Moseley Oak agonisingly miss out
Heartache for Moseley Oak who came so close in the Midlands Two West (North) play-off final away to Rugby side Old Laurentian.
Going down 16-6 was no consolation for being told it was one of OL’s toughest games of the season.
OL now take a step up; Moseley Oak must go again.
There was so little between the sides – had it been at Billesley Common the scoreline could easily have been reversed.
Sadly, it was in Moseley Oak’s own hands to win and they were unable to get over the line.
Just one try in it … pretty much a fluke.
On the Moseley Oak 22, the home side got taken apart in the scrum, the scrum half in desperation hacked the ball sideways, it by-passed the fly-half, fell beautifully into the lap of centre Iain Wallis and, with the defence wrong footed, he forced his way over.
In many ways a travesty.
But in truth Moseley Oak failed to make their own luck.
Ill-discipline saw them concede a forest of penalties in the first ten minutes and a forest of penalties in the last ten minutes.
Moseley Oak players couldn’t get their heads around referee Nicola Reynolds.
Offside and into the scrum from the side seemed to be way beyond her abilities; conversely she was certainly decisive.
And rightly took no back chat from players or officials.
A bellowing Moseley Oak coach John White: “For goodness sake, give us a game.”
Reynolds: “Roll away and you can have one.”
The referee never lost it for Moseley Oak; Moseley Oak did.
Apart from the converted try, fly half Dan O’Brien notched three penalties and for Moseley Oak Dan Pons managed two.
The away side did well in the line-outs and loose head prop Dan Toth, a Hungarian international, was trashing his opposite number.
So much so that after 25 minutes the latter was replaced, a crucial OL decision which restored parity.
Duncan White, son of the coach and a former Moseley 1st XV player, came on around the same time and made a big difference despite nursing an ankle injury.
So it was all to play for at half time – score 9-3 and Moseley Oak about to head down wind.
There were real hopes they could capitalise, but it wasn’t to be.
Somehow Moseley Oak lost their way and were unable to gain dominance.
The second Pons penalty put it tantalisingly close, but that was as good as it got.
OL ultimately dogged it out and probably just deserved it.
A huge missed opportunity for Moseley Oak and a lesson learned.
But fair play to OL – they were lovely people, a nice ground, proudly amateur, they put on a show and a tense but exciting match was clean throughout.
Well done OL – hope it goes well for you a division higher.
Final League Table