1st XV Match Report V Birmingham Solihull (Home) Sat 23/01/2010 

Match Report

Moseley 25 Bees 24 - January 23rd 2010


MOSELEY: Roberts; Bressington, May (MacBurnie 45), Reay, Mensah-Coker; Borgen (Gillick 12-16, 68), Pasqualin (Taylor 40); Williams, Caves, Sigley, Muldowney, Stott, Mason, Pennycook, Rodwell (Wilson 51). Replacements: Thomas, Oselton, Evans.

BEES: Penn (Foden 71); Hunt, Lawson, Mitchell, Culpin; Aley (Petty 65), Brake; Long (Dowding 30), Philpott (Phillips 45), Sperandio (Halavatau 59), Ault, Noonan, Earnshaw, Clayton (Connolly 45), Cracknell (Bell 72).

SCORERS: Moseley
try: Bressington; conversion: Roberts; penalties: Roberts (6).
Bees tries: Hunt (2); conversion: Hunt; penalties: Aley (3), Hunt.

from BRIAN DICK at Billesley Common

RESURGENT Bees came within a point of Hunt-ing down their nearest rivals and securing a first win in nine months.

Two tries from wing Simon Hunt who also kicked five points and three penalties from debutant fly half Ricky Aley gave Mose an almighty scare.

In fact the Solihull side out-scored their hosts two-one and had they kicked any one of several penalties in the Moseley half they might have stolen the victory.

All turgid Moseley could muster in response was an early strike from Nathan Bressington and 20 points from the everreliable boot of Tristan Roberts.

The Gloucester fly half booted seven of his eight attempts, many of which came courtesy of the home team's dominant scrum.

In the end it was the Red and Blacks' ability to produce goal-kicking opportunities that kept their noses in front.

It earned four crucial league points and retained the ambition of finishing in the top eight but that was about all that could be said.

For Bees' part it was a case of so near, yet so far.

Russell Earnshaw's men have not won since beating Redruth in the penultimate game of their National Two campaign last season.

Gutted That's a run of 19 games which came so close to being broken yesterday.

"I am gutted," Hunt said. "I am not saying we definitely deserved to win but we are there or thereabouts and losing by a point is harder for me than losing by 40. Little mistakes cost us in this game, the two yellow cards cost us and lots of little errors. But it feels like that first victory is close.

"We have got a completely different team to the start of the season and even the boys who have survived the turnaround are playing a totally different game. Every week is getting better."

Indeed after taking just one point in their first 13 Championship games they have taken four in their last three and, having controversially brought 16 players in just before transfer deadline day, their momentum is building.

The same cannot be said of Moseley who were unable to dictate proceedings against opponents, many of whom have played three games in six days.

They are still six points clear of the relegation play-offs but are playing as poorly as anyone in the league.

Indeed the game was barely 20 seconds old before they dropped their first clanger after an infringement from the opening kick-off. Aley punished them with a welljudged penalty that just cleared the bar.

Moseley responded with their best move of the game. Justin Mensah-Coker fielded Aley's clearance in his own half and charged through midfield to take play into the Bees' 22. After probing left they brought play towards the right wing where Ali Muldowney off-loaded out of the tackle and fed Andy Reay. The centre had the easy task of providing Bressington with his ninth try of the season.

Roberts converted and made it 10-3 in the eighth minute when player-coach Earnshaw failed to roll away.

In fact Moseley dominated nearly the entire opening period, although they produced only three more points when Mauro Sperandio failed to release.

Aley made it 13-6 just after the half hour and then the gap was down to two just before the break. Bees hooker Stuart Philpott intercepted Jordi Pasqualin's pass and although he was downed by Jonny May he had time to spin wide for Hunt to storm over in the corner.

Moseley had the last word when Neil Mason won a penalty, his big hit forcing a fumble. Roberts made it 16-11.

Playing downhill in the second half against a side that must have been feeling the effects of its midweek jaunt to Rotherham, the Billesley boys might have been expected to press home their physical supremacy. But they didn't.
Roberts made it 19-11 soon after the restart when Stott was pushed at a lineout.
But they could not subdue their nearneighbours.

Aley kicked his third penalty after James Rodwell lost the ball in his own half only for Roberts to respond on the hour. When the home scrum coughed up another penalty with a quarter of an hour to go Mose led by nine points.

Bees wouldn't buzz off, though.

With Aley off, Hunt stroked over a 68th-minute penalty and bagged his second of the afternoon.

Rod Petty popped up twice in midfield to release the former England Sevens wing. Hunt slid over the line and landed a majestic touchline conversion that ensured a nervy finish.

Report writer wanted - Could you produce an occasional match report for this website and Moseley Matters? Email for more info (info@moseleyrugby.co.uk)

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