Moseley 18  Halifax 9 - December 3rd 2005


Moseley stumble towards victory

Birmingham Post report By Andy Walker

"On this performance, we can forget about promotion," was the bold statement by John Beale, director of rugby, after watching Moseley struggle to beat National Two's second-worst side.

An undefeated league sequence at Billesley Common and a morale-boosting 16-16 draw between fellow promotion-chasers Waterloo and Esher may look good on the surface but Moseley's performances are a concern. "We were dreadful," a frustrated Beale said.

"I hate saying this because I seem to say it every week, but this was our worst game all season. We did not take notice of what we talked about in the week, they played more of the rugby and came close to our try line.

"There's a lot of work to be done before we play Barking. I am really, really disappointed."

This was certainly a poor Moseley performance against the poorest team they have played all season. If it was not for the reliable kicking of Ollie Thomas, the hosts would have been in trouble. Moseley's slightly-built fly-half claimed all of his side's points, including two daring long-range penalties from the halfway line.

As the 500-plus crowd headed for the comfort of the clubhouse during the rainsoaked interval, many would have been forgiven for not emerging for the second half after they witnessed a dire first 40 minutes.

Three penalties and a handful of wasted scoring opportunities for Halifax were the only highlights to take from a miserable first half.

Full-back Douglas Sanft kicked his side into a fourth minute lead. The hosts' Paul Cox was unlucky not to have pounced on a stray ball over the try-line on 21 minutes, but it was Halifax who made a habit of squandering chances.

Fly-half Thomas Eaton sent a simple penalty wide on 29 minutes and winger Luteru Anzac dropped the ball a yard from the line moments later.

Sanft doubled his tally on 39 minutes, but Thomas kept his side in touch with his first of six penalties before the interval.

As the rain belted down, mistakes were more common, as knock-ons, sliced kicks and dropped passes peppered the play in the second half.

Thomas did manage to bring the scores level and peg Moseley ahead just before the hour. However, Sanft made it 9-9 on 60 minutes.

Plucky Halifax were understandably starting to tire and a charging run by Daren O'Leary opened the game up on 74 minutes.

The centre's dash towards the line forced Halifax's Eaton into an error which made him see yellow and Thomas tucked home the resulting penalty kick.

Moseley's front row was tested for the bulk of the final five minutes but, despite the nerve-wracking spell, the home side cleared their lines.

Thomas added breathing space on 79 minutes and the neutral spectators were thinking 'well, at least Halifax can take away a bonus point for their troubles'.

But that was before Thomas, who lifted his season's tally to 153 points in all competitions, hit the Yorkshiremen with a sickening blow in injury time.

Thomas' sixth penalty not only sealed a flattering Moseley victory, but also stole a bonus point from a newlypromoted side who have won only twice all season. But favours are non-existent when a place in National One is a possibility.
 

Moseley: Alistair Bressington, Nathan Bressington, Darren O'Leary, Paul Cox, Carl Colvin, Thomas Oliver, Gareth Taylor, Paul Coles, Dean Bick, Ben Buxton, Tom Skelding, Richard Stott, Mark Evans, Thomas Warren, James Rodwell
Subs: Adam Caves, Neil Bayliss, Charlie Daniell, Chris Holder

Halifax: Douglas Sanft, A Luteru, C. Emmerson, Oliver Mans, Will Greenwood, Tom Eaton, Joe Bartlett, Adam Blades, Carl Mortimer, Gareth Richardson, Martin Smith, Richard Hill, Craig Wilson, Gareth Lewis, Afoa-Peterson
Subs: Ian Spence, Christopher Keane, Dan Solomi, Richard Hughes


Action:
3:00 min - Penalty Goal, Douglas Sanft, (Halifax)
31:00 min - Penalty Goal, Douglas Sanft, (Halifax)
39:00 min - Penalty Goal, Thomas Oliver, (Moseley)
43:00 min - Penalty Goal, Thomas Oliver, (Moseley)
55:00 min - Penalty Goal, Thomas Oliver, (Moseley)
58:00 min - Penalty Goal, Douglas Sanft, (Halifax)
72:00 min - Penalty Goal, Thomas Oliver, (Moseley)
77:00 min - Penalty Goal, Thomas Oliver, (Moseley)
80:00 min - Penalty Goal, Thomas Oliver, (Moseley)