28

Birmingham
Moseley

V

24

Darlington
Mowden
Park

19th August 2023 - 3.00pm

by Jon Meaddows

Both teams came to the Common on the backs of wins in their opening preseason friendlies, albeit against teams from different divisions. This was a clash of purely National League One
and perhaps a foretaste of what might be expected in the regular season Moseley kicked off into a strong breeze coming straight down the pitch. The opening period was a cagey affair played mainly between the two ten metre lines. Moseley eventually broke the defence when a poor Darlington Mowden Park clearance failed to find touch allowed the home team to open the scoring with a converted try.

Following the restart Moseley were unlucky, having a three on two the ball was lost forward, and a smart piece of handling allowed Mowden Park an opportunistic break down the left
wing unopposed for a try and simple conversion. The Moseley line out had been misfiring from the beginning. It was no surprise that as a result of this self-inflicted pressure Mowden Park improved their score on approximately 35 minutes with a successful catch and drive to the Moseley line. The wind came to Moseley’s aid, blowing the ball from the kicking tee twice. What would normally be a simple conversion became rushed and missed to the right of the posts. Half time score of 7-12 The second period was a much more open affair with both teams playing a more expansive game. Moseley scored three converted tries in the opening 15 minutes. This run of play was interrupted from the back of a ruck, with Mowden Park’s No. 22 going on a mazy run, side stepping one attempted tackle and breaking through another, to score a wonderful solo try. Perhaps the breeze came to Moseley’s aid once more as the conversion attempt was pushed wide

Moseley were to spend the last ten minutes with a man down, a yellow card for a high tackle just inside their own 22. Mowden Park eventually used this one man advantage to score
under the posts, the extras being a formality. The remainder of the match saw Moseley give as good as they got despite their depleted number and the whistle blew for a full time score of 28 – 24 in Moseley’s favour. Four tries for each side, the difference being the conversion count. Speaking to Adam Balding after the match he was generally pleased with the progression of
the squad and the way things were going, although he thought we were a little light in a couple of areas with players missing. He once again remarked on the fitness levels of the
squad, which he thought were matched by the opposition and he is looking forward to the challenge facing Coventry in the final preseason game.

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