1st XV Match Report V Orrell RUFC (Home) Sat 25/03/2006 

Moseley 46 Orrell 7

Moseley extended their winning run to 10 games with this emphatic win. Orrell had several periods of pressure on the Moseley line but superior forward play led to three tries for hookers Bick and Caves, and three for the back row, Evans and Rodwell. Nathan Bressington added one for the backs, bringing his personal tally to 18 for the season (16 league). Confirmation came after the game that Esher failed to get a point at Blackheath leaving Moseley 16 points ahead of the challengers with four to play.

Moseley: Andy Binns, Nathan Bressington, Daren O'Leary, Andy Reay, Carl Colvin, Greg MacDonald, Gareth Taylor, Paul Coles, Dean Bick, Neil Bayliss, David Hallmen, Richard Stott, Mark Evans, Neil Mason, James Rodwell
Subs: Adam Caves, Tom McIntosh, Oliver Thomas, Ben Buxton

Orrell: Chris Glynn, Craig Ross, Patrick Leach, Chris Briers, Adam Robson, Simon Mason, Phil Caslake, Andy Fuller, Mark Chivers, Matthew Collie, Sam Woods, Richard Bradshaw, Jake Lyon, Matt Henwood, Daniel Hall
Subs: Neil Dowdridge, Derek Salisbury, Sion Williams, Sam Reay

1:00 min - Try, Mark Evans, (Moseley)
8:00 min - Try, James Rodwell, (Moseley)
8:00 min - Conversion, Greg MacDonald, (Moseley)
15:00 min - Penalty Goal, Greg MacDonald, (Moseley)
28:00 min - Try, Dean Bick, (Moseley)
28:00 min - Conversion, Greg MacDonald, (Moseley)
35:00 min - Try, Chris Briers, (Orrell)
35:00 min - Conversion, Simon Mason, (Orrell)
55:00 min - Try, Nathan Bressington, (Moseley)
55:00 min - Conversion, Greg MacDonald, (Moseley)
66:00 min - Try, Adam Caves, (Moseley)
72:00 min - Try, Adam Caves, (Moseley)
79:00 min - Try, Mark Evans, (Moseley)
79:00 min - Conversion, Greg MacDonald, (Moseley)

National League Division Two Results
Barking 8 - 26 Halifax
Blackheath 28 - 19 Esher
Launceston 6 - 3 Henley
Manchester 13 - 7 Redruth
Moseley 46 - 7 Orrell
Stourbridge 13 - 30 Harrogate
Waterloo 32 - 8 Wharfedale

National League Division Two Table

   Team          P W D L   F    A   BP PTS
1 Moseley     22 20 0 2 671 347 16 96
2 Waterloo   22 18 2 2 670 331 15 91
3 Esher        22 16 1 5 635 321 14 80
4 Launceston 22 13 2 7 488 429 6 62
5 Barking      22 11 1 10 391 401 8 54
6 Wharfedale 22 8 4 10 451 507 11 51
7 Redruth      22 10 1 11 366 387 8 50
8 Manchester 22 10 2 10 383 476 6 50
9 Halifax       22 9 1 12 401 470 8 46
10 Blackheath 22 8 0 14 402 530 8 40
11 Henley      22 7 0 15 410 473 11 39
12 Stourbridge 22 7 1 14 367 542 6 36
13 Harrogate  22 4 1 17 426 550 16 34
14 Orrell        22 5 0 17 329 626 5 25

Moseley power on towards title

By Roger Clarke, Birmingham Mail

MOSELEY are just one win away from a return to National One, the first promotion in their history, after a 46-7 mauling of bottom club Orrell at Billesley Common.

While Moseley were stamping their authority at the top of the league, third placed Esher were going down 28-19 at Blackheath to leave them 16 points adrift and virtually out of the race with just four games to play.

For Moseley this was a vastly improved performance over the fare served up in the past couple of games. Those matches brought victories and bonus points but, in truth, had little to cheer about.

Against Orrell Moseley played for 80 minutes according to director of rugby John Beale and had it not been for the driving rain and atrocious weather he was convinced that two or three more tries would have been added to tally.

Moseley opened a try by flanker Mark Evans after a minute and that became 12-0 after eight minutes when back row college James Rodwell, the No8, went over and fly-half Greg MacDonald converted.

MacDonald then added a penalty before hooker Dean Bick got in ion the act with a converted try after 28 minutes. Orrell found a life-line when centre Chris Briers raced over in the corner with five minutes to the break and fly-half Simon Mason converted to make it 22-7.

Prop Neil Bayliss was sent to the sin-bin just before the interval but it made little difference as the Moseley 14 pressed for the fourth try bonus point which came on 55 minutes with winger Nathan Bressington's 16th league try of the season.

MacDonald added the extras then replacement hooker Adam Caves got in on the act with two tries in six minutes before Evans grabbed his second in the dying minutes with McDonald converting. Beale said: "It was a huge improvement on the last couple of weeks. Much more like it."

Fly-half Ollie Thomas found himself on the bench, appearing for the last 15 minutes. Beale said: "He has not been playing at the top of his form for a week or two and some of the players, including Ollie, have just been starting to feel a little bit of pressure that comes from being quite close to the finishing line but not quite being there.

"We needed to shake things up a little bit. Greg came in and played very well and he did the very, very simple things that Ollie had been doing but has not been doing lately.

"He has perhaps been trying to force things too much which is a bit understandable. It has been a long hard season and he has had no rests at all and I think he will benefit from being pulled out of the limelight for a week or so."

Moseley move within one win of promotion

By Brian Dick, Birmingham Post

All season, Moseley have eschewed discussion of results in favour of an assessment of performance; yet at a soggy Billesley Common on Saturday, and for the first time in a while, it must be said, they got both.

Disgruntled with their endeavours in the victories over Redruth and Henley, the runaway National Two leaders can look back on this seven-try demolition with huge satisfaction.

Admittedly, the opposition were not the world's best but given the conditions - the omnipresent sweeping wind and enveloping rain - and the stage of the combatants' respective seasons, Orrell might have turned out to be the proverbial fly in the ointment.

But they were not afforded the opportunity as Moseley squished the visitors inside the first minute, toyed with them for an hour and finally put them out of their misery in the last ten minutes with three punishing driven line-out tries. That final assault only served to make the score a more accurate measure of the distance between two clubs operating at opposite ends of the table.

While the Lancastrians return to Edge Hall Road wondering how to bridge the ten point-gap between them and safety, the hosts now have four opportunities to seal the one win they need to guarantee promotion. They will expect to claim it in, of all places, Halifax, next weekend.

Typically, there were words of caution from Moseley head coach Ian Smith, who pointed to Blackheath's unlikely success against third-placed Esher as evidence that even the league's most unfancied dogs have their day.

That should not faze this team, however. Moseley have now won ten games in a row, appear to have found the form to match their status in the table and have already proved their mental fortitude on numerous occasions this season.

The return trip from Yorkshire on April 1 should, therefore, see much fooling around for players and supporters alike but, in the meantime, Smith has to decide who leads the band over the final few yards of the procession.

Ollie Thomas, at this level a virtuoso of a fly-half, has called the tune for most the campaign and while his contribution as a place-kicker has done much to put Moseley in their current position, the rest of his game has been inconsistent.

The other option is Greg Macdonald, who orchestrated this beating of Orrell magnificently. Concerns over his goalkicking were allayed as he landed five of eight attempts in less-than-ideal weather.

And for the most part, his game management was extremely good. More often than not, he employed foot and hand at the correct junctures and kept nudging his team up the pitch.

Most overlaps were accepted and most touchlines were found, so he can be proud of his afternoon's work. Smith was certainly pleased.

"Greg is just one player, but he allowed the team to play a little bit," he said. "He did exactly what we asked of him and moved the ball when it should have been moved."

The sight of Thomas standing on the wing as a blood replacement for Carl Colvin, while Macdonald conducted proceedings inside him, was just a tad painful. When he came on for Andy Reay in the 69th minute, Thomas looked like a man with a point to prove.

The rest of the team were like that from the start. Barely a minute had passed when Colvin ran back a loose clearance, blazed round his marker with ease and released Mark Evans for the first of his two tries.

The most obvious sign that all was working well came on eight minutes when Neil Mason crashed close to the posts and Macdonald whipped the ball wide for Nathan Bressington to feed James Rodwell for a second score. Moseley were motoring.

Dean Bick and Macdonald added ten more points as a 22-0 lead yawned in front of Orrell. Their response was a decent Chris Briers try five minutes before the interval.

But the second period was one-way traffic and the hosts' superiority was summed up when Bick's replacement, Adam Caves, took a scrum against the head with fellow front-rower Neil Bayliss in the sin bin.

The try of the match came just short of the hour as Mason slipped through one tackle and popped up the ball for Andy Binns to send Bressington over.

Caves then put his own stamp on proceedings towards the end by converting two catch-and-drive routines. He looked as though he had grabbed a third in the last minute, though the score was eventually awarded to Evans.

Macdonald's sideline conversion completed an afternoon that was made more memorable with the news that Esher's slip-up had given Moseley a 16-point lead over third place.

Which should mean next week's debrief in Halifax won't be about how Moseley played, but how they're going to celebrate a return to National One after three seasons out.

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