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Rugby: Moseley enhance promotion claims after absorbing battle; NATIONAL TWO.

Byline: By Jack Kay at Rectory Field

Blackheath 24

Moseley 29

Promotion favourites Moseley took the points in this eight-try thriller but the spoils in terms of entertainment were shared after an absorbing encounter that will be recalled for years to come.

Blackheath were first out of the blocks and very nearly caused an early upset. In fact, it was five minutes before the visitors got a hand on the ball and when they did, winger Nathan Bressington was unlucky after a smart chip-ahead nearly paid dividends.

Moseley's next move was more rewarding when a neat crossfield move allowed James Aston to score in the right-hand corner. Fly-half Ollie Thomas hit the post with his conversion attempt, however.

Blackheath took the lead in the 20th minute when newly-appointed skipper Tom Bason scored under the posts, although it was a while before the referee signalled the score was good. Frankie Neale converted.

Two minutes later, Moseley were shocked as the Londoners increased their lead. The visitors looked to have created an overlap but before they could make the extra man count, Blackheath winger Shane Roiser spotted the chance for an interception.

One unchallenged gallop took him half the length of the field and Neale was again soon adding the extra two points.

Moseley shook off their torpor and, seven minutes later, were back in the match. Thomas began to orchestrate matters in the middle of the pitch and it was he who set up centre Darren O'Leary to cross for the simplest of tries, the fly-half converting.

The momentum had swung back towards Moseley and it was the visitors who regained the lead. Bressington, a constant thorn in Blackheath's side all afternoon, crossed for his side's third try but Thomas missed his second conversion attempt.

Five minutes before the interval, Moseley hooker Dean Bick went over for his tenth try of the season, earning his side a bonus point in the process, but Thomas' ill-luck with the boot continued as his conversion attempt bounced back off the crossbar.

Straight from the restart, Moseley increased their lead to 27-14, the impressive Aston doing the honours with his second score of the day.

Thomas converted for only the second time in the match but, if the visitors thought they had the match won, they were given a jolt by battling Blackheath.

Neale reduced the arrears with a penalty and then replacement Prince Moyo scored the try of the game, latching on to a crossfield kick from Harvey Biljon before beating the despairing Moseley cover to score under the posts.

Neale converted to bring Blackheath within five points, but almost constant pressure on the Moseley line failed to bring its reward, the Midlanders repelling line-out after line-out to hang on for victory.

BLACKHEATH: Neale' Maurer, Sorour, Foxwell, Roiser' Delport, Biljon' Aseme, Allen, Dewale' Bason (capt), Vanner' Brett, Natera, Legg. Replacements: Meeuws, Pope, Jol, Moyo.

MOSELEY: Binns' Bressington, O'Leary, Reay, Ashton' Thomas, Taylor (capt)' Rodwell, Mason, Evans, Stott, Hallman, Bayliss, Bick, Buxton. Replacements: Coles, Caves, Skelding, McDonald.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 16, 2006
Words:502
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