Old Grovians v Yarnbury
match report by John Rawson
Yarnbury have suffered unprecedented absences from the first team this season and hopefully a club wedding this week will be the last of it for the season!Bob Hood and his team have tried in vain to cover unavailability's and for today’s league game against local rivals Old Grovians was no exception with Martin Crainey at No8,Tom Whitfield at hooker and locks Paul Kernick and Ian Maycock on the bench along with back substitute Les Crowther,in good form this season as the back replacement.
Yarnbury started this derby on the attack and took a penalty immediately to take the lead from full back Joe Pinick but the half belonged solely to the home side who took advantage of some wayward defensive kicking to control the ball and create space out wide for robust winger Robin Jones on the left to brush off tackles to score with ease converted by stand off Ben Brown.The dose was repeated soon after by rangy centre Josh Dickson who cut through easily to score Brown converting before on twenty five minutes he did the same again to increase the home lead .It was open at this stage and from a quick penalty Yarnbury scored out on the right through centre Nathan Benton for an unconverted score before being held up on the line from another Yarnbury attack.On the last play of the half Yarnbury looked like getting back on parity when full back Pinick struck a clever line to cut clean through the defence and raced onto the full back and slowed to ensure his captain James White took a clean pass to score unopposed under the posts but the pass was inexplicitly dropped with the line gaping!
The home side were in a buoyant mood with their first half display and the opposite was the case for the Horsforth side who went further behind on the restart giving the Grovians backs too much space when the full back ghosted through on the angle to score unopposed after 42 minutes and with the impressive boot of Brown converting put the home side in an unassailable lead looking at the play and Yarnbury in a massive hole.
Enter into the play locks Ian Maycock and Paul Kernick and with No8 Martin Rainey forming three well built forwards ably supported by the young pack route one down the middle Yarnbury began to make ground drawing in the opposition and putting Yarnbury on the front foot to totally dominate the game in the final thirty five minutes with a powerful determination.The forwards gave the backs the chance to move the ball quickly for winger Josh Bell to score out right.Pinick converting.Then the full back went through a static defence to score on the left.Yarnbury were on a roll and the forward charge saw Ian Maycock power over for Pinnick to convert and give Yarnbury a sudden lead 26-27 !
The forward interchanges along with the introduction of scrum half Les Crowther gave the game further urgency and Captain James White took a final pass to go under the posts and Pinick converted.Finally,to rub salt into the Grovians wounds the dominance of the away side saw Second Team Captain and hooker Tom Whitfield slip and turn with big opposition all around him to touch down and the job was done in impressive second half style.A certain tick for Coach Bob Hood,the impressive teamwork of the squad and in particular the young players like George Bowen Tom Warriner and Tom Goldthorpe who worked tirelessly in the close quarter area not allowing their local rivals any second half ball.