Oak notch home win
Moseley Oak won a closely fought contest against Bridgnorth by 16 – 12 on a sunny Saturday at Billesley Common. The home side had been hampered by having no warm up games despite a generally good pre-season preparation. Bridgnorth by comparison had had four matches including a close fought game with Walsall who play in Midlands 1.
The Moseley side, complete with a number of new players, began strongly and a number of powerful forward drives saw them camped in the Bridgnorth half. After 7 minutes a strong forward drive initiated by Duncan White resulted in a penalty to Moseley, which Dan Pons converted.
Fifteen minutes later strong Moseley pressure saw them awarded a scrum on the Bridgnorth 5 metre line on the right. The scrum was won and the forwards retained the ball. A ruck was set up by Duncan White and quick delivery enabled Joey Baker to power over to the right hand of the posts. Dan Pons converted.
After 25 minutes of the first half, strong defence by the home side’s midfield backs saw the ball go loose. It was picked up by Jack Richards who sprinted from just within his own half. He had appeared to score on the far left and indeed the Bridgnorth players began walking back behind their line to face the conversion. The score was disallowed, much to the surprise of all who were present. After this, Bridgnorth began to battle their way back into the game. After 28 minutes of the first half, Greg Cox made a tackle and suffered an injury to the neck and was replaced by Ciaran Murphy. Ten minutes later after strong Bridgnorth pressure, the home side’s outside half, Ed Gardiner, also took a blow to the head and a further change was forced with Matt Durber replacing.
After 10 minutes of the second half, Moseley Oak had again begun well with strong forward drives. James Weaver led from the front directly in front of the posts and the resultant penalty awarded was converted by Dan Pons. 13 nil.
As the home side’s lack of match fitness began to show, Bridgnorth came further back into the game and retained the ball for long periods of the second half. After 20 minutes of the second half, Bridgnorth launched a powerful lineout drive and although it was held they managed to drive the ball over near the left hand touchline. The conversion was missed. Six minutes later a series of powerful Bridgnorth drives saw Ian Maddan score under the posts, a try which was converted.
The 13 – 12 scoreline saw a frantic last 15 minutes with the pressure only being slightly relieved with a strong Moseley Oak interchange of passing which saw a penalty awarded which Dan Pons duly converted. The score finished 16 – 12 to Moseley Oak who were relieved to win their inaugural game of the season for the first time since the Club was formed. Much to work on, however, much promise was also shown.