NORTH MIDLANDS COLTS’ CUP FINAL 22ND APRIL 2012
MOSELEY COLTS 17 – 12 SOLIHULL BARBARIANS COLTS
A hard-fought but ultimately deserved win for Moseley Colts against a competitive and combative Solihull Barbarians, a combination of the best of Birmingham/Solihull and Silhillians Colts.
A bright start from Moseley was somewhat dimmed by an early yellow card, rightly administered to the Moseley no.2, for an infringement at a ruck. Moseley, with Ben Meadows outstanding and leading from the front, reacted positively to the sin-binning. Taking the game to the combined side whilst still a man down a great midfield move was worked before Jordan Oliver jinked through the defence to score under the posts. The score was improved by fly-half Ben Morgan. Solihull reacted to the score by pressing hard against the Moseley defence but without any great success. Moseley, now back at full strength, continued to play some attractive attacking rugby however just missing out on the final pass which would convert good opportunities into scores. This changed when, from an attacking scrum deep in the Solihull half, the Moseley backs played a move straight off the training ground, setting flying winger Ryan Millar free in midfield. The defence had no answer to the pace and power of Millar, who scythed past a number of would-be tacklers before offloading to Chris Fensome to touch down, again under the posts, with Morgan improving the score. Subsequently, the teams snuffed each other out in attack and defence, so at half-time the score remained at 14-nil to Moseley.
From Solihull’s perspective the second half started with a bang as hesitation amongst the Moseley catchers from the kick off resulted in a great catch and drive from the Solihull forwards. In this one move, the impetus was handed to Solihull who pressed hard for around 20 minutes, scoring two well-worked tries but crucially only one was converted, meaning that they would never achieve parity with Moseley on the scoreboard. The cause of either side was not really helped by an outbreak of handbags halfway through the second period, at one point reminiscent of Rosie’s on a Saturday night; an establishment with which both sets of players are apparently familiar. With the referee and his assistant dealing with this petulance brilliantly, handbags were safely stowed and a player from either side taking an enforced 10 minute break (again quite rightly) the game resumed. It was the Moseley players who seemed to regroup better and begin to recapture the initiative. Meadows again leading by example but now ably assisted by the entire Moseley pack. Even then, possession was not turned into points. Some of this was due to an increasingly slippery ball following the obligatory daily downpour, some as a result of a misplaced final pass or failure to identify support lines. Nonetheless with both sides back at full complement and around 10 minutes remaining, some decent ball retention by the Moseley forwards just outside their opponents’ 22 forced a penalty. With advantage being played, the game management that had been missing from Moseley’s play for much of the season finally kicked in; Morgan attempting a drop goal. Although unsuccessful, he knew that the penalty would ensue and he calmly slotted the resulting opportunity. At 17-12 Moseley had a five point lead which, frankly, they never looked like losing despite Solihull’s best efforts. As the final whistle was blown, the satisfaction of beating their closest geographical rivals was evident on the faces and in the reactions, of the Moseley players.
Despite this being the first success since season 2008-09, this latest win means that Moseley have now won this trophy on no fewer than nine occasions since the competition’s inception in 1988-89 laying claim to being the most successful club in the competition by a considerable distance.
(Back) Aquib Yusaf; Aaron Brown; Hayden Pitt; Myles Hibbs; Harry Griffiths; Tom Short; Connor Ward; Ed Matthews; Jack Jones; Ryan Millar; Chris Fensome; Jordan Oliver.
(Front) Bruno Ulmkalns; James Lawless-Fisher; Curtis Wellington; Ben Morgan; Darius Rashkafar; Ben Meadows; Tom Dalton; James Baillie; Alex Coton.
(Seated) Dave Brazier (capt.)
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