Momentum gathering with convincing victory
By Granville Sellers
Accuracy and defensive structure key to Aire's improvement.
Aire 50 v Yarnbury 0
Yarnbury travelled the short distance to Nunroyd park looking to overturn a defeat earlier in the season. Yarnbury certainly had some size in their pack and some outside backs which could trouble Aire.
The hosts got off to a bad start when the kick off was fumbled, leading to early Yarnbury pressure. Stand in skipper Eddie Farnell wasn't impressed with the sluggish start and led by example to up the tempo and physicality. Big Vaughan Reeves made a rampaging run and bounced off several defenders, before he released Sammy Woodley to score a try against the run of play. This early score settled nerves and Aire began to build some territory and pressure. The next score was a result of a neat kick through, which was knocked forward by the Yarnbury player & Lewis Watson was on hand to snaffle the ball and score. Aire continued to apply the pressure and looked extremely dangerous when the ball was put through the hands in the back line.
Backs coaching consultant Kris Brook not only adds good looks and youth to the coaching set up, but he's been working on set plays and the "Fusion" ball was executed with precision for a well taken score.
Aire were playing some tantalising rugby, with the 9,10 & 12 axis providing great ball for the wider players. The pack also fronted up with no 8 Joe Priestley putting in a series of shuddering tackles to send Yarnbury backwards. Bullocking Vaughan Reeves was also making an impression and a series of rampaging runs put Aire deep into Yarnbury territory. Aire were playing with confidence and converted most chances to go in with a healthy 31-0 lead at half time.
Aire rang the changes in the 2nd half, but the new lads continued the onslaught and pinned Yarnbury back with power and precision. The outside backs were relishing the width provided by Freddy, Eliot & Sammy and used pace, guile and power to convert several scores. The 2nd row engine room of Jake Baker and Tom Ayrton made the hard yards and allowed the back row to punch holes in Yarnbury's rear guard defence. The back row were menacing with the ball in hand and flankers Ollie Nicholson and Hayden Pickett both made good yards.
Back 3 of Jacob Bevan, Felix Kraam, Josh Wood & Lewis Watson capitalised on the space they were provided and were a constant threat on the break. Yarnbury played with loads of heart and kept going to the end, but Aire stood firm to deny them a consolation try.
There were some good performances; however special credit to Eliot Bunn and Sammy Woodley for providing the space to allow the outside backs scoring opportunities. Up front captain Eddie Farnell had a storming game and no8 Joe Priestley was outstanding.
This was another step up for Aire's fledgling team; however improvement will be required because Pontefract will be tough opposition next week.