by Andy Mitchell – Birmingham Mail
Moseley’s supreme discipline in the first half was followed by a litany of bad judgements with a 21-point lead squandered in this pulsating draw.
Despite Harry Barnes spending 10 minutes in the sin bin, Mose had registered a try-scoring bonus point by the interval while keeping Stortford at arm’s length.
A rocky start to the second half saw the gap swiftly cut to seven before Oli Stedman completed his hat-trick, only to be promptly sin-binned for retaliation.
He was followed to the sidelines by prop Joe Foreman, leaving Moseley with 13 men for a brief spell, and Stedman controversially saw red seven minutes from the end as referee Tim Allatt deemed he had pinched the ball out of a ruck with Moseley defending for their lives, a decision that appeared questionable.
The gap was still seven points at that stage but Ryan Jackson landed from a driving maul to level matters two minutes from the end with Moseley having to dig deep to avoid defeat during the last knockings.
Mose turned the screw from kick-off to score within two minutes, Matt Marsh getting released to dive over shortly after a forceful surge by Jide Ajayi. Dan Lewis added the extras.
Barnes was punished for a high tackle, halting a seemingly certain Stortford try, but Moseley soon stamped their authority and scored a slick second, Marsh and Lewis spraying passes before Sam Pointon jinked his way through.
Stortford prop Ben Harrison-Price was sin-binned late in the first half with Stedman scoring from a relentless Mose scrum and then lying in wait to bludgeon through for his second before the break.
Two half-time changes kicked Stortford into life with Austin Pope’s fine individual effort and James Ayrton’s burst to feed scorer Jake Morris turning the tables.
Mose hit back with Stedman completing his hat-trick by nipping through from the back of a line-out but he was carded in the aftermath and Lloyd got three points back by kicking the penalty.
Joe Foreman saw yellow just before the hour as Stortford got awarded a penalty try but Lewis scored a crucial penalty for the 13 men against the run of play.
Stedman’s dismissal was followed by a close call from a scrum but Jackson was still able to equalise with time running out.