Last Friday night’s victory over Cornish Pirates was notable for a number of reasons, not least because it was Moseley’s first over the powerful Penzance outfit since April 2008.
Much water has passed under the clubs’ respective bridges since then, under their bridges, over their pitches and in the case of the Pirates, beyond their sea defences. Indeed, things were so different six years ago that Ollie Thomas played in that match – for Pirates.
But Friday’s 28-20 success was also notable for the fact it was Moseley’s sixth league win of the season, which might not sound great given the fact Kevin Maggs’s men have had 15 goes – but it is as many as they mustered in the whole of the last campaign.
Indeed, they only managed six in the regular 2011-12 season as well and five the year before. It is unlikely – though not impossible – that they will equal their 2009-10 total of ten, given the fact it was their first victory over a top-six side this term and that they have some difficult home matches remaining.
But the Billesley Common outfit are well worth a few more successes and with the team functioning well they will remain inhospitable hosts and impolite guests in the final eight matches. Certainly those of the Red and Black creed should be spared their annual nailbiting frenzy.
What has been most commendable about the current season is that Moseley have never actually looked threatened by relegation. People might get bored of hearing phrases like ‘smallest budget in the league’ and ‘over-achieving’, but for Maggs and his players that is no mere soundbite, it is a daily reality.
Undoubtedly Moseley were helped by the fact their customary early-season acclimatisation took place at a time when Ealing were having their rugby senses recalibrated, but once they finally found their rhythm they have barely missed a beat.
As well as the sequence-snapping win over Pirates, they have also recorded their first wins over Nottingham and Bedford in a sporting generation, indeed November’s 26-13 triumph at Goldington Road was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. And these wins are season-shaping ones, not merely the product of desperation when jobs are on the line, they have come relatively regularly and at a time of drama rather than crisis.
Ealing away was a pivotal match, they won it. Nottingham at home a rare opportunity, they took it.
It is the home form that has been so gratifying. Jersey, Ealing and Pirates all went the same way as Nottingham and Moseley haven’t lost in front of their own fans in three months. The Common might look like a fortress that has spent the last couple of years under siege but it has become very difficult to breach.
All of which means whatever happens in the next couple of months Moseley’s followers should look back on an very creditable campaign that could get even better.