Plymouth Albion 34 Moseley 34
Friday 20th September 2013
When referee Mathew Carley blew his final whistle on Friday evening it felt to the majority Albion fans like a home defeat.
On reflection supporters accepted that they had seen a highly entertaining game of rugby and Albion had a healthy return of eight points from their first two league matches.
Leading 31-6 in the 34th minute, and with the try scoring already in the bag, Albion had the game won and there should have been no way back for Moseley.
In fact at this stage a 50 point win looked to be on the cards but it wasn’t to be.
Moseley to their credit refused to lie down and two late tries saw them snatch the draw, which like Albion saw them finish up with three league points.
Albion head coach who came on as a second half replacement said, “Deep into stoppage time there was only one side that was going to win that game and it wasn’t us.
“When we eventually were awarded a penalty I told Paul Rowley to put the ball into touch to make sure we didn’t lose any more points.”
Shanahan when asked if it was three points gained or two points lost replied, “Definitely two points lost. In the first half we played some great rugby and looked a very good side.
“I said at half time that the only things that would kill us were discipline and complacency. Our discipline in the second half was shocking and you can’t expect to win a game when you give away 22 penalties.
“In the last ten minutes we had no shape or structure and played as individuals. Two stupid yellow cards are not good enough at this level.
‘Our errors cost us the game but you have to give credit to Moseley.”
Following the excellent opening day victory over Jersey, Shanahan made seven changes to his starting line up with two of them being positional.
Wing Lewis Warner picked up a leg injury against Jersey and his place went to Irishman Ben Woods, who made his league debut for Albion.
In the centre Heath Stevens was preferred to Pale Nonu and Ruairi Cushion who was impressive off the bench against Jersey was handed the number 9 shirt, with Paul Rowley dropping to the bench.
Experienced Gareth Evans started at hooker, with skipper Rhys Oakley moving into the second row.
In the back row Sean-Michael Stephen moved across to No8 with Matavesi selected at flanker.
Moseley who went into the game off the back of a 42-24 loss to Rotherham included former Cornish Pirate Ollie Thomas at fly half.
Dan Mugford opened the scoring for Albion with a penalty and minutes later the fly half went in under the posts for his sides first try
Thomas got Moseley up and running with a penalty before Howley-Berridge was yellow carded for an illegal tackle.
While Howley-Berridge was off the field a rampant Albion side added two more tries.
Flanker Eoghan Grace put Stevens in under the posts and after kicking for the corner Matavesi finished off a catch and drive move.
Thomas replied with a penalty before Albion wing Tom Bowen went through two defenders for his sides bonus point try.
Mugford who finished with a 100% kicking record and a personal tally of 19 points converted all four tries.
Moseley hooker Rhys Buckley crossed shortly before the interval and when Thomas added the conversion Albion went into half time leading 31-13.
Albion opened the second half scoring with a Mugford penalty before Moseley staged their comeback.
Lock Cory Hill got the visitors second try and in the final minutes centre Anthony Carter and wing Matt Williams scored tries that were all converted by Thomas.
One of the real positives on the evening was the goal kicking of Mugford. In the matches against Jersey and Moseley, Mugford has had 13 kicks at goal and slotted the lot.
Plymouth Albion: C Elder, T Bowen, T Howley-Berridge, H Stevens, B Woods (J Shanahan 69), D Mugford, R Cushion (P Rowley 69), D Morton, G Evans (D McGregor 49), M Shields (B Rogers 63), R Oakley capt, B Beukeboom, S Matavesi (R Langley 67), E Grace, S-M Stephen (Ascroft-Leigh 60) rep not used L Messer
Tries: Mugford, Stevens, Matavesi, Bowen
Cons: Mugford 4
Pens: Mugford 2
Moseley: M Penn (S Hunt 49), S Armstrong, G King, A Carter, M Williams, O Thomas, S Brown (A Day 36-40 and 63)), C Voisey( S Thorp 74), R Buckley (W Evans 16-19), B Evans (A Parkins 67) A Woolford, C Hill (M Powell 67), N Burrows (B Lawrence 54), O Robinson, N Mason
Tries: Buckley, Hill, Carter, Williams
Cons: Thomas 4
Pens: Thomas 2
Referee Mathew Carley