Leek came away with their 3rd losing bonus point however to maintain their top half status.
Jason Milner was back in the front row with Ed Cheadle and Tom Hine. Luke Hardern and James Hall were at lock. Simon Drew was recalled on the blind flank with Andy McFadden unavailable. Ad Nettel moved to No.8 with Tom Sims on the open side.
Dan Needham and Gary McDermott were at half back. Shane Dicker and Nick Palmer were in the centre with Ad Smith on the left wing, Jack Newton Taylor on the right wing and Dan Smith at full back.
Ben Smith, (making a prile of Smith brothers in the squad), Tom Bourne and Matt Slinn were on the bench.
On a cold, clear day in Yardley Wood, it only took one minute for the Smith brothers to exchange positions as Ad Smith twisted his ankle in the opening play and brother Ben took his place on the wing.
Leek's early intention was to attack and on 2 minutes were in the Oak 22 but were penalised for offside. Leek dominated the opening 15 minutes and were rewarded with a penalty on 12 minutes for not rolling away. Dan Smith converted the easy penalty from in front of the posts to hand Leek the early lead at 3-0.
3 minutes later and the Oak scrum half had converted the equalising penalty from the Leek 22 for not releasing in the tackle.
On 22 minutes Dan Smith had a difficult chance to move Leek into the lead again, but the ball was pushed wide. On 26 minutes, Leek won another penalty for offside and McDermott kicked the penalty to the Oak 5 metre line for a lineout. A good catch and drive was then followed by one stop, so McDermott joined at the back of the maul and dived under the advancing Leek forwards for a nice try. Smith's conversion missed again but Leek had an 8-3 lead.
The half was then evenly contested as both sets of defences held firm. On 36 minutes, Oak had the chance to pull 3 points back but the penalty attempt for not rolling away hit the post and although McDermott knocked on and gave Moseley Oak a scrum 5 metres from the Leek line, Leek defended well and were given a penalty when the Oak lock was adjudged a double movement in trying to score a try.
With 3 minutes added time on the clock, Moseley Oak did pull 3 points back as a high tackle was spotted by the referee and the half ended with Leek holding a slender 8-6 lead and facing the low sun, playing up field with a slight wind against.
It took the home side 4 minutes of the 2nd half to win a penalty for not rolling away and take the lead from the ensuing penalty kick and at 9-8 Oak were growing in confidence.
On 53 minutes, the scrum half squandered an easy chance to increase the Oak lead, but he made up for it on 63 minutes as Leek made a mess at the back of a scrum. 12-8.
Matt Slinn came on for Simon Drew and on 65 minutes a golden opportunity for Leek to have a lineout on Mosley Oak's 5 metre line with a penalty was wasted as the kick didn't find touch.
The Moseley Oak scrum half had astutely kicked to the corners all 2nd half to keep Leek pinned in their 22 and trying to run the ball out and it was getting difficult to mount any kind of attack but on 70 minutes, Leek won a penalty 40 metres out for offside and Smith's excellent conversion pulled the score back to 12-11.
Leek's spirit grew and a nice move up the right touch saw Ben Smith break tackles and get tot he Oak 5 meter line. Good ball to the backs found Leek under the Oak posts but a not releasing decision effectively ended the hopes of the visitors as Moseley Oak responded to keep the ball down in the Leek half.
At the death, another kick to the left corner saw the Leek backs make a meal of the clearance and a simple touchdown gave the home side their first try of the day. if the conversion from the right touch had gone over, it would have denied Leek a point, but as it was, and probably reflecting correctly, the score ended at 17-11 with the home side maintaining their unbeaten home run and Leek winning a bonus point.
Good performances from James Hall at lock, Simon Drew at flank and Ben Smith on the right wing bode well for the depth of the squad as all clubs face injury and unavailability this time of the year.
Leek now have 2 home games in a row starting with the visit of the tough side Spartans who will be at St Edwards this Saturday. KO is 2.15.
Then on December 22nd, Leek entertain Aston Old Eds in the first game of the reverse fixtures. Again KO is at 2.15 with a festive clubhouse in store for members and friends.
Come out and enjoy the home atmosphere and be assured of a warm welcome this Christmas from all at St Edwards and Leek Rugby Club.
The shock of the day this week was undoubtedly Wolverhampton's home defeat to Bridgnorth at 12-5. Silhillians won a close affair at Old Salts to clinch their 7th win in a row and are clearly the side to beat now as they crept closer to Wolves. Stafford bounced back with a good win against Aston. Tamworth's miserable run continued as Spartans won their 2nd game in a row.