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Contenders queue up to claim Mose player crown... RUGBY.

Byline: BRIAN DICK Rugby Correspondent

DESPITE what on the face of it has been another year of struggle, at least in respect of their Championship status, Moseley's campaign has been an eye-catching one in terms of individual performances.

In previous seasons there have been one or two standout players, who have brought contrasting brands of X Factor to the collective resolve that has seen the club successfully fight relegation for much of the last seven years.

That has made the endof-season awards relatively predictable, with one or two leading contenders picking up the majority of the silverware.

This was the case not least last year when Mike Ellery scooped a couple of gongs and Neil Mason reaffirmed his value as player of the year.

However, this year's Moseley Player of the Year is a much tighter race, with any one of half-a-dozen contenders laying claim to the top accolade.

So just who is in the frame for the top gong? Here's my short-list of the most likely contenders...

BUSTER LAWRENCE (lock): Kevin Maggs and Dave Hilton unearthed a real diamond when they brought Lawrence from Dings Crusaders and the youngster has responded to the bright lights of the Championship by sparkling.

After starting the season not even in the match-day squad, the 21-year-old has grown to become not just an indispensable part of the team but one of its best players.

But it hasn't been a uniformly upward trajectory. His first seven starts in the second row were startling as he overcame concerns about his lack of size to impose himself upon bigger opponents.

His outings in the back row haven't been quite as impressive and so the question as to his best position remains, and he spent a couple of months out of the starting line-up.

However, he has burst back into the Maggs' XV, was brilliant against Bristol - who once invited him to hold a tackle bag as part of some community publicity stunt - and has added a scoring touch to his outstanding ball carrying.

ANTHONY CARTER (fullback/centre): Mr Reliable has proved his Championship quality in not one position but two and, arguably, three. Thrown into the lion's den at Bedford on the opening day of the season he performed creditably at outside-centre.

He returned to his normal eyrie at full-back for the next game against Nottingham only to be stricken by a travesty of justice as referee Sean Davey sent him off for illegal use of the elbow, later changed to a late tackle and finally commuted to a shoulder charge.

The whole thing stank of closed ranks. He was banned for two weeks and rightly outraged at the ramifications the suspension might have had on his career as a physiotherapist.

However, he recovered to play well at 15 and then stepped into the breach at inside-centre when Charlie Hayter moved to London Wasps.

Going into last weekend Moseley had won six of their ten matches with Carter at

CAPTION(S):

Moseley likely lads, from left, Anthony Carter, Sam Brown, Addison Lockley, top, and Buster Lawrence
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 4, 2013
Words:510
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