Moseley 9

Cornish Pirates 9

The debate around Billesley Common was whether the latest draw in the epic stalemate that this fixture has become saw Moseley lose two points or gain a couple.

Set in the context of last weekend's Disaster in Doncaster, the hangover from which was still being felt with the loss of several key players, Moseley surely have to settle for what they got and move on.

In ideal circumstances the visit of a Cornish Pirates side that is experiencing a kind of self-loathing reminiscent of Andy Murray at his masochistic worst, would have been excellent opportunity to have recorded their first league home win of the campaign.

After all, Pirates appear to have deserted the expansive and enterprising policy that has made them one of the division's most attractive teams in recent years. Perhaps that particular play-book went to Kingsholm with Rob Cook or the Stoop with Dave Ward.

Some of their players could be forgiven for concluding it is no coincidence their total of wins this term is inversely proportional to the amount of possession they now kick away.

Yet these are not ideal circumstances. Moseley have 11 first team players missing through injury, their self-belief must have taken a knock at Castle Park and - no matter how depressingly conservative they might be, Pirates are still a very decent Championship outfit.

Add to the fact the home side were 9-0 down and struggled for any quality ball from their set-piece and the odds began to stack up against Kevin Maggs's men.

Yet they not only bounced back from last Friday week's Donny reverse, the loss of Neil Mason and the pressure conferred by the signs of life in the teams below them but they actually they took something tangible from a match previous Moseley teams might well have lost.

Whatever criticisms or reservations you may have about the current Moseley team, what cannot be disputed is that they have got plenty of fight in them.

Especially in the pack where somehow Stefan Thorp has gone from Dudley Kingswinford in level five straight into the second tier of the English game and made some key contributions in just a few games for the Red and Blacks.

If Thorp played well throughout, not only in the scrum but around the park too, then his importance was never more obvious than when he was replaced by dual registered Northampton teenager Danny Herriott late in the second half. Moseley's scrum became all crumbly and threatened to cost them the draw.

Olly Robinson and Buster Lawrence have similar division-jumping strides while Ben Pons and Addison Lockley were hardly the most experienced back five forwards on show.

Most of those belonged to the Pirates, men like Alan Paver, Rob Elloway and Laurie McGlone have been round rugby's oval block a few times yet Moseley's forwards tore into them from first minute to last.

Their efforts at least deserved something more than a desultory loss bonus and once more Ollie Thomas ensured Moseley received value for their endeavours.

The utility player came off the bench in the 53rd minute and in less than a quarter of an hour he had cancelled out the three penalties kicked by Aaron Penberthy.

Which means both sides were left pondering the small margins that prevented them from taking four points instead of just two.

For Moseley most of those came in the first half when, at 3-0 down Pons supported a Glyn Hughes half-break but opted not to use winger Anders Mogensen, who is reputed to be a flying machine.

Another chance came when the positive Billy Robinson sliced through on a counter attack and looked to have put Anthony Carter over in the top corner only for the cover defence to sweep round.

That led to a sequence of catch and drive chances Moseley were unable to press over the line due to some spirited defence from the visitors.

Moseley also had a couple of interception opportunities later in the opening period as Charlie Hayter and Robinson anticipated long passes but were unable to snaffle them and set off up t'other end.

Pirates will probably feel even more short-changed. They had a good 15 minutes in the Moseley 22, several set-pieces and a couple of line-breaks but were unable to break Moseley's defensive shape.

They also had some decent positions in the second period, which the hosts cannot really claim to have had, and but for some impressive commitment they would surely have secured the win they came for.

As it was, Moseley must take their share of the spoils and move on to their next battle, while Pirates must work out how to turn their promise into performances.

MOSELEY: Carter; Mogensen, Hunt S, Hayter, Robinson B (Thomas 53); Hughes, Brown; Thorp (Herriott 71), Caves, Voisey, Lawrence (Hicks 53), Lockley, Pons, Robinson O, Pienaar. Replacements: Wilkes, Mather, Burrows, Hunt B

PIRATES: Nowell (Davies 63); Pointer, Riley, Hill (Cheeseman 49), Evans; Penberthy (Hallet 59), Cattle (Kessel 55); Storer (Joyce 63), Elloway (Yeandle 59), Paver, Lyons (Barry 79), Johnson, Maidment, Burgess, McGlone