Second Half Comeback Keeps Mowden at the Top
Four second half tries ensured DMP maintained their 100% start to the season.
In a carbon copy of last season's performance at Birmingham Moseley RFC's Billesley Common HQ, DMPRFC held their nerve after the home side had edged the first half, to dominate the second half with a dominant performance of 15-man rugby, to which the opposition had no answer.
Last season, DMPRFC were 19 - 0 down before sneaking the win 19 - 21. But this time there was no question of the home side being 'mugged' at the end, as the visitors ran out deserved winners, with a convincing display after the break.
On a perfect day for a game of rugby, the home side decided to utilise the slope at Billesley Common and the elements in the form of a deceptive wind and a bright sunshine, restricting the vision of their opponents, as the match kicked off in front of a sizeable home crowd boosted by a decent travelling contingent from the North.
Within two minutes the home side were awarded a penalty, when a visiting defender was found to be entering the ruck from the side. Home fly half James Dixon registering the first points of the game (0 - 3).
Both sides enjoyed an equal amount of possession in the opening ten minutes of play, but neither managed to construct an opening, as the final pass or passage of play broke down with regularity.
Then came a blow for Birmingham Moseley, as experienced hooker Adam Caves was forced to leave the field for the duration of the game, after being knocked unconscious whilst tackling his opposite number Chris Wood.
Two minutes later however, home No. 8 Chris Brightwell softened the blow of the loss, by scoring the game's first try when the DMPRFC defence found themselves stretched, allowing Brightwell to cut a line through to score (8 - 0), the conversion missed by Dixon.
Fly half Warren Seals put DMPRFC 's first points on the scoreboard, just before the first quarter of the game had elapsed, as an over exuberant home defender's tackle had strayed too high in the judgement of the official (8 - 3).
A pair of penalties within less than ten minutes were then registered by Birmingham Moseley, as DMPRFC fell foul of the official at the ruck (11 - 3) and in the tackle respectively (14- 3), allowing the home side to take an 11-point advantage into the break, as both sides rued missing several scoring opportunities in the first forty minutes.
Birmingham Moseley added to their total within three minutes of the restart, when a long speculative kick out of defence by the visitors was collected and returned in kind and after some frantic defence, a DMPRFC defender held on in the tackle, allowing the home side to add another three points to their total (17 - 3).
At this point, DMPRFC enjoyed a ten minute 'purple-patch', effectively wrapping up the game, scoring three converted tries in the process, ending the resistance of Birmingham Moseley.
The first try came courtesy of the reliable Grant Connon who found himself able to penetrate the home defence with pin-point accuracy, as the DMPRFC forwards had made sufficient progress deep into the home side's territory with pick and drive' tactics able to fashion the opportunity (17 - 8), SEALS converting (17 - 10).
This was quickly followed by a typical barnstorming effort by replacement flanker Simon Uzokwe, who 'skittled' a trio of home defenders on his way to scoring an awesome individual try (17 - 15), which was easily converted by SEALS (17 - 17).
This evened up the scores, however, DMPRFC were in no mood to consolidate and it was fellow back row Ollie Hodgson, who charged over after a break from McCartney DMPRFC (17 - 22) and with the successful conversion from SEALS to follow (17 - 24), Birmingham Moseley looked 'shell-shocked' as did the home supporters as the noise levels dramatically reduced.
All credit to Birmingham Moseley, they did rally and mounted a series of positive incursions deep into the visitors territory. Ignoring two successive penalty efforts on goal, the home side opted for the lineout each time but were thwarted by some mean DMPRFC defence.
However, two 5-metre scrums looked like bringing reward for the home side's efforts. Only some huge defence from DMPRFC prevented Birmingham Moseley from scoring and when the final scrum was negated, DMPRFC broke out of defence, instigated by a massive kick from replacement lock Talite Vaioleti, which wreaked havoc in the retreating home defence, who had all been sucked into attack.
DMPRFC manage to regain the ball and winger Shaun McCartney, who had been faultless under the high ball all game, found room to storm in to wrap up proceedings for the visitors (17 - 29).
With replacement Garry Law adding the extras (17 - 31) it wasn't long before the official's whistle heralded the end of a game and another 5-point hall for DMPRFC.