Five tries to two would suggest a more one-sided game, but the final scoreline indicates differently, and even that doesn’t tell the story of a terrific climax with Moseley pressing within the Blackheath five-metre line, for what seemed an eternity, until ball was eventually turned over and cleared.
It meant that for the fifth time in their eight games to date, the unfortunate West Midlanders, lying second from bottom of National League One, ended a match within range and with a losing bonus point, although from Blackheath’s perspective, it shouldn’t have come to that.
‘I thought we played some outstanding rugby in the first half, but we just weren’t as clinical as last week,’ said James Shanahan.
‘A couple of chances went astray though, and if we’d shown a little more composure with an opportunity late on, we would have been clear.’
‘However, I’m pleased with the character we showed at the end, particularly having lost both second-rows at half-time,’ continued the Club head coach, ‘and happy and relieved with the win.’
Indeed, three of Blackheath’s tries came within the first quarter.
Mark Cooke and Markus Burcham sent Henry Staff racing in from 45-metres after just two minutes, and when swift line-out ball was moved across field, an overlap developed to allow Jake Lloyd to score.
A poorly controlled line-out saw Harry Bate pick up and dive over for try number three, but ball was spilt out wide after a Nick Foster break, and Freddie Owen’s pass couldn’t find hands after the Club blind-side had been put through a gap in the midfield by Stef Liebenberg’s delightful off-load.
Instead each score was quickly answered at the other end with three points from James Williams, and although Foster added one conversion and penalty for the hosts, a fourth strike from Moseley’s faultless inside-centre kept the visitors’ deficit to 20-12 at the break.
That was cut to a single point on 51 minutes as the inside-centre converted after Chris Brightwell had gathered and scored a neat chip from Mose wing Alex Hearle through the Club’s defence, but the sin-binning of Mike Perks for an allegedly dangerous tackle had a galvanising effect on the hosts.
Another poor line-out from the visitors allowed Bate to break from defence and gallop a full 80-metres, before ball was moved across field, Alex Pickersgill cutting inside before finding Foster for the score.
Then, moments later, Ciaran Moore darted out of a ruck, and Burcham made the break with Tom Stradwick and Bate in support, and as Moseley conceded the penalty close to their own goal-line, Craig Dowsett crashed over from a quickly taken tap for a 30-19 advantage.
A double movement denied Blackheath a further try which might have seen them out of reach, but instead Moseley gained two successive line-outs close to the Club’s goal-line, replacement prop Joe Wrafter driving over to set up a tight finish.
‘I don’t think we lost the game in the final minutes, we lost it in the first twenty, and then again in the middle of the second half,’ said Moseley captain and scrum-half Sam Brown.
‘But, we are improving and we were much better in the opposition twenty-two,’ he went on.
‘If we’d played like that against a team lower in the league, we’d have come away with all five points and I’m 100% certain we will move away from the bottom of the table.’
The win moves Blackheath up to third place in National League One with the Club travelling to the Wirral next Saturday to face current leaders Caldy.
They return to Well Hall on Saturday 3rd November for the visit of Sale FC and an earlier kick off time of 2 pm.
Tries: Staff, Lloyd, Bate, Foster, Dowsett
Tries: Brightwell, Wrafter
Conv: Williams 2
Pens: Williams 4
|12||Markus Burcham (Capt)|