After guiding Moseley to the first promotion in their 133-year history head coach Ian Smith has challenged his team to go one better by finishing their recordbreaking season as National Two champions.

Captain Gareth Taylor celebrates Moseley's promotion

The Billesley Common side secured a return to the first division on Saturday - ending a three year exile at that level - as they overpowered Halifax and third-placed Esher lost at home to Waterloo.

That gave Moseley an unassailable 21-point advantage over the Surrey outfit and with three matches left this season all that remains is for Smith's men to 'finish the job' by claiming the league title ahead of Waterloo.

They lead the Merseysiders by five points which means they need to win two of their remaining three matches to be sure of taking the crown. If they beat Barking next week the scene would be set to take the championship in their last home game against Launceston.

It is an occasion Smith would find deeply satisfying.

"We said at the start of the season that we wanted to be the first side to go up having finished third the previous year. We have done that now," the former Scotland international said.

"I asked the boys in the huddle at Halifax, if they were satisfied or if they wanted to go the extra yard and actually win the division. It's a case of wanting to finish the job and the boys seem very keen to do that."

Having something tangible to show for their work this campaign would not confer any special privileges in the rough and tumble of National One but would, Smith believes, be the ideal way to prepare for what will be a very tough year.

"Winning the title would prepare us mentally for what is ahead next year," he said. "But the next three weeks are all about how psychologically strong we are. We know it is going to be difficult because everyone will want to beat us.

"It would be a shame if it did go pear-shaped and Waterloo overtook us because there would always be a question mark over the season."

And although the promotion-winning performance wasn't the most fluid of efforts, Smith drew satisfaction from the fact his men adapted to atrocious conditions.

"It was the worst pitch I have seen since I played for Scotland against New Zealand in Auckland in 1996. There was too much water lying on it.

"But before the game kicked off, we decided who would be our big players. We were not there to entertain, we just went out and did it.

"It was satisfying from a coaching point of view that we were able to win by playing a different style - albeit at National Two level."

As well as difficult conditions, Smith's side also faced disruption to their own starting line-up.

Front rowers Dean Bick and Neil Bayliss, lock Dai Hallmen and stand-off Greg Macdonald were all injured but the players who came in, Adam Caves, Ben Buxton, Alex Hadley and Ollie Thomas, deputised well.

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