Cinderford 20-27 Birmingham Moseley
Morgan Dawes grabbed Birmingham Moseley’s third hat-trick in four National One games and in the process steered his team to an impressive 20-27 away win at Cinderford.
The all-action flanker struck twice in the first half as Mose turned around an early 12-3 deficit to lead 12-20 at the break.
And after a scoreless third quarter, Dawes’ third try, which was the pick of the bunch, meant former Billesley Common favourite Ed Sheldon’s second long-distance finish earned Cinderford only a losing bonus point.
Home hooker Nathan Taylor opened the scoring from a close-range lineout after his team planted a scrum penalty deep into Moseley’s 22.
And after Ben Palmer put the Red-and-Blacks on the board with a 35-metre breakdown penalty, the pacy Sheldon glided past three tackles to claim the Foresters’ second try.
Ed Bogue’s easy conversion extended the hosts’ lead to nine points, but thereafter the visitors controlled the majority of the rest of the next 25 minutes.
After Palmer’s excellent touch-finder pinned Cinderford deep in their own 22, Dawes exploited a lineout steal to claim his first score which Palmer converted.
And better followed as Moseley’s forwards retained possession through multiple pick-and-drive phases until their openside eventually burrowed over for a try which Palmer again improved with a fine kick.
Moseley’s No.10 then stroked over a 48-metre penalty to send his team into half-time with an eight-point advantage,
Although a series of penalties allowed Cinderford to spend much of the third quarter in away territory, the visitors’ defence was up to the task and robust enough to force a number of handling errors and turnovers.
Bogue added three points from 40 metres after Moseley’s midfield were caught offside, but the arrival from the bench of scrum half Jonny Arr and winger Mason Tonks brought two pinpoint Moseley box kicks and crunching follow-up tackles.
And the pacy Tonks soon showed Cinderford his ball-in-hand threat when his 50-metre break took play into the home 22, where, one quick recycle later, the omni-present Dawes got on Palmer’s shoulder to charge under the posts.
After Moseley’s fly half added the extras, the visitors’ calm game management ran down the clock while taking play through multiple phases just inside the home half.
And when Mose did eventually opt to free the backs, Tonks again scorched down the touchline only for an inside pass to go to ground ten metres from Cinderford’s line.
Just as it seemed Moseley had the game secure, the Foresters put Sheldon into space for the second time from where he produced a second stunning 60-metre finish.
Enough time remained for Moseley to concede a late penalty, but when Bogue kicked dead the visitors had secured a first away win of the campaign in fine style against previously unbeaten opponents.