Oldershaw vs Mossley Hill Match Report (Written by Chris Jones)
After the best part of a month without a fixture Mossley made the journey over the water to Oldershaw looking to get back to winning ways and climb up the table.
In true Mossley fashion I’m beginning writing this at 2pm and with 15minutes until kick off I’m counting 8 players changed and looking vaguely ready to play.
Mossley started well forcing a knock on in straight from kick off, for a change our line-out and Pats throwing was functioning like a well oiled machine, but it was maintaining our own ball at the breakdown that was the main challenge for us in the first 10 with sloppy handling letting us down.
A particular highlight from the first 10 mins with both teams cancelling each other out, was Adam Rooney mentioning to their winger that had he got the ball he was “having him” I’m not sure what to read into that, maybe if he wants to explain if he was going to gas him or flatten him that would clear things up?
Mossleys game plan was going well as agreed pre match (keep the ball and don’t let them score in the first 20 minutes, hardy vintage Clive Woodward but it was working.
At 20minutes with the home crowd of 15 silenced and their penalty count already at 6 given away, if was just unforced errors holding Mossley from getting a score on the board.
Particular points of note include: a perfectly executed 62 and Andy Brown running a great line being tackled brilliantly by their fullback to stop Mossley opening the scoring under the sticks. Likewise Dave Guest with a fantastic tackle avoiding a try in the corner forcing thief winger into touch.
At 35 minutes Mossley finally made the breakthrough they deserved for the pressure they had exerted. Another solid line out drive and then slick play across the pitch by the backs allowed Adam Wray to open the scoring in the corner (I’m sure there was a pass on here, but let’s be honest we all know Adam doesn’t pass with the line beckoning). Dave Guest narrowly missed the extras.
Unfortunately right on half time Oldershaw drew level with a purely old school try with some heavy carries through forwards and probably over 20 phases before they eventually bashed over, this was testament to mossleys defence which up until then had been fantastic from 1-15.
5-5 with the game poised at half time.
Over half time it became apparent that Ste the beard’s free bar at the work Xmas party the night before was not sitting well and he needed a well earned rest. This pushed Guesty to 10 and John Cipriani Whittaker to 6. Simon and Lewis both looked delighted that they might now receive some ball in the centres second half ;)
5 minutes into the second half Mossley retook the lead after good carries from Andy Brown and then Neil Griffin led to a penalty which Dave Guest slotted for 8-5.
In true Mossley Hill fashion however, before I’ve even finished typing up our conversion we have managed to switch off on concede a really poor try, sadly for a change in this game it was our tackling letting us down and Oldershaw big carriers had started gaining ground with every carry. 10-8 to Oldershaw after they hit the beans with the conversion.
Sadly the theme of the half continued, Mossley errors off our own scrum and some poor handling led to a try in the corner for Oldershaw with some decent handling from their back line. 17-8 Mossley have it all to do now and really wasn’t deserved after our really solid first half display.
Once again the theme of this basketball game of rugby continues before I’ve typed up their try, Nye is in for a great individual try to make it 17-13, Guesty missed the conversion. Mossley now firmly back in the game and in prime position to kick on and win the game.
Or maybe not...
Typically we then knock on from the Oldershaw kick off, killing our momentum, with 22 minutes to go and 2 points in it.
Approaching the last 15 Oldershaw manage to burrow over for another try and conversion. 24-13. Mossley really contributing to their own downfall here again with great tackling one moment from Ste Birkett and then poor tackling the next allowing arguably their smallest player in round the guard to score and leave a pretty easy conversion that even Alex Jones wouldn’t have missed.
11 points down with 13 minutes to go, it’s beginning to sound like we’re going to need inspiration for Leicester’s great escape to win this one.
With the game petering our and Oldershaw just slowing things down in our half they earn themselves a penalty and duly kick it to earn probably an unassailable lead at 27-13. Based on the balance of the game this was probably unfair as there really wasn’t much between the two teams.
And unfortunately that’s how it finished up, A poor second half performance from Mossley, after putting ourselves in a good position in the first half means the game ends 27-13 to Oldershaw.
Positives to take away include our line out which for the most part functioned well and our line speed in defence first half.
Unfortunately in the second half we found our runners to isolated and consistently turned over, so something to work on there.
Let’s get everyone down to training this week and put things right next week
Man of the match for Chris Jones is…. Andy Brown.