Round 5 of the Oilsplus South West Rugby Competition saw the Young Yabbies hosting the Harden Red Devils at Cranfield Oval. The weather was pretty cool on the day, but whilst the wet weather on the Friday certainly softened up the field, the extra moisture didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits!
With Ladies Day being one of the biggest days on the Yabbies’ social calendar, it was decided to have a celebrity match for all those who enjoy having a token run each year. The teams this year were aptly named the Hilltops Helicopters and the Ballinaclash Balaclavas. The number of available players resulted in a “Super 6’s” game which tested out everyone’s condition. After some soft hits by the Hilltops Helicopters referee Danny Evers decided it was time to show them how to tackle putting in some solid shots against the Ballinaclash Balaclavas. The standouts of the day were Scott Nuthall and Cam “Tosser” Rosser who showed that they might still have what it takes to pull on a green jersey. The most commonly heard comment from the crowd was that rugby was the winner on the day, with both sides trying with all their might to impress the Ladies, with varying degrees of success. Overall, the curtain raiser was deemed a great success as there were no torn hamstrings, just some bruised pride and a great test of ‘heartilage’. Let’s hope that this success is a sign with regards to the upcoming Old Boys match against Grenfell on Saturday June 1st.
With the all the bodies successfully removed from the field from the curtain raiser, it was time for Captain Brendan Shoard to test his luck once again at the coin toss. For what we believe may be the first time this year, the Yabbies lost the toss, with Harden deciding to receive the kick-off to begin the game.
This game was always pegged to be a very physical match and both sides definitely read and re-read that memo, with both teams coming out firing straight off the kick-off.
An early opportunity was presented to the Yabbies with a penalty well within range. Captain Brendan Shoard confidently pointed at the sticks, opting for the shot at goal with the clear intention to build pressure and confidence. Penalty kick successful by Owen Griffiths.
Young 3-0 Harden
The Red Devils came firing back off the kick-off, with some big runs by the forwards creating opportunities out wide. Jack O’Connor saw an opening and danced through to score out wide. Conversion kick unsuccessful.
Young 3-5 Harden
The chat behind the goal posts must have been intense as the Yabbies hit hard off the kick-off, driving the Red Devils backwards. A high ball was kicked from deep inside Red Devil’s territory, with Owen “Safe as houses” Griffiths taking the catch and using some fancy footwork to make it through the Red Devil’s defence and score under the posts. Conversion kick successful by Owen Griffiths.
Young 10-5 Harden
After some more see-sawing and tussles in the middle of the field, Jack O’Connor showed he was too slick for the Yabbies defence, finding a weakness and crossing the line for his second try. Conversion kick successful by Ben Lenehan.
Young 10-12 Harden
A strong set piece mid field gave Harden some clean front foot ball. This resulted in the Red Devils going over, Ben Lenehan planting it down in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful
Young 10-19 Harden
Half Time Young 10-19 Harden
For the first 20 to 25 minutes of the second half, Harden hammered Young’s try line but were continually turned back with some bone jarring defence from the Yabbies. It was a mammoth effort to keep them scoreless in this period. However, a big hit by Hagon Williams, following a high tackle by Harden which went un-noticed, incurred a penalty and Harden took the safe option of a penalty as they couldn’t find a hole in the Young goal line defence.
Young 10-22 Harden
Finally with some ball in hand the forward pack started to dominate their opposition with some crashing runs from Williams, Jesh Smith and Hamish ‘Hammer’ Kaveney. They promoted the ball up field allowing the backs to swing the ball wide with Owen Giffiths crossing for his second of the day.
Young 15-22 Harden
The Red Devils were now scrambling against the might of the Yabbies pack and they were penalised for slowing the play illegally and Tom Kent reduced the margin to just 4 points.
Young 18-22 Harden
The Red Devils hit back hard, with Ben Lenehan crossing the line this time to stretch the lead back out to more than a converted try. Conversion successful by Ben Lenehan.
Young 18-29 Harden
After a quick rev up by Captain Brendan Shoard behind the posts, the Yabbies retaliated and came back with a vengeance. The kick-off and chase ventured deep into the Red Devils half and after winning the ball back the Yabbies decided to camp there for the next 5 minutes. Strong runs from Thomas Kent, Hamish Kaveney, Will Munday & Hagon Williams finally saw Jesh Smith seize an opportunity close to the line to crash over for the Yabbies third try. Conversion kick successful by Thomas Kent.
Young 25-29 Harden
Harden hit back hard off the kick-off, showing a similar intensity to the start of the half, with the Yabbies defending hard deep in their own territory. The final minutes saw a continual grind, with Harden hitting hard, Yabbies defending hard and neither team making many metres. Finally, the Red Devils spotted a weakness close to the line and Tom Lenehan crossed the line again right on full time. Conversion kick successful by Ben Lenehan.
Young 25-36 Harden
Full Time Result Young 25-36 Harden
This was definitely a match that the spectators could enjoy, some hard hitting rugby that was anyone’s game right up to the final whistle. A see-sawing battle between two old foes who were both determined to never give up.
We all know that Ladies Day is as much about the play off the field as it is the play on the field, but we’d need a lot longer match report to cover that all off!
The Yabbiemen would like to thank all the supporters who made the 2019 Young Yabbies Ladies Day the massive success that it was!
Tries Owen Griffiths (2), Jeshua Smith
Conversions 1/2 – Owen Griffiths 1/1 – Thomas Kent
Penalty Goals 1/1 – Owen Griffiths 1/1 – Thomas Kent
Tries Jack O’Connor (2), Tom Lenehan (2), Ben Lenehan
Conversions 4/5 – Ben Lenehan
Penalty Goals 1/1 – Ben Lenehan Best & Fairest Points:
3 – Owen Griffiths
2 – Hamish Kaveney
1 – Will Munday
Players Player – Will Munday Next weekend, the Yabbiemen travel to West Wyalong to take on the Weevils in the first clash in many years! If you’re trying to work out what you might be up to this weekend, I’d be making plans to explore some of the flatter country out on the Bland while you’re on a trip to West Wyalong to see the Yabbies take on the Weevils! More details on the match to come with the release of the team announcement.
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