Hereford won the toss and chose to play with the wind.
Before the kick-off both teams observed a minute’s silence in memory of Jan Webster a former Moseley player and an England International on eleven occasions.
The Hereford team, missing several influential players salvaged a draw with a late try and some last ditch defending in the final minutes. Playing with the strong wind at their backs in the first half, Hereford failed to make the most of their chances and changed ends with a disappointingly narrow lead at 14 points to 5. In the second period, Moseley Oak used the wind to their advantage and spent long periods penning Hereford in their own half. Two converted tries gave the hosts a 5 points lead with 10 minutes to go before some driving play enabled the Wyesiders to add a try to level the scores, unfortunately Bryn Goodall’s conversion attempt into the wind was just wide. For the final minutes Moseley Oak put everything into attack and only some determined defence enabled Hereford to hold out until the final whistle.
After the game Head Coach, Sean Lynn said,” We were not clinical enough at the start of the first half especially after winning the toss and playing with the wind. We knew that going in at half-time with just a 9-point lead was not enough. Moseley kept the ball very well in the first period and in the second half took a 19 points to 14 lead. Our boys showed good character in the last minutes of the game, they just kept playing the phases. Tom Starkey stepped up into the first receiver channel and just wanted to go forward and we scored a try to secure 2 points for the draw. Full credit to Moseley, we knew what they would bring and they delivered. Now we go back to the drawing board to prepare for our Friday evening game with Malvern.”
Hereford started well and with some driving play put pressure on the Moseley Oak defence. A drive in midfield into home territory, led by Jamie Humphreys forced an attacking scrum. The ball was moved wide to George Hillson, who raced through for the first try, which was converted by Bryn Goodall. A speculative kick ahead from Bryn Goodall was followed up by Leon Parsons and the ball ran loose to Tom Starkey, who avoided the cover defence and touched down for a try, which Goodall converted. Moseley, playing into the wind, kept ball in hand and kept possession for long periods of the first half. This paid off, when the pressure set up enabled them to move the ball across the three-quarter line to outflank the defence and score an unconverted try in the corner. The Wyesiders had a number of other first half opportunities, but were unable to add to their score and at the half the score remained at 5 points to 14.
In the second period, Moseley Oak kept Hereford penned into their own half with some accurate kicking and were able to add a brace of converted tries, giving them a lead going into the final quarter of 19 points to 14. Hereford made progress towards the Moseley Oak line by keeping ball in hand and eventually some driving play in mid-field provided the opportunity to equalise, when Leon Parsons forced his way over in the corner. From the restart Moseley kicked deep into Hereford territory and proceeded to batter the Hereford defence until the final whistle. The determined Hereford defence held out and they fully deserved their share of the points.
It is of concern that Hereford are not creating chances in attack, although they do take opportunities that arise from broken play and their defensive efforts are determined and well-co-ordinated. Leon Parsons and Ollie Hutcheson were prominent in both attack and defence and James Chamberlain, making his first team debut from the bench, can be pleased with his performance. On Friday Hereford play their rescheduled game with Malvern, a match to be played under the Ledbury RFC floodlights, kick-off 8.00pm.