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Sam Doble Memorial Match 

 

 

Following the untimely death of 33-year old Moseley and England fullback Sam Doble in 1977 ‘one of the best Rugby Union teams ever assembled in Britain’ played Moseley in a special memorial match, at The Reddings, on 27th November. The visiting side was composed of 12 members of the 1977 British Isles party together with Gareth Edwards, J.P.R. Williams and Gerald Davies. Such was the interest in the game that it was an 8,500 all ticket sell-out. 

 

On a glorious autumnal afternoon Moseley, who were defending an unbeaten record for the season, had first use of the slope and sun; however, it was the visitors who opened the scoring when Phil Bennett kicked a penalty goal from the 10-yard line. During the first half he uncharacteristically also struck the uprights with two other attempts. 

 

The first try of the afternoon was scored by Terry Cobner, following Peter Wheeler’s strike against the head at a scrum, reportedly the first that Moseley’s Gary Cox had conceded all season. Bennett converted this score but was unable to do so when the invitation side scored a second try following a superb back movement involving Gareth Edwards, Bennett, Gerald Davies and the eventual scorer Andy Irvine. 

 

After half an hour’s play Moseley replied with a try, which was one of the highlights of the match. From a ‘furious’ ruck Martin Cooper looped outside Barrie Corless and Malcolm Swain sent Peter Beddoes over with ‘a beautifully judged long pass’ for a try, which was converted by Cooper. 

 

Thus at half time Moseley were still in contention as they only trailed by six points to 13 and they started the second period with a bang when Clive Meanwell kicked a penalty goal to further narrow the gap between the sides. 

 

From this point, however, the invitation side took control. Edwards sent a clever pass out to Bennett who with ‘dazzling acceleration’ and a trademark side step touched down behind the posts. Then having prevented Irvine from scoring down one wing the Moseley defence were unable to stop Peter Squires getting over in the opposite corner. 

 

Gerald Davies was by now coming into his own and after side steps and dummies, which left potential tacklers grasping at thin air he made a try for Squires, which was followed by Bennett making a try for himself with a successful dummy. The Front Row Union then got involved supporting another run from Davies to set up Tony Neary for a try.

 

Despite this barrage of scoring Moseley had not given up trying and a Cooper counter attack produced a converted try for Barrie Corless which was followed by the home side’s third try, scored by Meanwell, following another Cooper break. 

 

The final word went to Gerald Davies who touched down a scintillating try from which Bennett landed his fourth conversion. At no side the final tally was four goals, one penalty goal and four tries (43) to two goals, one penalty goal and one try (19) and to quote The Times ‘It was certainly no disgrace whatsoever for Moseley to lose their unbeaten record to a side such as this.’ 

 

Those who took part in this memorable occasion were: 

 

MOSELEY- C.A. Meanwell; A. Thomas (rep. A. Watson-Jones), M.K. Swain (rep. L. Cusworth), B.J. Corless, P. Beddoes; M.J. Cooper, C.J. Gifford; T.F. Corless, G.N. Cox, W.H. Greaves, R. Field, B. Ayre, J.C. White, N. Jeavons, D.G. Warren (capt.). 

 

INVITATION XV- J.P.R. Williams (Bridgend and Wales); P.J. Squires (Harrogate and England), T.G.R. Davies (Cardiff and Wales), S.P. Fenwick (Bridgend and Wales), A.R. Irvine (Heriot’s Former Pupils and Scotland); P. Bennett (Llanelli and Wales), G.O. Edwards (Cardiff and Wales); F.E. Cotton (Sale and England), P.J. Wheeler (Leicester and England) (rep. R. Windsor (Pontypool and Wales)), G. Price (Pontypool and Wales), W.B. Beaumont (Fylde and England), A.J. Martin (Aberavon and Wales), T.J. Cobner (Pontypool and Wales) (capt.), D.L. Quinnell (Llanelli and Wales), A. Neary (Broughton Park and England). 

 

Referee: Mr. N. Sansom (Scotland).   

 

 

Moseley Players' Association (MPA) Autumn Supper, Friday, 23rd November, 2007.

 

 

This special MPA Autumn Supper was a commemoration of the Sam Doble Memorial Match which took place on 27th November 1977 when a seventeen match unbeaten Moseley side played against The Rugby Writers' International XV, arguably the finest team ever to play in the British Isles, which was essentially a British Lions XV. 

 

President Derek Nutt also announceed that the club have commissioned a memorial stone in Doble's name to be placed in the Rugby Football Union's Walk of Legends at Twickenham.

 

All members of Moseley who played in that famous match in 1977 were in attendance or sent messages. The guest speaker was Peter Rossborough, Coventry president and former England and Barbarian player. 

 

International Rugby Writers' XV Who's Who.

 15 J.P.R. Williams (Bridgend and Wales);

14 P.J. Squires (Harrogate and England),

13 S.P. Fenwick (Bridgend and Wales),

12 T.G.R. Davies (Cardiff and Wales),

11 A.R. Irvine (Heriot's Former Pupils and Scotland);

10 P. Bennett (Llanelli and Wales),

9  G.O. Edwards (Cardiff and Wales).

 1  F.E. Cotton (Sale and England),

2  P.J. Wheeler (Leicester and England),

3  G. Price (Pontypool and Wales),

4  W.B. Beaumont (Fylde and England),

5  A.J. Martin (Aberavon and Wales),

6  T.J. Cobner (Pontypool and Wales),

7  A. Neary (Broughton Park and England),

8  D.L. Quinnell (Llanelli and Wales).

 

Replacements-

A.G.B. Old (Sheffield and England),

J.G. Webster (Moseley and England),

A.G. Ripley (Rosslyn Park and England),

A.G. Faulkner (Pontypool and Wales),

R.W. Windsor (Pontypool and Wales).