Moseley took another important step in their development with a convincing seven-try battering of a Sedgley Tigers team that at times were made to look woeful.
This, it should be noted, is a venue where Ian Smith’s men traditionally struggle. Right from the days when these clubs were striving to get out of National Two, just as they are on a Monopoly board visits to Park Lane were always pretty expensive.
The last time Moseley won here was nearly five years ago, when Paul Arnold was playing in the Sedgley second row and came when the Mancunians were striding into National One as league winners.
But since these foes have been reunited in the second tier, Mose have not left Whitefield with so much as a single point. A 16-6 defeat in April - when they could seemingly win everywhere else, came 14 months after a 40-24 battering might have cost them their own place in the First Division.
It was with good reason, then, that the consensus was that this would be a challenging afternoon for the Billesley outfit and the decision of Mose’s head coach to rest two of the three men who have captained his XV this term and two of his most experienced players, Neil Mason and Andy Binns, might have seemed odd.
Not a bit of it. Neither was missed as Moseley reigned supreme over a side whose traditional cussedness appears to have given way to a rather gloomy foreboding.
“We played up here last year and every time we touched the ball we gave it to Wag [Mason]. In the end, he had four men on him every time and ended up being driven 20 yards back,” explained Smith. “I wanted to see how other people responded without him to rely on.”
‘Admirably’ was the answer. Lock Ally Muldowney underlined his evolution into an authentic First Division forward with a splendid hat-trick. While the collective value will probably find a place in his scrapbook, individually they were ugly duckling scores. The first, after just one minute, was a short yardage plunge, the second was a Johnny-on-the-Spot maul while the third at least utilised some of his undoubted athleticism as he spun out of a tackle and squirmed over the line. Aggregate distance? About five metres.
The visitors scorched into a 22-0 lead in next to no time at a points-per-minute rate that suggested the margin of victory would be 160.
That’s not the Moseley way, though. As talented as they are, this is a bunch that likes to switch off and having grabbed a try bonus inside 11 minutes, they were pegged back to 22-17 in less than a quarter of an hour.
Jack Adams (twice) and Henry Trinder followed Muldowney on to the scoreboard only for razor-sharp home wing Peter Swatkins to grab two of his own and Chris Wilkinson to capitalise on a missed tackle by Ollie Thomas.
When the second period kicked off and Sedgley were presented with a relatively straightforward shot at goal to reduce the arrears to just two points, the occasion could have ended differently.
Thankfully for Mose, Matt Riley missed and eight minutes later, Adam Caves was smuggled over to dig his team out of a deep hole.
From that point onwards, it was one-way traffic with Muldowney finishing off tries six and seven, though in truth there should have been more.
By this stage, Richard Vasey had conceded kicking duties to Thomas after just one success from five.
The former Cornish Pirate responded with three from his four attempts and one wonders whether the tipping point might have been reached in terms of a permanent switch.
That is something Smith will ponder in the coming days. In the meantime, however, he is able to reflect on a ‘satisfying’ display.
“We have had a fairly poor record up there since Don (Caskie) and I came in so having won at Plymouth, Rotherham and Newbury, we wanted to get this one right,” he said.
“There was plenty of ambition about us but unfortunately we took our foot off the pedal. We were much better in the second half, though.”
Indeed, they were. As they did against Esher last weekend, Mose contracted their gameplan, played the percentages and for once enjoyed their trip to Park Lane.
TIGERS: Riley; Swatkins, Weeden, Tafa (Hall, 60), Wilkinson (Wilcock, 68); P Jones, Cliff; G Evans (Livesey, 69), Roddam, Du Plessis (Greenhalgh, 74), Crous (Williams, 68), Townson, J Jones (Roberts, 70), Newton (Fourie, 60), Cook.
MOSELEY: Thomas; Sharples, Adams (Binns, 60), Reay, Trinder; Vasey, Taylor (Pasqualin, 55); Williams (Davis, 70), Caves (Oselton, 70), Sigley, Arnold (Stott, 68), Muldowney, Evans (Mason, 65), Bignell (Whitney, 68), Rodwell.
Referee: Adrian Hartwell (RFU).