The season has ended and so must the carping. It was suggested to me last weekend that I might like to use my final column of 2005-6 to write something positive for a change.

"But why?" was my response. "As a general principle, criticism is more thought-provoking and likely to arouse debate. It's what people want to read."

Not to mention that it's a lot easier to find problems than solutions.

But my foe would not give up so easily. "We know all about how badly the lower leagues are treated," he said.

"It's obvious the snafu over relegation from National One has left a sour taste and that the England management don't know their gluteus maximus from their ulnar nerve. Surprise us. Find ten things you've enjoyed this season."

I nearly coughed up a lung.

Ten. I ask you. Ten. That's more than one a month. I eventually beat my challenger down to five and so, in no particular order, here goes with one highlight taken from each level of the game.

From the international circuit, and probably my favourite recollection of the year, was witnessing Scotland's victory in the Calcutta Cup and not just because it was the first time I have seen the country of my birth beat the land of my residence.

The manner of their triumph was joyous to behold, an entire nation ranged against Andy Robinson's touring party. It was the very definition of a sporting ambush and a real privilege to watch.

In the Premiership, I saw genuine signs for optimism that the sterile bish-bash-bosh of recent seasons was coming to an end. If traditionally forward-reliant sides like London Irish and Gloucester can play expansive, open, adventurous rugby, then there's no excuse for the rest of them. A very good little 'un is starting to prevail over a not-so-good big 'un.

A memory from National One will, of course, be forever besmirched by a subsequent ruling. My favourite try of the season was scored by Bees' Tim Walsh. It wasn't a thing of beauty, nor did it turn out to be especially significant but, at the time, it was an eloquent parable about the strength of collective will.

His team were trailing 6-5 at home to Sedgley Park, deep into injury time. Defeat would have sent them into tailspin. But then Cae Trayhern, that embodiment of honest endeavour, dragged four defenders 20 yards to within an inch of their posts, play was recycled and Walsh, 4ft 6in in his platforms, stretched out a Mr Gadget arm to touch down in the corner. It was a try good enough to win the Calcutta Cup, the FA Cup, the Grand National, Crufts - anything.

Few can begrudge Moseley their place in next season's first division following a sensational campaign. There is genuine pride and almost contagious optimism at Billesley Common. Their success, built on local talent, is well-deserved.

It has been pleasing to see clubs like Broadstreet and Rugby Lions - organisations whose response to professionalism has been questionable, at best - win their leagues by rediscovering their roots.

Both teams have committed themselves to developing their own players and have vowed not to repeat their mistakes. Power to their arms, I say. Perhaps it hasn't been so bad after all.