Moseley 29 Waterloo 25

And so it ends. Moseley's temporary residency with the students of Birmingham University has reached its conclusion and the club are now in a position to put a tentative toe back on the housing ladder.

After five of the most challenging years in the club's history, characterised by an itinerant, hand-to-mouth existence where their security of tenure was best described as resembling squatters' rights, they are on the verge of sealing an agreement with the city council to play their home games at Billesley Common.

The noises coming out of the club suggest their negotiators have managed to overcome the devil in the lease's detail, which in recent weeks had led to nothing more than a pregnant silence emanating from Bournbrook.

But as from Sunday May 1 they will at last be able to move to a ground they can call home and put an end to their unhappy wanderings.

Their next rugby-playing appointment in Birmingham will be at Billesley Common in six days time and that it won't be a first-team game matters very little to the collection of committee-men, explayers and embattled strategists who kept the club going through the dark times.

In fact, next weekend's Mini and Junior Festival is the best amd most symbolic way to mark the beginning of a new era.

It has been, after all, Moseley's ability to reproduce and sustain themselves below first-team level that has led to this season's regeneration.

When successive relegations, moves to Oxford and financial ruin were on the cards, it was the kids that became the club's raison d'etre, the bond that kept them together.

In many respects, that is even truer today. The first team may be in a better condition than at any time since The Reddings became bywords for 'painful reminder of past mistakes', but there are some very realistic people at Billesley Common who have accepted that the days of senior cup finals have gone.

They now take as much pride in their Colts reaching a national final and almost enjoy the fact that most of their numerous teams bettered the first XV's achievement of finishing third in their league.

And it should be a source of satisfaction too, especially if they can continue to harvest players like Ollie Thomas and turn them into potential stars.

Much has been written about the talented 22-year-old this season, but his natural ability to exceed expectations is a constant joy to behold.

There were times during this match when he looked a class above his opposite number Tony Handley, whose only means of containing Thomas was a sickening cheap-shot midway through the second-half which should have resulted in at least a yellow card.

By that time, it was already too late. The elegant stand-off had already booted Waterloo out of sight with some pinpoint kicking from hand and punishing shots at the posts. One goal, just before half-time, came from inside his own territory and made it 16-7 at the interval.

In total, he accounted for 19 of Moseley's 29 points and although this wasn't his, or his team's, finest display of the season, it is still difficult not to eulogise. The question is: can Moseley keep him long enough to take him to the Common?

The rest of them did well enough to overcome a visiting side that seemed as intent on injuring their opponents' bodies as harming their aspirations of finishing third in National Two.

Waterloo's back row was unpleasantly over-zealous at times and their dislikeable No 8, David Blyth, was another who was fortunate not to be asked to leave the playing surface for at least ten minutes.

To their credit the home forwards, who have been criticised this season for failing to stand-up to the darker arts, answered most the questions Waterloo posed physically and all of them they posed tactically.

Hooker Adam Caves (could he be another to attract attention from elsewhere?), had a splendid afternoon at the setpiece while Charlie Daniell continued to suggest he is maturing into a fine back-row forward.

But it was Thomas who was the difference between two well-drilled sides. His five penalties and two conversions more than supplemented tries from Nathan Bressington and Tom McIntosh and his positional kicking maximised a helpful first-half wind.

One clearance from deep inside his 22 bounced once before nipping into touch within inches of the flag on Waterloo's try line. Games are shaped, won and lost in such moments.

The real story of the day, however, must centre around the fact that Moseley have played their last game on a borrowed pitch, for the time being at least.

The whole occasion had the feel of a moving day about it. Cars and vans lined up to collect valuables and the pavilion, which acts as the matchday nerve- centre, was stripped bare as soon as the final whistle went. "See you all at Billesley Common next season," the announcer chirruped at the end. Then again, it's more of a start than an end, really.

MOSELEY: Binns; A Bressington, Holder, McDonald, Aston; Thomas O, Taylor; Coles, Caves, Buxton, Hallman, Stott, Daniell (Southern 60), McIntosh, Evans. Replacements: Bick, Low, A Bressington.

WATERLOO: Payne; Kerfoot, Hunter, Davies, Van Deventer; Handley, Aikman (Broxson 61); O'Donnell, Tyms (Jones 61), Thomas, White, Mercer (Sharrott 56), Tchakoute, Smith (Palmer 12), Blyth.

Referee: Mr T Wigglesworth.