With just one win thus far in 2019 and knowing that some of those results could have been quite different had Club played as we all know they can the team boarded the bus on Saturday morning knowing that anything less than a full 80 minute performance could potentially see them falling short again.
On a cloudy and blustery day at Billesey Common, home to Birmingham Moseley it was clear from the outset that Club had come to play with intent and the only question was whether it would be enough against a home side fighting to get out of the relegation zone and fighting for their National 1 survival.
It was Mike Perks who got things started as he picked up and ran through the middle of a ruck culminating with a well timed offload to put Jack Daly in virtually under the posts making it a straight forward conversion and get Club on the board 0-7.
Frustratingly and straight from the kick off the Club forwards got themselves into a real mess missing their jump and getting their timing all wrong to gift Moseley possession who were obviously grateful and quick to move the ball through the hands to put the winger over in the corner, which meant the conversion was not successful this time but bringing the score to 5-7.
Club then pressed forward and were awarded a penalty in the middle of the pitch albeit on half way but Elliot Clements Hill stepped up and put the ball straight through the posts to make the score 5-10.
But an all to familiar pattern over the past few weeks repeated itself and Club let the home side regain possession and drive Club over their line for a converted try seeing the home side in front for the first time at 12-10.
Pleasingly the best try of the match then came Clubs way off the back of the scrum as they moved the ball on half way quickly and accurately through the hands from Mark Cook to Markus Burcham to a speeding Leo Fielding coming into the line linking up fantastically with Elliot Clements Hill who rounded the Moseley winger to regain the lead at 12-15 but again a regular issue was another straight forward conversion was alarmingly missed from almost straight in front of the posts.
The half ended with an intense ten minute period on club 5m line with repeated scrums and given the strength of the home side set piece this season it was a genuine concern for the visiting Club supporters. They needn’t have worried as the pack resisted the initial shoves and responded with a drive of their own so powerful that the entire scrum disintegrated and a penalty was awarded to Club and the first half was over.
The second half began much as the first half ended and Club were putting their opposition on the back foot with excellent defence over and over and added to that they began looking dangerous in attack. Club also started to gain the upper hand at the line out and when Jack Daly nudged the ball into touch in the opposition 22m Tom Stradwick rose speedily and ahead of his opposite number and gave the forwards the signal for an impressive driving maul that even included some of the backs which resulted in Tom Williams going over for a try in the corner which was fabulously converted and Club now extended their led to 12-22.
But as you’d expect the home side were not going to roll over and they began playing like their National One survival depended on the result of this match and after a lapse in concentration that saw several missed tackles they managed to score in the corner. The conversion was missed but that brought the score to 17-22 and Club were far from safe at this point.
It was now very apparent how much the visitors set piece had gained the ascendancy and penalties were awarded from the next scrum and the resultant line out and although the referee was still playing a penalty advantage the Club backs exploded into life and released Elliot Clements Hill who went over for the bonus point try 17-27.
The final five minutes were similar to the end of the first half and Moseley were attacking with urgency and intent and looking for their fourth try and to reduce the gap for the two losing bonus points. But Club had other ideas and despite wave after wave of powerful carries from short range and a penalty in the dying minutes rather than opt for a relatively easy three points which would guarantee at least one losing bonus point the home side opted to tap and go as they bravely went after the try what would have given them two losing bonus points. Sadly for the home supporters fatigue and a solid wall of defence from Club led to a knock on and the match was over which meant Mosely ended the game with nothing to show for all of their valiant efforts and Club headed south with the full five points.
Full Time 17-27
It was great for Club to get back to winning ways and what’s more the big man was smiling again and he got to do his first “Love It” of 2019 after Harry had deputised for him in DMP.
The boys and support crew enjoyed a few beers in the clubhouse, cleaned the changing room [pic] and then boarded the coach for the long drive home to a soundtrack of smooth soul music.