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



by Joe Heaton

MOSELEY v  Bees -  RFU Championship, at Billesley Common - Saturday, January 23rd 2010, k. o. 3pm (but come for lunch!)

Birmingham & Solihull Rugby Club, Moseleyís opponent in the Championship at Billesley Common next Saturday afternoon, has lead an up and down life over the last few seasons:

2009/10 Championship (currently bottom)

2008/09 National League Two (promoted)

2007/08 National League One (second from bottom)

2006/07 National League One (mid table)

However, it is not for Moseley, to show any sympathy on the rugby pitch. The teamís job is to win, and win well to try to earn a bonus point. However this will be a very tough fixture following Bees recent recruitment reflected in the very creditable draw with Pirates last weekend.

The depressing results of Bíham & Solihullís last four matches are:

18th Jan Bíham Solihull 31 Cornish Pirates 31
2nd Jan Bíham Solihull 10 Bedford 49
12th Dec Bíham Solihull 6 London Welsh 29
6th Dec Bristol 28 Bíham Solihull 0

The relative positions of the two clubs in the Championship are:

                        P W D L   F   A   B-Pts Pts. Pos
Moseley           17 7 0 10 332 425 5   28     8
Bíham Solihull 15 0 1 14 207 575 3  -10    12

Bees were deducted fifteen points for going into Administration.
Moseley won the away match in the autumn 16-23, which was one of Bíham/Solihullís closest results and our neighbours a rare bonus point.

After two consecutive wins against Coventry and Plymouth, Moseley came back to earth last Sunday and ended up being well beaten, 22-3, by London Welsh. That the side failed to score a single try must have given the coaches considerable concern, as will the drop to eighth place in the league table:

                P W D L   F   A   B-Pts Pts. Pos
Plymouth  17 8 0  9 287 371 4    36 7th
Moseley    17 7 0 10 332 425 5   33 8th
Doncaster 14 6 0  8 233 234 4     28 9th

Birmingham & Solihull and Moseley first met each other in league rugby on 25 November 2000 at Bournbrook. Birmingham & Solihull RFC was an amalgamation in 1989 of Birmingham Rugby Club, founded in 1911, and Solihull Rugby Club, founded in 1933.

Although still bearing the cityís name, Birmingham RFC had moved out from the city to Portway in Stratford District many years previously. Solihull RFC meanwhile had continued to play at Sharmans Cross Road, in the borough bearing its name.

From season 2005/06 on, Birmingham/Solihull was sponsored by Pertemps Employment Alliance Ltd and became known as ĎPertemps Beesí. After celebrating promotion to the Championship at the end of last season ( 2008-09), however, the club entered in to a prolonged period of uncertainty, which is still ongoing.

On 23rd October 2009 the club went into voluntary liquidation, owing the Inland Revenue over £ 90,000. A few days later the RFUís Management Board granted it a temporary licence to continue playing in the championship until 27th November but applied a deduction of fifteen league points in the league table.

Thankfully, this licence was extended on 25th November until the end of the season with the rider that, if the club can convince the Management Board that the finances, resources, Sharmans Cross ground and amateur section of the club are viable in the long term, it will regain full membership of the RFU.

Birmingham/ Solihull was rescued in the short term by a local insolvency specialist, Chris Loughran who, with other lesser backers, formed a new company and reached agreement with property company Oakmoor to to play ten more games at Sharmans Cross Road. In the meantime the club must decide whether to continue with a ground share agreement with Solihull Moors Football Club at Damson Park next season.

The Solihull club, however, is not yet out of the wood. The imperative need to match expenditure with income, and further reduce payroll numbers, could impact on its continued existence in the championship . Howerver whatever the payroll both sets of players will be up for this game this Saturday.



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