1st XV Match Preview V Old Elthamians (H) Sat 07/04/2018 

By Glyn Barlow

This weekend Birmingham Moseley take to the field for their last but one home game of the season, determined to lay down some performances they can build on over the summer as they prepare for the following season. The team will also be looking to eradicate the bad taste left by the narrow loss at Caldy two weeks ago.

This week’s opponents Old Elthamians currently sit just two points above Birmingham Moseley in 6th place, a very impressive performance in their first season in National One. Like Birmingham Moseley Elthamians lost last time out against third place Ampthill 6-18. A recent run of good form, however, has seen wins over Hull Ionians 42-26, Rosslyn Park 29-36 and Plymouth Albion 16-12.

The last time the two teams met was in December when Birmingham Moseley suffered one of their largest defeats of the season 47-17. Having been just seven points behind at half time Birmingham Moseley imploded to ship five tries and 32 points, missed tackles and turnover ball being the main contributors to their downfall.

A danger man for Elthamians who will need close containment is Guyanan International wing Dom Lespierre who has already touched down for tries 17 times this season, currently sitting third in the list of leading scorers.

Complementing Lespierre’s abilities to secure tries is former Worcester and Wasps fly half Joe Carlisle whose boot has delivered 152 points to date.

Birmingham Moseley will still be hurting from the last minute penalty that seized victory from their grasps at Caldy.

After pulling away to a 3-12 lead in the first quarter of the game Caldy chipped away to haul in their visitors by half time. Overtaking Birmingham Moseley just after oranges the game swung both ways until Ollie Allsopp slotted a 74th minute penalty.

Unfortunately the team failed to close out the game, inexplicably opting to scrum a mark in their 22, on the 80th minute, and subsequently falling foul to the referees whistle.

If Birmingham Moseley are to end the season on a high they need to take victory this Saturday in a convincing manner. The elimination of the basic mistakes that have plagued the season must be a priority.

This is the chance for players to make a statement about their importance to next season’s squad, let’s hope they grasp it (and four or five league points).