The home team responded with a try after 15 minutes and the teams changed ends with the score even at 7 points all. This was a fair representation of the first 40 minutes play in which Moseley Oak, playing down the slope, had the better of field position and generally controlled the set scrums, whilst Hereford’s backs always looked dangerous with the ball in hand. In the second period, the Wyesiders had more possession and ran in four further tries, before Moseley Oak were gifted a consolation penalty try, taking the final score to 14 points to 35.
“This was a very good performance away from home.” said coach Luke Fisher, “There were some great performances from players stepping up, Jed Goodrum, Josh Lawrence and Jordan Sheehy all made valuable contributions and Ben Hillstead’s experience added some stability to the scrum. After a scrappy first half we increased the tempo and earned the right to spread the ball wide. Mark Philo was welcome back, he played well and introduced some flair, there was strong defence from Richard Jones, but Will Ford was the star man with solid defence and electric energy in attack. During the game we suffered injuries to Leon Parsons, Luke Yarranton and James Stubbs. We wish them all speedy recoveries.”
Hereford were put under pressure for most of the first half by the big Moseley Oak pack, but they took an early lead with a well taken try. Richard Preece won a lineout in the Hereford half and Tom Starkey broke into the Moseley Oak half with an aggressive run. When challenged, he made an off load out of the tackle to Will Ford, who beat the cover defence to score, James Stubbs made the conversion. Moseley Oak responded with increased forward led pressure and despite some solid defence, forced a gap for their scrum half to dive over for a try. The conversion levelled the scores at 7 points each. Just before half time, Hereford centre, Leon Parsons dislocated his shoulder making a tackle and was taken to hospital for treatment.
After the interval, the forwards won a better supply of good ball and running their patterns allowed the backs to cut loose. Fifteen minutes into the half Hereford regained the lead when, after a series of pick and drives, the ball was released for Will Ford, who registered his second try, James Stubbs again provided the conversion. In the following ten minutes the Wyesiders doubled their score. A storming run from Mark Philo took play into the Moseley Oak 22, defenders were caught offside and scrum half Fran Jennings took a tap and go to claim the third try. The fourth and bonus point try came when James Stubbs intercepted a loose Moseley Oak pass on half way to run in under the posts. Conversions from Jordan Sheehy and Will Ford took the Hereford lead to 28 points to 7. Hereford completed a period when they controlled the game with a try from Ollie Hutcheson. He picked up from the base of a scrum on the edge of the Moseley Oak 22 and drove over for a try which Jordan Sheehy converted. In a frantic few minutes in injury time Moseley Oak were awarded the consolation of a penalty try and Hereford players Will Ford and Tom Slater were shown yellow cards.
This was a gutsy performance from a Hereford team missing skipper Tom Ewins, two props Guido Suez and James Gannon and influential backs, Ben Osbourne and Perry Pudge. Their replacements all stepped up and put in good performances. Despite being out weighted the forwards played well. None better than Matt Hill who carried well all match and Gareth Jones as always safe in the lineout, carried with some rampaging runs. Richard Preece captaining the side led the team well and last, but not least Luke ‘Jersey’ Fisher coach, but today hooker, whose very vocal encouragement was a source of inspiration. Next week’s game is the against Rugby Lions at Wyeside, it is the last home league game of a season, which is likely to see the club end with a final league placing of 5th or 6th.
Updated 17:31 - 15 Apr 2018 by Rob Davies