Ben begins repayment plan with a big role in crucial win
by David Lawrence – Birmingham Mail
Ben Palmer says the time has come to repay the coaches at Birmingham Moseley after they gave him his opportunity of regular rugby – not once, but twice. The former Coventry fly-half formed a solid partnership with scrum-half and captain Johnny Arr at the start of the season before an ankle injury sidelined him in December.
Now he’s back and his link-up play with the experienced Arr was pivotal in this vital victory over fellow National League One relegation battlers Canterbury. “It’s good to be back,” Palmer admitted after his side’s four-try victory. “Because I injured my ankle just before Christmas, I realise it’s going to a take a little bit of time to get that form back.
As a ‘10’ you need confidence and that will come with the more games I play – I had a run at the end today when I thought I was in before I gave it to Biggsy (Will Biggs)! “I’ve had the backing of Glacks (head coach Pete Glackin) and Balders (director of rugby Adam Balding) so I just have to repay them now.
“Because we are such a new team we are learning all the time. We got off to such a flyer at the start and everyone expected us to win every week, including ourselves, but we had a setback and it spiralled a little. But we have put a lot of work in so hopefully we are now going back in the right direction. “We shouldn’t be where we are, it’s just that luck hasn’t gone our way. Hopefully that will turn now.’’
Balding had insisted prior to kick-off that Moseley needed to claim all five points from their trip to Kent and that looked unlikely in the early stages as Ricky Mackintosh and Tyler Oliver scored for the hosts to open up a 10-0 lead.
But as the half wore on the visitors gradually took control with a penalty try and Cliffie Hodgson penalty taking them level, before Dan Smart’s penalty edged the hosts into a narrow interval lead.
The Red and Blacks continued to dominate after the break with the sizeable slope and wind in their favour. Hodgson eased the nerves with a try nine minutes in before Canterbury pair Alex Wake-Smith and Smart were binned in the space of two minutes.
Morgan Monks, who was binned late in the first half, crashed over while the hosts were down to 13 before winger Louis Roach claimed the try of the game with a searing 40-metre run to the line late on, Hodgson adding the two conversions.
CANTERBURY: Corcoran, Mackintosh, Morgan, Waddington, Grimes, Meads, Smart; Young, Rogers, Lusher, Cadman, Edwards, Stapleton, Oliver. Reps: Williams, King, Wake-Smith, Kingsman, Stephens.
MOSELEY: Hodgson, Roach, Tonks, Fatiaki, Smith, Palmer, Arr; Foreman, Biggs, Langley, Worthington, Wright, Monks, Stephens, Lawrence. Reps: Titchard-Jones, Dimen, Dawes, Dight, Xiourouppa.