MANCHESTER 21 MOSELEY 50
Moseley can start planning for the Championship, the new look second tier of English rugby, after seeing off already long relegated Manchester at Grove Park.
There were fears at Billesley Common that Moseley might find it hard to raise their game again after their stunning victory over Leeds in last week’s EDF Trophy final. It was seen as a potential banana skin of a game against a team with nothing to lose, last game of the season, at home and playing their last game in National One.
With 16 minutes gone though the Red and Blacks were three tries and 19-0 up and when the fourth try went in for a bonus point with 34 minutes on the referee’s watch, fear of a slip-up had changed to wondering how many would eventually be scored.
Two of the cup winning heroes, winger Henry Trinder and centre Jack Adams, were back on duty with Gloucester in the Premiership which saw Nathan Bressington move off the bench to the wing and Andy Binns move to centre from full back with Ollie Thomas slotting in at 15.
It was Binns who was first to show, going over in the corner on seven minutes with fly half Tristan Roberts adding the extras as he did two minutes later after No.8 James Rodwell broke through the middle to go in under the posts. Five minutes from the restart Binns’ centre partner Andy Reay was in to make it 19-0 but the home side, to their credit, kept plugging away.
Manchester took advantage of a mistake in the Moseley midfield which saw prop Danny Birchall go over for an unconverted try three minutes later but the visitors made it four tries on 34 minutes through Roberts who injured his shoulder in the process so Thomas landed the conversion.
Home fly half Thomas Eaton made it 26-8 with a penalty on the break and closed the gap to 26-11 five minutes into the second half. Roberts responded with a penalty of his own and then a second try for Rodwell, from a delightful chip ahead by Thomas, and one for the skipper, scrum half Gareth Taylor, converted by Thomas and Roberts respectively, put Moseley out of sight at 43-11.
Manchester battled back though, with unconverted tries from centre Chris Parrott and scrum half William Runciman to make it 43-21 with 10 minutes to go.
Moseley regrouped and forward pressure eventually brought a penalty try for a collapsed scrum in the final minute with Thomas landing the conversion.
To make it a double victory, Esher, the only team able to deny Moseley safety in National One, went down 50-8 at Bedford to become the fifth team relegated and leaving Moseley safe.
n?Coventry were unable to give their fans the winning finish they wanted in going down 37-22 at home to Nottingham.