MOSELEY RELIEVED TO FINALLY SINK STOURBRIDGE
STOURBRIDGE 7 MOSELEY 20 (10th September 2005)
IT'S a measure of this Moseley side that they can win without playing particularly well.
This was the case against Stourbridge, where it was no surprise to see the decisive score arrive from an opposition mistake.
Director of rugby John Beale admitted: "It was no classic by any stretch of the imagination as most local derbies tend to be these days.
"But what did please me was the manner in which we matched Stourbridge physically up front."
Beale didn't need reminding that the sides have met four times previously in the National League, with Stourbridge winning the lot. So it was something of a relief to register their first success in five starts.
The key ingredient in those past meetings was Stourbridge's prowess in the pack, but that ascendency wasn't achieved on this occasion.
Stourbridge did have the advantage of an early try after back-row Stean Williams was driven over in the corner for Cameron Mitchell to convert the kick.
That aside, Stourbridge had nothing else to show for their efforts other than some ineffective handling which ultimately cost them the game.
Moseley fly-half Ollie Thomas reduced arrears with two well-drilled penalties, while Stourbridge responded with two yellow cards for Scott Whitcombe and Williams.
It wasn't until the second half, with the wind and rain at their backs, that Moseley moved up a gear.
Sustained pressure on the Stourbridge line finally brought its reward when Thomas weaved his way over and then converted as well.
The decisive score soon followed as sloppy Stourbridge handling presented centre Paul Cox with the chance to collect a misplaced pass on the halfway line and race over to score. Thomas duly converted and, at 20-7 ahead, Moseley were out of sight.
Stourbridge applied intensive late pressure, but couldn't penetrate Moseley's purposeful defence. And it was the manner in which Moseley kept their rivals at bay that will please Beale the most.
He admitted the importance of improvement away from home, although he accepted: "The players were nervous about expanding their game in the light of previous results against Stourbridge and I thought our kicking was wayward at times.
"This was more a case of grinding out a result, which is what it was. I can still see room for much improvement.''
STOURBRIDGE: Hall; McLean (Wilson, 52), Mitchell C, Cook, Yiend; Hughes, Handley; Hartland, Hubbleday, Gravil, Crofts (Mitchell N, 74), Whitcombe (Tideswell, 74), Williams (Jordan, 48), Horrobin. MOSELEY: Binns; Bressington, O'Leary, Cox, Mountford (Southern, 37-40); Thomas, Taylor, Buxton, Bick, Fallon, Hallman (Daniell, 80), Skelding, Daniell (Warren, 71), Mason, Evans. Referee: R Kitt (RFU).