RFU Championship play-offs: Esher 22 Moseley 27
Moseley's victory in this tension-racked relegation play-off goes a long way to securing their place in next year's Championship but the fact they nearly lost it underlines why that status is under threat in the first place.
This, after all, was a match in which they were superior in virtually every facet. They had the tighter defence, two dominant set-pieces, more physicality at the breakdown and with their driving maul possessed the most potent weapon on show.
Yet they had to wait until the 78th minute before the splendid Chevvy Pennycook finally secured four precious points and a result that puts nearly two lengths of clear blue water between themselves and Birmingham & Solihull in the drop zone.
The rivals clash at Damson Park next Sunday in what will be an intriguing local derby and either a public hanging or a stay of execution.
If they are to emerge triumphant in that encounter Moseley will have to commit far fewer errors and misdemeanours than they coughed up in leafy Surrey because make no mistake about it - for all their supremacy Sammy Ulph's boot nearly kicked them all the way back up the M40.
And they would only have had themselves to blame because whenever they threatened to take a meaningful stride away from Esher, a scrum penalty here or turnover there let the hosts off the hook.
As a result Ulph kicked five penalties and Moseley wasted probably twice as many attacking positions.
Thankfully for them Pennycook was at his irresistible best and for someone who is not a No 8 in two months of Sundays did a very passable impression of a Championship quality No 8.
If his first try, in the 23rd minute, was down to that well-organised maul, his second was a classic loose forward finish.
With his side trailing by two points but well placed with a scrum near the home line, the Bristolian picked up from the base, beat the first man and stretched through the second.
Ollie Thomas' conversion ensured Esher needed a try of their own in the last 60 seconds and having finally got their restart receipt sorted Moseley were able to play out time without incident.
And Thomas' part in the last two wins should not be underestimated. While Ulph has been virtually the only source of Esher's points in those back-to-back fixtures, Thomas' has been the icing rather than the cake.
It has been a generous covering, though. Marooned on the right wing the fly half has responded excellently and kicked five of his six attempts here to go with his eight successes from ten shots last weekend. The 33 points he has harvested in the process have been absolutely vital.
As has the work of the Moseley back row. Having suggested Pennycook is a square peg in a round hole at the back of the scrum, the balance Michael Maltman and Ben Pons combined with Pennycook's counter-rucking has been instrumental in shutting down Esher at source.
It seems after 29 games Ian Smith has finally settled on his best combination and assuming they can maintain the intensity next weekend, the discovery has come at the perfect time.
ESHER: Ulph; Loizides (Griffiths 26); MacKenzie, Jewell, Chisolm; Slemen, Gibbs (Garner 61); Millard (Tunnicliff 61), Corrigan (Campbell 55), Baker, Rudzki, Inglis (Blakeburn 55), Wallace, Stitcher, Mayhew (Renwick 76). Replacement not used: Cruickshanks,
MOSELEY: Carter; Bishay, Bishop (Armitage 13), Reay, Thomas; Davies, De La Harpe; Voisey (Williams 55), Caves, Sigley (Voisey 79), Lyons, Stott, Maltman, Pons, Pennycook. Replacements not used: Warner, Evans, Maidment, Taylor, Bressington
Referee: Martin Fox (RFU)