National League One: Plymouth Albion 26 Moseley 17
The yellow peril struck Moseley on the first of their back-to-back trips deep into the West Country.
Narrowly edged out in their gritty Midlands derby with Nottingham last week, the Birmingham outfit looked likely to bounce back with a victory at Brickfields as they proceeded to play the better rugby throughout.
The win would surely have been in the bag had vital back-row partners Jim Rodwell and Neil Mason not been sent to the sin bin at the end of the first half.
Plymouth – who themselves lost a player to a yellow card as tempers frayed – made their extra man count and crossed for a crucial try in the final exchanges of the opening period.
Disappointed Moseley coach Ian Smith said the yellow cards, together with a number of needless penalties, helped their hosts to a win they didn’t deserve.
“We stayed in the game for 80 minutes and we battled throughout and were close at the end,” Smith said.
“But unfortunately we had a bad spell for ten minutes just before half time when some poor decisions were made.
“They were poor decisions from the players – they really let a Plymouth side not doing much into the game. They didn’t really come into the game apart from when we gave penalties away – on our own ball, I hasten to add – which is an interesting point. We will do the remedial work and look forward to next weekend against the [Cornish] Pirates.”
The sides exchanged early kicks, Richard Vasey slotting over a drop goal for the visitors only for his effort to be cancelled out by Keiran Hallet’s penalty.
A penalty apiece by the kickers kept the scores level before Plymouth grabbed the opening try on 25 minutes, winger Tom Jarvis taking advantage of a fluffed clearance by Moseley full back Andy Binns. The conversion made it 13-6 to the home side and after another penalty apiece the red mist descended – or rather yellow peril took hold!
Rodwell was sin-binned on 38 minutes for a professional foul and was followed to the sin bin by Mason and Plymouth’s Aaran Cruickshanks after an exchange of blows. The Devonians used their extra man wisely and Gareth Evans ploughed over for a converted try with the interval looming.
Another Vasey penalty was cancelled out by Hallett in the second half and it took until the final stages before Rodwell capped some good work with his side’s only try, Jack Adams being the creator.
PLYMOUTH ALBION Saumi; Jarvis, Cruickshanks (Allan, 67), Fisilau, Mensa-Coker; Hallett, Nicholls; Rice, Owen (Dawe, 73), Du Toit (Hopkins, 72), Lewis (Spangle, 40), Brenton, Stephen (Marriott 55), Denbee, Evans.
MOSELEY: Binns; Bressington, Adams, Reay, Trinder; Vasey, Taylor ( Pasqualin, 59); Thomas, Caves (Oselton, 77), Williams, Mulldowney, Stott, Mason (Evans, 51), Bignell (Williams, 67), Rodwell.
Referee: Ashley Rowden (RFU).