National One: Moseley 22 Esher 13
Sometimes the scoreboard fails to reflect the truth of a match and on this occasion it does little justice to a Moseley performance full of creativity.
So dominant were the Billesley Common side they should have put more than 30 points past their opponents, but they were guilty of squandering several glorious opportunities.
But for head coach Ian Smith the margin of victory was not as important as the win itself. “We came in off the back of four defeats, three of those games there were only a matter of points in it and that obviously is in the back of the players’ minds as well and the pressure of not getting the win when you probably deserved it.
“So it’s a very important win, it settles the nerves a bit it’s another notch up on the confidence and makes it nice and positive for next week,” he said.
“It was a game we had to win really, a home game we needed the points from, and that can reflect itself in different ways and I think in the first 40 minutes we were a bit edgy.
“We started brightly, we showed a lot of ambition but we were trying to force the game a little bit.”
Despite dominating possession in the opening exchanges Moseley were caught on the break with eight minutes gone as George Lowe burst through a gaping hole in the home defence and raced under the posts with Neil Hallett adding the extras.
Moseley continued to carve holes in the visitor’s defence and levelled the scores on 15minutes when some quick ball allowed them to stretch Esher ’s defence and Nathan Bressington dived over in the corner. Richard Vasey converted.
Moseley should have added three more tries to their first half tally but fumbled the ball on each occasion yards from the try-line – Andrew Binns the prime culprit when in space with no-one around him.
The skipper made amends on 30 minutes when he darted through a gap to score under the posts with Vasey converting to give Moseley a modest 14-7 lead at the break.
Four minutes into the second half and a monster penalty from halfway by Hallett reduced the deficit and on 54 minutes he cut the gap to a single point with another penalty after Terry Sigley had been sent to the sin-bin.
Reduced to 14 men, Moseley rediscovered themselves and began pressurising the Esher defence, eventually forcing a 65th minute penalty which Vasey converted to ease the nerves.
With the penalty count soaring for both sides, the final exchanges were scrappy and when Esher had Alex Ayling sin-binned four minutes from time it allowed Moseley to camp in the opposition’s 22, making it pay when Bressington slid into the corner from the blind side of a scrum for an unconverted try to seal a fine win.
MOSELEY: Binns (Thomas 53), Bressington, Trinder, Reay, Norton, Vasey, Pasqualin (Taylor 48), Williams, Caves, Sigley, Muldowney, Stott (Arnold 63), Mason, Bignell (Davis 59, Whitney 63), Rodwell. Not used: Oselton, Evans
ESHER: Hallett, Flockhart, Lowe (Baumberg 72), Barbini, Lozides, Jewell, Shaw (Barnes 60), Millard, Corrigan (Brooker 60), Hannon (Murphy 40), Waterhouse, Inglis (Ayling 48), Starling, Stitcher, Blakeburn (Renwick 76). Not used: Tubasei.