York v Yarnbury U15s (Yorkshire Cup Q/F)
Wonderful memories bathed in bright, low winter sunshine
York 17 v Yarnbury 21
Match Report by Michael Dawrant
What a start to the new year; an exhilarating second half saw Yarnbury qualify for the semi-finals of the Yorkshire Cup and had their supporters giddy with excitement on the sidelines. (Except may be for Deidre who had an adrenaline filled morning before kick off: involving a dog, fox poo, a wandering old lady and an unsuspecting Sundaydriver! But that is her story to tell!)
Sunday’s result was a credit to the coaches and the whole squads efforts, week in and week out, over the years. It has built up to produce what was an impressive total team performance, that brought them victory in a close contest ,playing away from home, in the quarterfinal match of the Yorkshire cup.
It was a tightly contested first half. Yarnburywere the first to stage an attack, as they took the ball straight into the York half following the opening kick off, with a strong run from Jamie McDonnelland then on to Oscar Andrewswho was in close support. Both sides struggled though to build sustained pressure, turning the ball over through knock-ons, penalties or kicking for territory. It was York that eventually scored first as their danger man (Number 15) took the ball out wide running around the Yarnbury defense to score in the right corner (not converted). York 5- Yarnbury 0.
Yarnbury replied with a series of decent attacks from their backs: Harry Dunn, Jamie Mcdonnell and Jacob Rawson taking the ball up the right wingfirst and then the ball went out again up the left wing. Unfortunately turnovers kept preventing Yarnbury from really threatening York. York broke free and looked like they were going to clock up a second try but thanks to an attempted tap tackle from Darwin that unsteadied the York player and slowed him up long enough for Jamie McDonnellto get back. Danger averted! The arm wrestle continued to be played out in the centre of the pitch. As the half came to the end a turnover ball from a strong tackle from Carter Proctor saw Harry Dunn and Jamie Mcdonnell start another promising attack up the right wing deep into York territory but this attack came to an end with the half time whistle.
The second half started well for Yarnburyfrom their kick off. They applied pressure keeping York in their own 22. (There was speculation of whether Steve Lee had even been seen to be clapping the teams play, but such crazy talk was quickly over shadowed by admiration of a possible Christmas acquisition of a‘duvet suit’, thought also tobe available in Willy Wonka Orange).
York eventually managed to escape their half kicking the ball and then unfortunately Darwin King(as well) just inside Yarnbury’s half. Thankfully Darwin King shook off this injury to play on. York continued to put Yarnbury under pressure. Yarnbury’s defense eventually cracking- giving away a penalty with a hand in the scrum in desperation to retain the ball. York capitalised on the ensuing play, driving the ball over the line to score near the posts (try converted). York 12- Yarnbury 0.
Yarnbury were not ready to roll over though. They got the ball straight back from the kick off and soon Ruari Daly took a piercing run to threatenfor the line. York regained possession and tried to kick the ball back into Yarnbury’s half. Yarnbury kept returning the ball into York’s 22. Finally Jamie Mcdonnell cut through York’s line to score, which proved to signal the turning of the tide (Darwin King converted the try). York 12- Yarnbury 7.
Momentum was with Yarnbury. Waves of attacks followed. Little breaks chipping away at York. The ball was being offloaded or popped up to support runners running onto the ball. Darwin King, Harry Dunn to Ethan Dawrant.Ruari Daly to Jamie Baker to LukeWoodend. Sam Brown breaking the line to AlexKoppanyand onto Edward Greenwhobulldozed over the line to place the ball under the posts (try converted by Darwin King).York 12- Yarnbury 14.
Confidence was building and from the kick Yarnbury were straight back into York’s half with a break up the centrefrom JoeBirchall. Again Yarnbury kept York in their own 22. Big tackles from Joe Pilling, and EdwardGreen putting up a wall of defense on York’s own 22. So effective was the press defense in nullifying their attack that even York’s 15 at one point knocked on. Grown men were now pacing the sidelines getting delirious with excitement, as Jamie Baker intercepted the ball and the ball was worked out to Oscar Andrews who danced through to score in the left corner (converted by Darwin King)- Yarnbury were now 2 scores ahead! Yarnbury 21- York 12.
York’s players were audibly disheartened. Their coaches rallied them to keep in the game and they were nearly straight back in with a score in the left corner but for some last gasp tackles. York were hungry for a score and soon crossed the line in the right corner (try not converted). Thankfully though for Yarnbury this was to be the last play of the game and they had won 21-17.
In what was a great team effort Darwin King was awarded man of the match: a strong game from the full back- showing resilience, making some key tackles, kept safely collecting the clearance kicks and setting up the counter attacks, whilst of course keeping his cool to make those important conversions that made all the difference to the final score.