North Midlands Colts League
Worcester 14 - Moseley 15
Moseley U19s travelled to Worcester knowing that they would need to be at their best in this top of the table clash.
Worcester kicked off playing down the slope. Moseley safely gathered and returned the ball up field. The early exchanges resulted with a penalty to Moseley and from in front of the post Ben Morgan kicked what proved to be three very valuable points.
Play continued with neither team dominating. Both sides had attempts at goal from distance – Moseley’s falling just short, Worcester’s just wide.
Following a couple of penalties against Moseley Worcester had an attacking line out from 5 metres and began an extended period camped on the Moseley line. They drove the ball over the line but the referee ruled the ball held up. Worcester maintained the pressure and were soon back in the Moseley in goal area, again only for the ball to be held up once more. Moseley were defending for all their worth and were rewarded with a penalty which was kicked to touch to relieve the tension.
It was Moseley’s turn to occupy territory for a while but they struggled to find any sort of key to open up the Worcester defence and found themselves defending a line out on their own 22. Worcester secured the ball and pressurised the Moseley defence once more. Following several phases of play they were rewarded with a well worked try to the right hand side which was successfully converted.
The rest of the half was played in the middle of the pitch. The ball had become greasy from the drizzle that continued to fall, resulting in handling errors from both sides. The referee blew for the half time, with the score line reading 7-3 in Worcesters favour.
Moseley kicked off for the second half, the early part of which was a bit of a stalemate in terms of territory and possession. Things were to change after 15 minutes when Worcester were awarded a penalty from inside the Moseley half. Although the kick went wide Moseley infringed from their own 22 drop out, giving Worcester the scrum and an opportunity to create pressure. Following a couple of passages of play another scrum to Worcester resulted in a try to the fly half who was allowed to carve through the Moseley defence far too easily. With the conversion successfully completed and with the Moseley team seemingly at their lowest ebb it looked like they were staring at their first defeat of the competitive season.
However, Moseley gathered the ball from their own restart and started to take the game to Worcester, whose turn it was to mount the defensive barricades.
Worcester were awarded a scrum in front of their own posts but were penalised for feeding. Moseley took a quick free kick, but with a lack of support they made no real progress. Worcester continued to infringe under pressure and Moseley (to annoyance of some of the coaching staff) continued to opt for quick tap and go’s instead of taking the scrum. Moseley did get the ball across the line, only for Worcester to hold it up.
Moseley continued to pressurise and were awarded another free kick on the five metre line. Whether by design or accident, the ball was in the hands of the Moseley No 8, Ben Meadows, who opted once more to tap and go. He had just enough power to squeeze through the defensive line and touch down for his first try in Moseley colours. Ben Morgan added the extra two points to bring the score difference down to just four points.
With time running out Moseley forced their way back deep into Worcester territory and thought they had scored and unlikely winning try, only for the referee to rule the ball held up yet again. It did however give Moseley a 5 metre scrum from out wide on the right. With time well and truly up the front row secured the ball and kept a steady platform. Meadows picked the ball up from the back of the scrum, ran round the blind side and powered over the line for his second try.
Morgan missed the kick, but it did not matter as the referee blew his whistle to see a jubilant Moseley side celebrate victory by the tightest of margins.
The fact is that Moseley were no where near their best in this performance. Credit should be given to Worcester, who proved stiff opposition, but the Moseley team were too often the architects of their own failings. That they can grind out victories in this fashion will hopefully give them the spur to continue what has been a successful start to the season.
It was nice to see Bruno in support once again, as well as Harry who continues his recovery from an injury which has him sidelined until March of next year – we wish him well.
Backs: L Brooks, J McLaren, J Oliver, J Jones, C Wellington, B Morgan, D Brazier
Forwards: J Lawless Fisher, J Balllie, A Coton, J Coleman, A Yusaf, H Pitt, M Hibbs, B Meadows
Replacements: J Adjayi, A Brown, A Bromley, C Owen, J Wale
Tries: Ben Meadows (61 mins, 70 mins)
Conversions: Ben Morgan (1)
Penalties: Ben Morgan (1)
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