by Tom Hallam-Gravells
A last-gasp wonder try from Aquile Smith secured Birmingham Moseley a narrow victory over Leeds Tykes.
In an entertaining game where the lead constantly switched, Smith’s try proved the difference and ensured the Billesley Common outfit’s strong home form continued.
The victory looked like it might be more straightforward as Moseley dominated the early exchanges.
They were rewarded when Samuel Pointon capitalised on a Leeds fumble to dot down. Jacob Fewtrell added the extras and converted two penalties to give Moseley a strong lead.
The visitors had the worst defensive record in the league prior to the game, so the Billesley Common outfit would have hoped to have built on that lead. Instead, it was Leeds who bagged three quick-fire tries of their own through Charlie Venables, Kieran Davies and Jacob Brady. Venables added two conversions.
That knocked Moseley’s confidence but they showed great resilience and narrowed the lead via a Fewtrell penalty.
Capping off a back-and-forth half, Mose then recaptured the lead through a Jack Combes try, the fly half showing nimble footwork to power over. Fewtrell’s strong kicking continued to ensure Moseley reached half time with a narrow 23-19 lead.
While the first half was frantic, the second started more calmly, a Venables penalty for Leeds keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
Things sparked back to life when Jacques Le Roux received a yellow after failing to release in the tackle. That gave the visitors a confidence boost and they took full advantage through a Benjamin Dixon try, Venables again adding the extras.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Moseley started to impose themselves on the game and deservedly bagged another try when Mason Tonks dotted down in the corner.
Harry Butler was then held up within touching distance of the line as Mose looked destined to retake the lead.
In-keeping with the back-and-forth nature of the game, it was Leeds who gained a little extra breathing space through another Venables penalty.
With the minutes ticking down, it looked like that would be enough for Leeds until Smith’s wonder try in the dying moments sealed the home victory. The winger had plenty to do when he received the ball on half way but showed blistering pace to glide past two Leeds players.
Fewtrell couldn’t add the extras but there was no time for Leeds to respond, with Moseley securing a hard-fought and narrow victory over the visitors.