Moseley won their most important decision of the season last night when their appeal to have the National One season extended was upheld by the Rugby Football Union.
The Billesley outfit had originally asked First Division Rugby Ltd, the league governing body, to allow them to work through their fixtures backlog after the original campaign cut-off date of April 25.
That was rejected by FDR board members and Moseley’s part-time squad was facing at least two midweek matches including difficult away trips to Otley and London Welsh.
That prompted the relegation-threatened club to take their case to the RFU who last night agreed that they should be allowed to play two weeks beyond the normal end of the season.
As a result Moseley will now face the Exiles on May 2, though probably not at Old Deer Park, and Otley on May 9. Their game against Plymouth Albion has now been rescheduled for April 28, but will only be played then with Plymouth’s consent. If Plymouth do not agree, the match will be played on May 6.
The news comes as a major boost to the Birmingham side whose perilous position in the First Division and participation in the EDF Energy National Trophy final would have been seriously impinged by such an exacting schedule.
“We are absolutely elated,” said director of rugby John Beale. “The outcome is as fair as it could be.
“Had we been forced to play midweek games we would have had to manage the situation as best as we could.
“We would have had to use players registered with us with no experience of National One and who would have found it difficult to cope physically because of their age.”
The RFU panel ruled that FDR had breached their own regulations by instructing Moseley to play matches in midweek without their consent and that according to Game Regulation 6.1, the season extends to May 25 and clubs have a responsibility to maintain their squads until that date.