The first match between Moseley and Nottingham took place, at The Reddings, on 2nd February 1884.
The Birmingham Daily Post reported that Nottingham were represented by ‘a somewhat weak team’ which was something of an understatement because they arrived three men short, one of whom was their captain! As often happened in those days, in order to even things up, three substitutes were found for the visiting team.
Nottingham won the toss and decided to take first use of the wind. Early on in proceedings Lea, one of the Moseley halfbacks, made a run down the right wing and finding three quarter, Williams, up in support, passed for the latter to score a try which was converted by goal kicking forward Wilson. Following the re-start Nottingham pressed the Moseley line and forced the home side to touch down in their own in-goal area in self-defence. Moseley, however, were soon on the attack once more but chances were missed due to poor passing. Play then became more even and Nottingham nearly scored from some loose play by Moseley but danger was averted by full back R. Byrne and halfback Reeve. Moseley then dribbled the ball down the right into the Nottingham ‘25’ and captain Albert Smith scored a try which Wilson converted. Following the kick off the home side once more went on the offensive and when half time was called they were only five yards from their visitors’ goal line.
The second half began with some stout scrummaging by both teams until Moseley forward Arthur dodged down the left for a try which Wilson failed to convert. The home side were now combining well and a further two tries were scored by Arthur and by three quarter Westwood, one of which was converted. Nottingham then counter-attacked and once more Moseley were forced to touch down in their in-goal area. From the 25-yard drop out some clever play by Smith took the ball into the opposite ‘25’ from where Wilson was able to run in for a try which he successfully converted. From this point until no-side Moseley dominated the play and scored further tries by Lea, Byrne and forwards Nevins and Elliott. Only one of these tries was converted to leave the final score a Moseley win by five goals and five tries to nil.
This first match set the pattern for the following seasons as Nottingham did not defeat Moseley until March 1906, in the final of the Midland Counties Challenge Cup, by which time they had been defeated nine times in a row.
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