Midlands 2 West (North)
Moseley Oak 38 v 28 Leek
Leek made the journey down the M6 to Birmingham to face Mosley Oak a team who had made a bright start to the season but their last two results had been disappointing. With players returning from injury for the home side and a long journey for the visitors this was going to be a test for the league leaders.
Leek fielded an unchanged front row of Lee Williams, Eddie Cheadle (capt) and Joe Newton Taylor. The second row was once again Harvey Bullman and Ben Barlow with the back row comprising Flankers Ollie Powell and Billy Kidd and at No 8 Joel Hine was recalled to the pack.
Liam McDermott made a first start of the season at Scrum half with Will Midwinter at Fly half. Centres were Rob McDermott and James Floyd with wings Joe Byrne and Tom Scragg. Jack Newton Taylor completed the starting line up at Fullback. On the bench Head Coach Joel Booth was joined by Elliott Anderson and Matt Tanner who received his first call up of the season.
The Moorlanders found themselves with a 10 point deficit to claw back after 7 minutes following a slow start that handed the advantage to Mosley Oak. The first try on 5mins came as a clearance from just outside the Leek 22 was kicked straight into touch, from the resulting lineout after 2 quick phases MO spun the ball wide to their outside centre who burst through the Leek line to score the opening try, the conversion was missed. The second score followed on 7 minutes as a poorly struck box kick from the Moseley Oak scrum half was touched in flight, as the ball was contested in the air it spilled forward with a fortuitous bounce straight into the MO right wingers grasp, he raced unopposed over the try line to score, the conversion was missed.
Leek now stirred into action and began to dominate possession, 15 mins a penalty was awarded to the visitors and the option to kick to the corner was taken, from the line out Leek formed a maul which drove up to the try line but MO managed to defend the attack. On 19mins after continuous pressure James Floyd used superb footwork to step his man and drive for the corner he was tackled but after 11 phases of play lock Harvey Bullman crashed his was over the line to score, Liam McDermott took the successful conversion to bring the score to 10-7. The hosts were awarded a penalty for offside on the Leek 22 and the kick sailed straight through the posts 13-7. From the Restart Mosley Oak caught the ball cleanly, but flanker Billy Kidd tackle the player into touch giving the Moorlanders the line out. Once more the blue boys pilled on the pressure forcing MO to concede a number of penalties, on 29 mins from a line out on the Moseley 5 metre line a maul was formed driving towards the try line as the attack faltered the back spun the ball wide and Joe Byrne ran at the MO outside centre with a fleet of foot he spun out of the defenders grasp and scored by the posts Liam McDermott added the conversion and the visitors took a 13-14 lead into half time.
Soon after the restart on 42 mins Leek faced a Moseley penalty for offside the kick was accurate and the Hosts re-took the lead 16-14. MO now moved up a gear and began to dominate possession and territory penning Leek inside their own 22. Head Coach Joel Booth took to the field replacing Ben Barlow on 48 mins. Moseley continued to have the upper hand and following a penalty on 52 mins elected to kick to the corner, the hosts then moved through 2 quick phases and then moved the ball through the backline to score wide the conversion was missed 21-14. The hosts continued to push the North Staffordshire outfit back and following some frantic defence after a series of scrums deep inside the Leek 22, Moseley were awarded a penalty on 65 mins for hands in the ruck, the kick was once more successful and the host lead increased to 24-14.
Elliot Anderson replaced Joe Byrne on 66mins, the visitors now fought back, a forward pass in the MO half gave Leek a scrum and after 4 phases of play Will Midwinter broke through the Mosley defence and drove for the line he was tackled just short but strong rucking from the Leek pack allowed Rob McDermott to recycle the ball and find Joel Booth who bludgeoned his was under the posts to score, Liam McDermott added the conversion moving the score to 24-21. With the game finely poised on 74 mins a penalty to Leek saw the ball kicked to the right hand corner 15 mtrs from the try line. The resulting line out was secured by the visitors and a driving maul bulldozered it was over the try line with Lee Williams scoring the try, once more Liam McDermott converted the kick maintaining his 100% success accuracy and giving Leek a 24-28 lead. Matt Tanner replaced Billy Kidd.
Unfortunately, Mosley Oak were not beaten yet and despite a valiant effort from the visitors the hosts drove Leek back and on 78 mins following a move of 10 phases Moseley once more used their backs to spin the ball wide and score right in the corner and the kick was converted to give MO a 31-28 lead.
From the re-start Leek had to throw caution to the wind but it was not to be, on 84 minutes from a scrum as the Leek backs blitzed forward trying to turn over possession the ball was spun to the Mosley right winger who beat his man and raced trough the visitors defence to score under the posts the conversion was good final score 38-28. This meant that Leek only had the try bonus point to show for their efforts.
However following Walsall’s 21-61 thrashing of Longton. Leek Remain top of the League by 1 point going into the next round of games.
Leek 1st XV host Newcastle at Esterchem Park, Saturday 27th November 2.15pm KO.
The matchday sponsors are Buildbase
Saturday the bar opens at 1pm
The 2nd XV travel to Winnington Park 2.15pm KO
The 3rd XV are away at Stoke on Friday 26th 7.30pm KO