NATIONAL ONE: Newbury Blues 35 Moseley 17
Moseley’s National One status now hinges on ‘eight cup finals’ according to head coach Ian Smith.
The Billesley Common outfit will have time to reflect on slipping back into the relegation zone, after Otley secured a 20-17 win at Waterloo, with a weekend break before heading to Sedgley Park on February 17, where five points will be a must.
And Smith insists that Moseley’s destiny is in their own hands. "All our games are massive," he said. "We’ve got eight cup finals, that’s the way we’ve got to play it.
"I think you can get wrapped up in the relegation worries. We can only control our own performances, we certainly won’t rely on anyone else to help us out."
Newbury were hungry to end their own blues as they came into this clash off the back of a five-game losing streak in the league and that was clear to see from the off as the hosts attempted to dictate the pace of the game.
After trailing 15-3 at the break, Moseley looked to have got themselves back in the match with an early second-half try for winger Carl Colvin.
However, three bizarre replacements straight after, which saw Adam Caves, Paul Arnold and Mark Evans arrive, failed to have the desired impact and it took until stoppage time for Moseley to breach the whitewash again.
After dominating possession for the opening 20 minutes, Newbury opened the scoring when their pack was forced over the line and skipper Gregor Hayter emerged clutching the ball. Former Pertemps Bees fly-half Tim Walsh converted.
It took another 14 minutes for the home side to add to their tally when, after a good phase of play, winger Martin Nutt ran in on the overlap in the left-hand corner to score his first of two tries.
Australian Walsh developed a reputation during his time at Sharmans Cross Road of being an inconsistent kicker and it looked as though that form was returning to haunt him.
Having earlier fluffed a relatively simple penalty attempt, he also failed to convert Nutt’s try.
But Walsh made up for the gaffes with a penalty deep into stoppage time in response to an earlier Ollie Thomas kick.
Moseley got the perfect start to the second half when Colvin, in for the injured Nathan Bressington, crossed and Thomas converted.
However, Newbury were not prepared to let victory slip from their grasp and went on to wrap up the bonus point, Walsh sending over two penalties to go with a try from winger David Rees, who sailed through on the left flank for a converted score and one from Nutt, the try of the match which came just after the hour.
Moseley ended the scoring with a late James Aston try, converted by Thomas.
NEWBURY: Roberts; Rees, Ireland, James, Nutt (Gibson, 67); Walsh (Ashwin, 74), Smaje (Bingham, 67); Faulkner, Dalgleish, Bruce (Greenwood, 74), Hayter, Radbourne, Damudamu, Morgan, Brown.
MOSELEY: Hayes; Colvin, Binns, Cox (Winter, 80), Aston; Thomas, Hunter (Knight, 67), Buxton, Bick (Caves 44), Bayliss (Rodwell 71), Hadley (Evans, 44), Skelding (Daniell, 67), White (Arnold, 44), Bignell, Rodwell (Coles, 65).
Referee: R Kitt (RFU).