North MidlandsColts League
Telford 0 – Moseley 56
It was always going to be interesting to see how the under nineteen team faced up to their first league match of the season after a fairly mixed bag of pre season games.
As is inevitable at this level, the starting line up was much changed to the one that finished last season. With younger players coming into the team, replacing those who are now ‘too old’, combined with a few injuries, it was a fresh faced team that lined up against Telford. Facing into a stiff breeze blowing straight down the pitch, Moseley kicked off but soon found the ball back in their own half. A period of scrappy play ensued with both teams making errors resulting in lots of turnover ball with neither team making much progress. A handling error from Moseley when passing the ball down the line in their own 22 nearly gifted the home side an opening try, but Telford fumbled the ball and the danger was avoided.
As one observer commented before the game, if this match had been played in the middle of February the game would have been postponed due to a frozen pitch (the ground was that hard!). But this proved to be to Moseley’s advantage for the opening try.
After nearly ten minutes of being unable to get out of their own half Moseley were awarded a penalty. The ensuing kick missed the intended touch, but bounced infield. Rolling end over end into the Telford 22 the retreating defender was unable to pick it up until nearly at the five metre line. By this time the advancing Mosley attackers were upon him and with the ball bouncing free Jack Jones was on hand to collect and cross the line for the opening score.
From there on in it was one way traffic, in terms of scoring at least. The Moseley forwards proved to be more powerful in scrum, ruck and maul – the backs faster and more incisive. But credit to Telford who did not let their heads drop, competed for everything and did not let Moseley have all its own way.
Half time saw Moseley ahead by 49 points to nil, one point less than the fifty point margin whereby, at this level, the ‘match’ becomes ‘won’. Moseley duly wrapped up the contest with their eighth try two minutes into the second half.
Both teams had agreed to play on, but the match was stopped four minutes later by a serious head / neck injury to one of the Telford players. Once it became apparent the injured player would not be moved until an ambulance arrived the referee blew the whistle for the final score to read Telford 0 – Moseley 56.
Obviously most thoughts are with the Telford player and we wish him well. The good news was that he had full movement and was heard to ask that his mother was not told of his injury as he wanted to go out to a party later that evening. Hopefully his trip to hospital was of a precautionary measure rather than anything more serious.
It is likely that Moseley will face sterner tests than this in the league, especially as other teams come to terms with their own problems with new squads, etc. But it was good to note a general communication throughout the team, with support for the ball carrier not only being available, but being used well (most of the time).
In a result won by the whole team it is wrong to single out individuals. But if they can continue to utilise the speed of the backs (especially the No. 15 Thomas Johnson, whose raw speed and flight of foot gave him four tries) with the support they showed when running the ball from deep, then they will be a strong test for many a team. Special mention should be made for No 10, Ben Morgan who converted eight out of eight, with four of them from wide positions into tricky winds
T Johnson, J McLaren, J Hale, J Jones, R Luscombe, B Morgan, J Oliver.
A Coton, E Price, J L Fisher, B Meadows, O Sankey, R Hibbs, M Hibbs, J Coleman
Replacements – J Ajayi, A Bromley, A Brown
No 12 – Jack Jones (10 mins)
No 15 – Thomas Johnson (13, 20, 26 & 32 mins)
No 1 – James Lawless Fisher (17 mins)
No 14 – Jack McLaren (24 mins)
No 7 – Myles Hibbs (37 mins)
No 10 – Ben Morgan (8)
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