North Midlands Colts League
Old Halesonians 13 Moseley 22
With a score line that flatters to deceive Moseley won a narrow victory against Old Halesonians, maintaining their unbeaten status and position at the top of the league. But it was nearly so different.
Halesowen kicked of into a stiff wind blowing diagonally across the pitch. Moseley gathered the ball and after a few minutes of scrappy play they progressed into the Halesowen half for the first time. Much of the next twenty minutes was played in home team territory, but with poor passing and ball handling they missed out on several possible scores.
Moseley were winning plenty of turn over ball but the Halesowen defence were up for the fight. Moseley were not helping themselves with poor ball retention being a major factor against them, allowing Halesowen opportunities to break free on several occasions.
It was from one of these forays that Moseley turned the ball over once more. A long clearance from their 10 metre line saw the ball inside the Halesowen 22 being safely collected. However an attempted clearance was sliced into the air and gathered by Moseley, who recycled well from the ensuing ruck. The ball was worked out to the right wing giving Hayden Pitt enough time and space to run down the line to score the first try of the afternoon.
Halesowen made a complete hash of the restart giving Moseley the scrum on half way. With the ball comfortably secured Moseley were soon pressing into home team territory once more. However Moseley seemed unable to catch simple passes and it was from one of these fumbles that Halesowen hacked the ball up field. The defence got to the ball first but the attackers were soon upon them and won a penalty, in front from the 22, and a successful kick at goal.
The restart was taken long and safely gathered. Moseley were soon pressing but more mishandling made for a period of scrappy play before the ball was worked over to Curtis Wellington on the right. Cutting infield he broke through a couple of tackles and used his pace to cross the line for the second try to Moseley. With Moseley’s regular kicker not playing and in the windy conditions Dave Brazier showed another of his talents with a successful conversion.
Moseley gathered the restart but yet another fumble gave Halesowen a scrum on the 22. Despite some good pressure they secured their own ball and started on their best passage of play so far. Moseley’s defence were working hard, but good recycling allowed the home team to advance. With the ball just short of the Moseley line the Halesowen forwards had the ball from the back of the ruck and drove over to score. A difficult conversion from wide on the right was missed and the referee blew for half time with the score reading 8 points to 12 in Moseleys favour
Moseley kicked of for the second half but were penalised for the ball not going ten metres. Halesowen started to exert pressure of their own and the early exchanges of the second period resulted in much scrappy play centred on half way. Moseley did have a short period of territorial advantage and an overlap on the left hand side, but a combination of poor decision making and dogged defensive cover saw the scoring opportunity disappear.
The home team were gaining in confidence and territory, with more of the match being played in the visitors half. Moseley were winning scrums against the head and plenty of turn over ball, but poor handling, over complicated movement and passing just handed the initiative straight back to the home team.
Moseley had a line out on their own ten metre line, but were penalised for the ball not being straight. Halesowen secured their own ball from the resulting scrum, passed it from the back, and broke through an unorganised defensive line to run in for their second try. The conversion was missed but the home side were in the lead. Only the hardest nosed Moseley supporter would deny it was what they deserved.
Halesonians only mistake was that they scored slightly too early. With about nine minutes left on the clock the Moseley team were visibly regrouping under the posts as the conversion was being taken. The restart was taken long and Moseley were soon up to pressurise. Both teams were guilty of handling errors but with Halesowen on the back foot they conceded a penalty from about seven metres out. It was taken quickly and Dave Brazier managed to tunnel his way underneath the defence to score and restore the lead.
From the restart Moseley caught the ball but were not done with handling errors, giving Halesowen a scrum inside Moseley territory. Yet again the visitors won one against the head and kicked a long clearance. Good pressure and some scrapping for the ball resulted in more defensive work for the home team but a knock on gave Halesowen a scrum on their own 5 metre line. Under pressure from the Moseley push the scrum half hesitated just long enough for Dave Brazier to come round, rob the ball and touch down for an unlikely bonus point.
The conversion was missed and the referee blew for the final score of 13 – 22 in Moseleys favour
Thanks should be given to Old Halesonians team and coaches. They put up a great display and could be considered unlucky. They had agreed to bring this fixture forward by a week to avoid a fixture clash for Moseley who play Northampton Saints Academy next weekend. That after such a close game (and no doubt disappointment) their coach could come up to the Moseley squad to wish them well for that fixture, in such a positive manner, is a great credit to the club they represent
Backs: R Biddle, J McLaren, L Brooks, Y Siddiqui, C Wellington, J Oliver, D Brazier
Forwards: P Clark, J Lawless Fisher, A Coton, B Meadows, T Dalton, J Coleman, H Pitt, A Heron
Replacements: A Brown, A Bromley, A Yusaf
Hayden Pitt (19 minutes)
Curtis Wellington (31 minutes)
Dave Brazier (67 minutes, 70 minutes)
Dave Brazier (x1)
|Click for Website Enquiries|