Sedgley Park v Moseley,
at Park Lane, Whitefield, Manchester, National League Division 1,
Saturday, Nov 8th 2008, k.o. 2.30 pm
Few, other than those who have followed Moseley to Park Lane, are quite sure
where Sedgley Park is located. In fact, the club is in a north Manchester
suburb just off the A56 to Bury.
Sedgley Park, known as the Tigers, is the youngest National League One Club,
if the amalgamated Cornish Pirates are excepted. It was founded in 1932 at a
meeting of friends in a temperance bar in George Street, Sedgley Park, when
a decision was made to form a club to play a different code of rugby to that
prevalent in the North. Rugby Union games were initially played in a
farmer’s field in Whitfield and were subsequently moved to several other
locations in the area before settling in Park Lane, which now has a declared
capacity of over 3000 spectators.
‘Park’ began League rugby in North West Two and steadily climbed up the
league structure to reach National League Two in 2001-02. They finished 3rd
and 6th in this league before winning promotion to National League One.
Notwithstanding some alarms along the way, Park initially consolidated their
place in the lower reaches of the league, coming 10th, 13th and 13th.in
successive seasons. Last season, however, they finished in 14th place, three
points above the relegated Pertemps Bees.
The Tigers, however, could not celebrate their survival in April. Pertemps
resurrected a claim against First Division Rugby to the RFU that they should
be rewarded the match points in a home game they lost to Cornish Pirates on
5th January 2008. The issue rested on two uncontested scrums, but the Bees
lost their appeal on the 23rd June and their relegation was confirmed,
leaving Sedgley Park to ‘prop up’ National League One.
Sedgley Park’s Director of Rugby, Tim Fourie, survived the traumas of the
spring and early summer to recruit five new contracted players and five more
on loan from Leeds Carnegie and Sale. He remains heavily dependent, however,
on Phil Jones (his stand off half) who, last season, was the fourth highest
points scorer in National League One with 225 points. This was a remarkable
achievement from a struggling club.
So far this season after 10 games Sedgley Park are in their ‘familiar’ 13th
place in the League One table with 10 points - three places below Moseley
with 21 points. Of more concern to them, not withstanding the eventual
decision or otherwise on the format of next year’s second tier, is that they
are only two points above the bottom clubs, Otley and Manchester. The
results of the Tigers’ last three games were:
November 1st: Plymouth 31- 7 Sedgley Park
October 25th: Sedgley Park 3-41 Doncaster
October 18th: Bedford 53-7 Sedgley Park
Moseley will travel up the M6, flushed with their victory over Esher at
Billesley last Saturday. It is hoped that they also will have thought long
and hard about the bonus point they gave away by not scoring at least two
more tries by spilling the ball close to the try line. If Moseley are to
rise into the top half of the league, they have to learn to take their
chances under pressure.
The re-appearance last Saturday of Ollie Thomas, if only as a late second
half substitute, gave both the team and the excellent crowd a big boost. He
looked very sharp and it will be interesting to see where Ian Smith deploys
his considerable rugby talents in future.
There is a feeling abroad that Moseley are on the verge of becoming a very
good and exciting semi professional side. All that is needed is more
discipline, greater steadiness when faced with try scoring opportunities,
and to guard against break-aways when well forward in attack.
Moseley will see this match as an opportunity to win away from home. No
match, however is won until the final whistle and they must avoid
We wish them well.
Visiting Fans Meal - Calling Mose visiting supporters. “If you are following
Moseley to Sedgley Park to cheer them on against the Tigers then why not
arrive a little earlier and enjoy a mouth-watering pre-game luncheon in our
popular conference suite overlooking the first team pitch. Sample our warm
Lancashire hospitality while enjoying a wholesome meal, priced just £15.
For more information and to book contact Geoff Roberts on 07793 184 818.”
Adult Matchday Admission: £12.00
OAP Matchday Admission: £5.00
Under 16 Matchday Admission: Free