Moseley were without some players due to injury, however the performance of the entire squad would not have suggested this. Lakenham started the game with 14 players and Moseley looked to exploit the overlaps in attack. Moseley started strongly and put together some brilliant passages of play, however it was Lakenham who were first on the scoreboard, with their centre intercepting a loose pass and sprinting in from half way to score. This was unconverted.
Moseley didn’t panic and carried on playing well, tightening up the passes which was difficult in the swirling wind and patches of hail. The support play from Moseley was excellent throughout the game, whenever anyone broke through the line there was always someone on her shoulder to offer an offload or rucking support. Moseley’s first score was a typical Emma Shields try with swift hands down the backs, releasing Shields in space to outsprint the defence. This was converted by Nicola Sykes.
Moseley scored again soon after, with possibly their best try of the season. The forwards set up the ball through a solid ruck, Emily Dove passed to captain Ashleigh Aiston, who fed Laura Redhead at inside centre. After breaking the line Redhead was tackled and offloaded back to Aiston who fixed the defender to release Nicola Sykes into space. When she was caught the fullback then offloaded to blindside flanker Pas Holden, who was tackled and offloaded to Katie Boot to fix another defender with a perfectly timed pass to Michelle Finch, who wriggled through two defenders to score in the corner.
The forwards worked tirelessly all game in both attack and defence, dominating the breakdown and with Olly Gough, Susan Mabbett and Kerianne Meadowcroft putting in bone crunching tackles. Steph Warner and Boe Meaton were excellent and very effective in turning over the ball and setting up the next attack.
Emily Dove carried on her quick tap success, running in a try from outside the 22. Katie Boot has grown in confidence over the past few games and was running excellent lines from outside centre. This led to her first try for Moseley and four minutes later her second. Moseley finished off the scoring for the first half with Ashleigh Aiston stealing the ball in her own 22 and sprinting almost the length of the pitch to score.
Hal Time: Moseley 34 – 5 Lakenham Hewett.
Lakenham rallied at half time and, after a few injuries, and started to make progress up the pitch. Their inside centre always looked dangerous with ball in hand and crashed through the Moseley defence to score her second try.
Moseley went straight up the other end and scored through prop Kerianne Meadowcroft outpacing the Lakenham defence. This was swiftly followed by Emma Shields’ second try after good hands from the backs releasing her into space and she stepped the final defender.
Moseley then started to use their bench with and immediate impact. Caz Goodman came on at 12 and broke through the line to set up the next attack. She fixed the final defender with a perfectly timed pass to Ashleigh Aiston to finish off the move.
Moseley’s discipline started to falter, with a number of offsides in quick succession. They regrouped though and the defence was excellent, particularly around the fringes of the rucks and mauls. Moseley then made a triple substitution with Beks Rothnie, Laura Knott and Sham Begum coming on to provide fresh legs. All three got stuck in immediately and assisted in setting up Emma Shields for her hattrick. Nicola Brown then came on for the final ten minutes, with Moseley defending strongly to make yards out of their 22. Clare Bowyer continued to work hard in attack, offloading the ball to Kerianne Meadowcroft to be able to power over the line for her second try.
Moseley’s final try came through further excellent support play with Caz Goodman dummying through the defence, offloading to Emma Shields, who passed off to Nicola Sykes to run in her 17th try of the season, which she duly converted.
To Lakenham’s credit they never gave up throughout the game and were very physical in both attack and defence. This brilliant attitude was rewarded right at the death with their 12 crashing over from short range to secure her hattrick.
Final score – Moseley 66 – 15 Lakenham Hewett
This game really showed the progress that has been made by the squad this year. The passing and support play has really improved, as well as the determined defence. We’ve had a lot of new players into the squad, some with experience, some without and all have really settled into the team. It was the best game I’ve seen Pas Holden, Kerianne Meadowcroft and Michelle Finch play. Laura Redhead and Megan Satterley have really grown into their roles and are looking more and more confident each week. Special mention to Olly Gough who played whilst looking grey for most of the game (great commitment!) and to Ashleigh Aiston for ably stepping in as captain and leading the team.
Back of the match went to Katie Boot for her excellent space creating lines of running and fearless tackling. Forward of the match went to Susan Mabbett who was everywhere making hard hitting tackles and leading the defence.
Moseley travel to Novocastrians next week in the Quarter Final of the RFU Intermediate Cup. The final league game is then away to Lichfield on 2 March where Moseley will look to finish the campaign on a high!