National League One: Cornish Pirates 19 Moseley 15
A last-gasp try by Brian Tuohy helped lift the pressure off underfire Cornish Pirates coach Mark Hewitt and denied Moseley the spoils in Sunday's National League One encounter.
Having appeared to have soaked up all the Pirates could throw at them, Moseley were undone at the death when the Irish winger crossed to score in the left-hand corner.
It meant yet more West Country misery for the Midlanders who, the week previous, went down to Graham Dawe’s Plymouth Albion side at the Brickfields.
Before this encounter, however, the pressure was all on the Pirates who had suffered three successive home defeats. However, from the kick-off, the Pirates signalled their intent as full back Adryan Winnan set the tone with a thunderous tackle which immediately set Moseley on the back foot.
Early raids by the Cornishmen put them to within strike range and when Moseley prop Nathan Williams strayed offside, up fly half Rhys Jones to fire the Pirates in front on four minutes.
The Welshman doubled both his and his side’s lead when, on 17 minutes, he positioned himself nicely in the pocket to accept Nicky Griffiths’ pass to fire over a 25-metre drop-goal.
With the Pirates looking to attack at every opportunity, Moseley did well to absorb the threat with some excellent work in defence.
On occasions, though, they were prone to flouting with the laws and, when Terry Sigley put in a late hit on Tom Luke, Jones was on hand to administer a third successful kick to make the score 9-0.
Moseley, though, with their first significant visit into Pirates territory, broke their duck when Richard Vasey – playing with the advantage – struck over a telling drop-goal from 30 metres.
The former Leeds back could have reduced the arrears further with penalty shots either side of the break but his efforts failed to hit the mark.
The Pirates made the most of the let off and on 46 minutes they extended their advantage when, following an initial break by Paul Devlin, they recycled the ball at pace to allow French No 8 Bertrand Bedes to thunder over for the game’s opening try.
The visitors threw on fresh muscle in a bid to reignite their challenge and the move paid dividends as No 8 James Rodwell crashed over from a Henry Trinder pass before winger Charlie Sharples was raced the length of the field as he intercepted a loose pass from Jones – 15-14 to the Midlanders.
Back roared the Pirates with a flurry of attacks but again some excellent defence – most notably a try-saving tackle by Sharples – kept the home side at bay.Then, with six minutes remaining, Jones was given the opportunity to restore the lead for the Pirates but he screwed his penalty from the edge of the 22 wide of the left post.
With time all but up, Jones squandered another penalty chance, firing wide of the left upright once more.
However, there was still time for a long last throw of the dice from the Duchy’s finest. When Bedes and Heino Senekal were held up just short of the line the ball was worked at pace out to the left flank where Tuohy was raced over to the delight of the home faithful.
Pirates: A Winnan; B Tuohy, P Devlin (M Ireland, 63), T Luke (S Winn, 63), R McAtee; R Jones (S Winn, 20-25), N Griffiths (E Fairhurst, 77); A Paver, R Elloway (D Dawiduik, 30), S Heard (S Franklin, h/t), H Senekal, B Gulliver (capt, M Burak, 58), C Morgan, I Motusaga, B Bedes. Replacement (not used): P Cook.
Moseley: A Binns; C Sharples, H Trinder, A Reay, N Bressington (D Norton, h/t); R Vasey, G Taylor (capt, J Pasqualin, 52); N Williams, A Caves (J Bignell, 63), T Sigley (G Davis, 63), A Muldowney, R Stott (P Arnold, 52), N Mason (M Evans, 52), A Whitney (D Ostleton, 63), J Rodwell.
Referee: N Williams (RFU).