Fair play to the refereeSat 16 Sep

The latest visitors to Webb Ellis Road were Moseley Oak who produced a highly competitive contest with the most bizarre ending to the game.

If Lions were slow out of the blocks, Moseley were just the opposite, with their strong running backs cutting swathes through the home defence. The visitors took the lead with a well struck penalty, and soon followed it up with a strong run out of defence to touch down for a converted try in front of the clubhouse. Two minutes later, they crossed the line again for what looked a try, but the referee deemed the ball to be held up. Lion's scrum was beginning to exert some pressure, although without captain Chris Wood, the line-out was not working well at all.

More strong running from the visitors led to an unconverted try to give them a healthy looking fifteen point lead after twenty five minutes. Lions were struggling to make inroads through the visitors defence until a catch and drive from a rare lineout win was driven over with Charlie Paxton claiming the try. This was converted by Dave Weston to reduce the deficit to 7-15 at half time.

Alex Tansley made a welcome return off the bench at the start of the second half, and his strong runs soon had the visitors on the back foot. With Lions beginning to gain the ascendancy up front, Dave Weston scored following sustained pressure in front of the posts, and he converted his own try to put Lions one point adrift. One penalty too far was conceded by Moseley in desperate defence, and the culprit was given a spell in the bin. More forward pressure from the home side led to Sam Herrington going over for a converted try to ease Lion's supporter's anxiety somewhat. With Lion's attempting to run out of their own 22, a loose pass was almost intercepted, and the big Moseley centre was very harshly binned for a deliberate knock-on. Yet another strong run for the clubhouse corner by Sam Herrington was supported by George Curtis who just sneaked over for the touch-down and the four try bonus point. Weston missed the conversion attempt.

Rumours began circulating the ground that the referee's scorecard didn't match the club's scoreboard, and when Moseley scored a try in the corner in the eighty fourth minute, their exuberant celebrations seemed to indicate more than just a losing bonus point gained. The conversion was missed and the final whistle blew. The look on the Lion's faces at the end of the game, confirmed that the referee had Moseley winning 26-27 and the home supporters thoroughly bemused.

Soon after the end of the game, the referee asked to review the video evidence of the first half, as he had Moseley on 22 points at that stage. This was carried out behind closed doors with representative of both teams in attendance to verify the outcome. This resulted in the referee spotting his error, and amending the final score accordingly. Fair play to the referee, who could have insisted he was right, and the score would have had to stand.

The supporter's suggestions of free beer for the rest of the season for the videographer (me) unfortunately seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Next week, Lions travel to Worcester, for a tough looking encounter, 3.00pm kick off.


Final score:-   Rugby Lions 26  Moseley Oak 20 

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