On 19th November 1925 Moseley paid a visit to Cardiff Arms Park for their first game with the host club for 13 years. Inevitably there was much talk of Moseley’s victory at the Arms Park in the final match of 1885/86, which had deprived Cardiff of an unbeaten season. Since that momentous occasion Cardiff had been beaten twice at The Reddings, in 1896 and 1902, but had not been defeated by Moseley at home.
Moseley followed their usual custom of the time and played five three quarters but only seven forwards against a Cardiff side which contained no less than ten internationals. The visitors’ side was weakened by the unavailability of a number of regular players including wing S.J. Huins, who was playing in an England trial match, and his brother P. Huins. Because of these absences the Moseley back division was somewhat disorganised and to make matters worse two regular forwards, including hooker P.S. Jenkins, were also absent.
The pitch was already on the soft side and as the teams took the field further rain began to fall.
Despite the absences from their side Moseley started the game as if they meant business and on two occasions the Cardiff fullback, B.O. Male was forced into his own in-goal area before getting in a clearance kick. Moseley continued to press and halfback W.H. Hill initiated a number of attacks, which forced the home defence ‘to move with extraordinary quickness’.
Moseley centre L. Spencer then made an opening for wing R. Orcutt to score an unconverted try in the corner. Orcutt, incidentally, was the scorer of the first try conceded by the previous season’s touring All Blacks.
Following this setback Cardiff launched a number of attacks but on each occasion the tackling of Moseley fullback J.A. Pritchard thwarted them. The home side continued on the offensive and pinned their visitors down, however, they were still unable to get any points on the board, as they were unsuccessful with a penalty attempt and with a drop at goal.
This constant pressure was sure to tell in the end and after a combined movement home centre D.E. Davies was able to touch down over the Moseley line for a try, which was converted by goal-kicking forward W.J. Ould.
As half time approached Cardiff scored a ‘soft’ try following poor Moseley defence. Home forward K.P. Turnbull was well tackled but when he dummied a pass he was inexplicably released and was able to give fellow forward J. Burns an uninterrupted run to the line for a try, which Ould improved.
Immediately before the interval Moseley attacked the Cardiff line for some minutes but without reward and so ended the half behind by three points to ten.
Cardiff opened the second half with persistent attacks, which were repelled by good forward play. Rain had continued to fall throughout the match and by this stage the slippery ball was extremely difficult to handle which was an aid to the visiting forwards who were able to dribble it clear of their goal line.
Eventually the Cardiff pressure told and after a three quarter movement centre R.A. Cornish was able to touch down an unconverted try. During this movement Moseley forward J.R. McDowell tacked Cardiff halfback W.J. Delahay with such force that both men had to leave the field ‘for repairs’. Delahay was able to return for a short time but McDowell was not which meant that for the remainder of the game Moseley had to play with only six forwards against their opponents’ eight.
Despite these handicaps there were no further scores and the match ended in victory for Cardiff by 13 points to three.
(Thanks to Michael Prosser who provided the information on which this article is based).
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