Bristol Crash At Billesley Common
Moseley 23 - 14 Bristol Rugby
Bristol Rugby’s hopes of achieving a place in the RFU Championship top four suffered a setback at Billesley Common, as Moseley came from behind to win 23-14 on Friday evening.
Liam Middleton’s side led 14-0 after twenty minutes after Ryan Edwards and Ross Johnston posted early tries, but Moseley fought back with two scores of their own to claim the spoils and condemn Bristol to a second successive league defeat.
Academy star Edwards lit up a scrappy opening period with a fine opportunist try after ten minutes. The winger ripped the ball from Ben Pienaar’s grasp and raced in unopposed for a converted try.
In the driving rain, Marco Mama came close to adding a second after Ben Glynn had muscled with way clear, but the flanker was thwarted by a scrambled cover tackle from former Dings forward Buster Lawrence.
Bristol pushed further ahead to 0-14 with a second converted effort following a period of sustained pressure, as Ross Johnston capitalized on a strong driving lineout to rumble over from close range.
Luke Eves thought he’d scored a third on the half hour when he carved through the midfield, but play was recalled by referee Llyr Apgeraint Roberts for an adjudged forward pass.
Ollie Thomas had a chance to get points on the board for the home side, but the fly half saw his penalty attempt fade short and Jack Tovey walloped the ball to safety.
Moseley continued to pile on the pressure late in the half and, after Redford Pennycook saw yellow for sacking the maul, Sam Dickinson powered over from five metres to halve the deficit at the interval.
Bristol endured a nightmare start to the second period, as Roy Winters’ yellow card for pulling down the maul reduced the visitors to thirteen men. Ollie Thomas struck a penalty goal to move Moseley within four points at 10-14, before landing another three-pointer moments later.
The home side continued to apply the pressure, and Anthony Carter came within inches of crossing after charging down Tristan Roberts’ clearance, only to be dragged down by James Grindal with the tryline gaping.
Moseley did turn the game on its head moments later though, as Ollie Thomas slotted a penalty goal to move his side into a narrow 16-14 lead.
Replacement fly half Matthew Jones had a chance to put Bristol back in front with a penalty, but his effort sailed wide of the target.
The hosts sealed the win late on as Buster Lawrence raced in from eight metres for a converted try, as Bristol’s miserable run at Billesley Common continued.
Oliver Thomas; Simon Hunt, Greg King, Anthony Carter, Billy Robinson; Glynn Hughes, Ryan Glynn; Ethan Waller, Sam Wilkes, Ben Evans, Mike Powell, Buster Lawrence, Neil Mason, Oliver Robinson, Ben Pienaar.
Replacements: Tom Warren (for Ethan Waller, 69 mins), Matt Williams (for Sam Wilkes, 68 mins), Addison Lockley (for Mike Powell, 57 mins), Sam Dickinson (for Ben Pienaar, 31 mins), Ben Pons (for Neil Mason, 52 mins), Sam Brown (for Ryan Glynn, 68 mins), Brad Davies.
Jack Tovey; George Watkins, Fautua Otto, Luke Eves, Ryan Edwards; Tristan Roberts, James Grindal (c); Kyle Traynor, Ross Johnston, Wayne Thompson, Ben Glynn, Roy Winters, Marco Mama, Redford Pennycook, Mitch Eadie.
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence (for Ross Johnston, 65 mins), Bruce Douglas (for Wayne Thompson, 45 mins), Glen Townson (for Ben Gynn, 38 mins), Iain Grieve (for Mitch Eadie, 62 mins), Ruki Tipuna (for James Grindal, 73 mins), Matt Jones (for Tristan Roberts, 63 mins), Andy Short (for George Watkins, 69 mins).
Referee: Llyr Apgeraint Roberts