ESHER: Millard, Goldsmith,
Alexander (Smith, 64), Inglis, Harris (Butterworth, 75), Robson, Starling,
Blakeburn (Barrell 53), Lane (Barr, 53), Hewitt (Clouston, 64), Amesbury,
Henderson(capt), Armitage, Moore, Flockhart.
MOSELEY: Sigley (Forster, 71), Caves, Forster (Buxton, 60), Atkinson
(Stott, 74), Tuohy, Mason (capt), Bignell, Evans (Arnold, 74), Ireland
(Taylor 49), Brown, Bressington, Cox, Trueman, Sharples, Binns.
Referee: Dale Newitt (RFU).
SCORERS: Esher: Penalty - Hewitt (2)
Moseley: Penalty - Brown (4)
Perfect start for Brown's boot
By Jack Henry at Molesey Road for Birmingham Post
Make no mistakes, the scoreline tells its own story. This was a dour battle
played in deteriorating conditions, and a spectacle for those without a
connection to either side it most certainly wasn't.
That this was Moseley's fifth victory of the season, and their fourth away
from home is a telling statistic at the halfway point of their season.
For the second consecutive weekend Moseley found themselves playing in
conditions which precluded the style of running rugby with which most
pundits associate them, but, as in the defeat at Cornish Pirates last week,
the Billesley Common outfit showed that they do have a second string to
Again the forwards showed that they could control the game for long spells,
something which has not happened with any consistency since their promotion
from Division Two.
Crucially that control was to produce pressure, and inevitably penalties, on
this occasion were kicked by James Brown, who only joined his red and black
team-mates on Thursday when a late loan deal was struck with Worcester.
Brown, who hails from Solihull, is a former Moseley mini player, and was
grateful for the chance to get much-needed match practice after a long spell
out with injury.
Moseley kicked off with the wind, and with Esher failing to secure the ball
came a Moseley scrummage, resulting in their first penalty after just two
A second from a similar spot came just five minutes later, and with Brown
converting both comfortably the red and blacks had a dream start. A third
kicked from inside his own half after 20 minutes and supporters must have
been expecting a healthy win.
The London side had other ideas, however, and tested Moseley's defence with
a series of attacks initiated by their lively scrum half Llyr Lane.
Most pundits were thinking that a nine-point margin would not be enough
given the strong wind, but the Moseley pack, which had seemed to lack
dynamism before the break, came out for the second half galvanised.
This period was played almost entirely inside Moseley territory, and
although the Billesley Common side passed their way out cleverly, with
centres Paul Cox and their other Worcester loan player Gary Trueman carrying
powerfully, two huge penalties kicked by Esher outside half Dave Hewitt
brought the scores close with 15 minutes left.
During this period waves of Esher attacks failed only due to some last-ditch
defending, with Charlie Sharples twice winning the race to the touchdown,
and an Esher try being denied by a forward pass.
Moseley, though, made sure of the points following a catch and drive at the
line-out and some good close-quarter work by both forwards and backs which
earned a penalty.
Brown was given an easy chance from in front of the posts to settle the
A delighted Neil Mason, the Moseley captain, was in upbeat mood after the
"The lads had to battle hard to grind out the win", he said. "With changes
to the backs in the week we have had to work hard on our organisation and it
paid off today. We have several derby games over the next two months and
this has been excellent preparation".
When asked what the team's mid-term report might look like he said
confidently, "too inconsistent, but will do better!"