and available. Thinking back to the 2010/11 games v Mowden I don’t think it is unfair to say that a number of the Yarm lads though this fixture would be rather more straight-forward than proved to be the case. The Mowden team have improved significantly over the last twelve months and have physical strength in abundance, coupled with a few backs who are not lacking in terms of pace.
As has been common this year we decided to play four quarters of ten minutes each. It was a bitterly cold day and the pitch itself was rather hard in certain areas. It is testament to the courage and commitment of both sides that neither complained about the conditions and immediately got stuck into a very competitive game. There were very few clear-cut openings in the first ten minute period, as both sides battle to gain the upper-hand. Towards the end of the first ten minutes Sam was able to gather a pass and dive over in the corner despite and desperate attempt from a Mowden player to put him in touch. With some of lads thinking this may open the floodgates maybe an element of complacency crept in the Yarm play. Mowden Park deservedly equalised at the end of the first ten minute period.
With this being such a cold day I was conscious of leaving lads stood on the touchline for too long, so brought on all eight lads not involved in the first ten minutes. The second spell of ten minutes certainly belonged to Mowden Park. I could not be too critical of the Yarm players as they generally made their tackles, but saw minor mistakes result in scores for Mowden. Mowden Park utilised their physical advantage to gain possession and then set free a couple of players with great pace, to run in three tries and take a 4-1 lead. A this point I was concerned I had set the sides up incorrectly and many of the lads would allow their heads to drop and see Mowden gain an even more convincing lead. Huge credit however must go to these lads who in the last two minutes of the second period were able to run in two tries and haul the contest back to 4-3 to Mowden. The final try was particularly memorable as Cameron Gray, who does not score that many, collected the ball from a good passing move, made the ten yards to the line and dived over for a great try, despite a desperate attempt from a least one Mowden player to haul him into touch – Well done Cameron (loads more to follow in 2012 now!!!)
The third and fourth quarters were much more convincing for Yarm with five tries being scored and Mowden responding on two occasions. I can remember Leon and Cameron Gray (again) scoring in this spell but can’t recall who scored the other tries. Sorry to those lads – you can give me a kick next time you see me and I will make sure you receive a mention next time I do a report. Sol Kench picked up an injury in the third quarter, due to the hard pitch and the fact that Sol can only play at 100% level of commitment. Sol had to be replaced, which is never easy, however the effort Sol had put in whilst on the pitch, meant and great deal of energy had been sapped from the Mowden players – Get well soon Sol.
Well done in 2011 lads and lets keep the good work rolling on in 2012 and beyond. Thanks also to all parents who provide such tremendous support both home and away – hope you have had a great Christmas – See you all in 2012 (or New Years Eve for those going to the Falcons game!!!)