BIG MATCH PREVIEW -
by Joe Heaton
After last week’s intensely disappointing late defeat at Esher, this has become an extremely important game for Moseley.
There can be no ‘ifs or buts’; four (and preferably five) priceless points must be delivered if Moseley are to retain their present vital eleventh place in National League One and begin the momentum towards assuring their place in next season’s Championship.
If they are to win handsomely, Moseley have to reduce the penalty count, kick their goals and, above all, concentrate throughout. This and their failure to effectively execute the safety option to close out the final minutes whilst leading very late in the Esher game led to the loss.
Park (or Tigers as they are styled) have spent the whole season in the nether regions of the League and have only won four games so far.
The relative positions of the two teams are:
P W D L BP P Pos
Moseley 21 8 0 13 12 44 11th
Sedgley Park 23 4 0 19 7 23 14th
Park are currently just above Otley and Manchester but have only a mathematical chance of avoiding relegation with five teams ‘going down’. However nothing is certain in this League. The results of their last three matches make dispiriting reading for their supporters but significantly they were all against full time sides:
7th March Sedgley Park 11 -37 Plymouth L
21st Feb Doncaster 42 -5 Sedgley Park L
31st Jan Sedgley Park 12 -35 Exeter L
The club’s Director of Rugby, Tim Fourie, survived the traumas of last season and in the summer recruited five new contracted players and five more on loan from Leeds Carnegie and Sale. Life must be tough for him leading his life in or just above the relegation zone and earlier in the season he announced it was to be his last for the Manchester club.
Few Moseley members (other than those who have followed Mose to Park Lane), are quite sure where Sedgley Park is located. In fact, the club is based in Whitefield, Bury, Greater Manchester - just off the A56.
Sedgley are the youngest National League One club if the recently amalgamated Cornish Pirates are excepted. The club was founded in 1932 at a meeting of friends in a local temperance bar, where a decision was made to play a different code to that prevalent in the North West. Rugby Union games were initially played in a farmer’s field in Whitefield and other temporary locations before settling in Park Lane, which now has a 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 & 6th in this league before winning promotion to League One. Park consolidated their place at the higher level by coming 10th, 13th and 13th in their first three seasons. Last season, however, they finished in 14th place, three points above the relegation zone.
Whilst the game may contribute to the outcome of Moseley’s season, it is highly unlikely to provide more than an opportunity to take a ‘scalp’ for Sedgley.
We can be sure that, based on previous encounters, Park will intend to demonstrate their worth as a National League One club. They know that, were it not for the restructuring of the league, they would likely secure their place at the same level next season.
Billesley Common litter pick this weekend - Free entry!
Once again the club is embarking on a Billesley Common litter pick! Everyone
connected with the club is invited to join us on ‘The Common’ on Saturday
(14th March). This is the morning of the 1st team home game against Sedgley
Park. Free admission to 1st XV game v Sedgley Park for all helpers on the
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