The third of Moseley’s Twickenham cup finals came on 1st May 1982 when, in a repeat of the very first R.F.U. cup final ten years earlier, the club’s opponents were Gloucester.
The structure of the John Player Cup, as the competition was still known, had developed since Moseley’s previous final appearance three years before. The competing clubs were now seeded and as two of the country’s leading teams Moseley and Gloucester did not enter the cup until the third round.
In the third round Moseley were drawn against cup newcomers Harrogate and triumphed 17-4 at The Reddings. This was followed by a fourth round victory over London Welsh (25-9) and a 15-13 quarter-final victory over Liverpool both games being played at home.
The semi-final draw produced yet another home draw for Moseley, however, their opponents would be Leicester who had won the competition in the previous three seasons and were, at that stage, unbeaten in 18 consecutive cup-ties.
A crowd of 7,000 turned up at The Reddings to watch the game and the home pack, with Nick Jeavons and John Davidson prominent, laid the foundations for a famous victory. The final score was 12-4 with Moseley’s points all being scored by Mike Perry who kicked two penalties and two dropped goals.
By contrast Leicester failed to produce their usual skilful back play and their only score was a try by former Moseley player Les Cusworth eight minutes from the end. Noted kicked ‘Dusty’ Hare failed with five kicks at goal.
All of Gloucester’s ties, until the semi-final stage, had also been home games with victories over High Wycombe (40-6), Exeter (34-3) and Sale (13-6). In the semi-final Gloucester were drawn away at Coventry and they won through by a score of 18-9.
Going into the final Gloucester were the favourites and the 20,000 crowd witnessed a dour but exciting game. The men from Kingsholm found that their powerful and aggressive pack together with the goal kicking of Paul Ford was not enough to subdue the Moseley side.
John Davidson and Derek Nutt starred in the lineout exchanges and gave nothing away to their opposite numbers. Nick Jeavons was always in the thick of the action and the tackling of Dave Warren was also a feature of the match. Back play was at a premium and though the Moseley centres, Jon Desborough and Dave Shorrock, did have possession on occasion they were unable to break through. Gloucester on the other hand relied on the punting of fly half Jones.
Gloucester had first use of the wind and by half time were leading 6-0 thanks to two Ford penalty goals. After the break Perry soon drew Moseley level with two penalties in the 53rd and 59th minutes. In the 76th minute Ford nudged Gloucester back into the lead with his third penalty and as time was ticking away Perry equalised with a kick from half way.
With the scores remaining tied until the end of normal time extra time of ten minutes each way had to be played. The first period of extra time was scoreless. Two minutes into the second period Mike Perry dropped a goal after good work by Trevor Corless and Martin Cooper. However, victory was denied Moseley when a minute from time Ford kicked his fourth penalty goal to level the scores at 12-12.
There being no provision for a replay the trophy was shared by the two clubs and a coin was tossed to determine which side should hold the cup first. Derek Nutt, the Moseley captain, called correctly and so The Reddings was the cup’s home for the first six months of the year.
The teams in the final were: -
Gloucester: P. Ford; P. Pritchard, P.A. Taylor, S.G. Parsloe, R.R. Mogg; L. Jones, S.J.W. Baker; P.J. Blakeway, S.G.F. Mills (captain), M. Preedy, S.B. Boyle, J. Orwin, J. Gadd, M. Longstaff, M. Teague.
Replacement: P. Wood for Longstaff (65 minutes).
Moseley: M.J. Cooper; J.M. Goodwin, J.E. Desborough, D.W. Shorrock, R.D. Lawson; M.H. Perry, I.S. Sutherland; S.D. Acaster, G.N.J. Cox, T.F. Corless, J.S. Davidson, A. Recardo, D.G. Warren, N.C. Jeavons, D. Nutt.
Referee: R.C. Quittenton.
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