ROSSLYN PARK 19-24 BIRMINGHAM MOSELEY
SATURDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER
By RHYS STRATTON
The 1st XV fell just short of completing a late comeback as Birmingham Moseley held on to win at The Rock.
Park got the better of the opening period as they ran in two tries whilst conceding just a single Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley penalty in a fairly slow-paced, low-scoring first 40. An early chance was thwarted thanks to an interception by a retreating Moseley defender as James Stokes and Charlie Walker combined along the right touchline for what looked to be a sure try. Just minutes later, Park were back in the Moseley final third and Tom Wilstead opened the scoring as he switched play and went blind following a maul at the back of the lineout. After the visitors responded with the aforementioned penalty, another Park lineout deep in opposition territory provided the platform for Craig Stevenson to crash over a few phases later to make it 12-3.
Early in the second half, Moseley shrunk the lead to two with a Sam Pointon try after a thunderous Park clearing kick sailed over 90m and rolled dead, handing the opposition a scrum in a dangerous position. They then took the lead for the first time after a snipe from Freddie Painter created space for a clever crossfield kick to Captain Oliver Stedman. Park responded with a try of their own as Conrad Cade barrelled his way over the line following a tap-and-go from the last in a succession of Moseley penalties. However, disaster struck as Park looked to increase their lead as a heart-breaking, 80m interception score by Aquile Smith against the run of play retook the lead for Moseley with less than 10 minutes left to play. Park came inches away from snatching victory from the jaws of defeat when Matt Gordon and Matt Bolwell combined to break down into the Moseley 22, but a pass deemed forward on the 5m line in the 79th minute scrubbed off the score and allowed a relieved Birmingham Moseley to hold on for the win.
Referee: Iain Kiy
Tries: Wilstead (17’), Stevenson (33’), Cade (68’)
Conversions: Wilstead (34’, 69’)
Team: Cade, Piper, Wade, Martin, Spencer, Bolwell, Ellis, , Baldwin, Wilstead, Marfo, Gordon, Kelly, Walker, Stokes
Replacements: Miller, Garvey, Wrafter, Jardine, Craven
Tries: Pointon (43’), Stedman (52’), Smith (76’)
Conversions: Maxwell-Whiteley (44’, 53’, 77’)
Penalties: Maxwell-Whiteley (31’)
Team: Priest, Roach, Betts, Allen, French, Morris, Safe, Stedman, Jolly, Maxwell-Whiteley, Pointon, Allsopp, Creed, Smith, Brough
Replacements: S. McNulty, Langley, Southgate, I. McNulty, Painter
The full gallery from the game can be viewed here.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Bishop’s Stortford 21 – 24 Plymouth Albion
Chinnor 36 – 0 Sale FC
Darlington Mowden Park 25 – 20 Cinderford
Leicester Lions 3 – 34 Blackheath
Sedgley Park 20 – 41 Rams
Taunton Titans 14 – 29 Richmond
Round 3 saw Plymouth, Rams and Richmond all win away from home vs Bishop’s Stortford, Sedgley Park and Taunton respectively. Blackheath also continued their impressive start to life back in Nat One with a big win over fellow newcomers, Leicester Lions. Elsewhere, Chinnor and DMP ran out as winners at home, with the former picking up an impressive bonus-point shutout win against a Sale side who finished just 1-point off Champions Cambridge last season.
Up Next for Park is a trip to Reading to face the league leaders, Rams.