Cross Keys got their 2013/14 British & Irish Cup campaign off to a
great start after claiming an excellent win over visiting Moseley.
The Keys had to withstand around 10 minutes of heavy pressure from Moseley in the opening exchanges but the home sides defence stayed strong and all Moseley could manage during their dominant spell was a 12th minute penalty by outside half Will Hooley.
Keys began to turn the screw slightly and started to come in to the game more as time went on. It took a superb break from Angus O'Brien at outside half after 15 minutes from inside his own 22 to really put them on the front foot. O'Brien's show and go caused mayhem in the Moseley defence as he broke straight down the middle of the pitch without a single finger being laid on him, O'Brien's cool offload to Luke Williams was expertly timed and Williams made a further break which led to an offload to Leon Andrews who had Nathan Trowbridge on hand to finish a brilliant team try in the left hand corner. The architect of that try, Angus O'Brien converted excellently from the touch line to push his team further in front.
It seems as if Moseley's head's dropped as a result of this try and Keys soon extended their lead after 21 minutes when Nathan Trowbridge crossed for his second try of the day. The move started when Luke Williams hacked ahead following a lose ball spilled by the visitors on the Keys 22. Williams winning the foot race to hack ahead for a second time and when the ball arrived in the Moseley 22 the Moseley defender missed the ball as he attempted to secure possession and Williams picked up the lose ball and did brilliantly to feed Trowbridge for his second try in the left hand corner. Angus O'Brien again converting from the touchline to give Keys a comfortable lead mid way through the half somewhat against the run of play.
After such a good start the visitors were all at sea and Keys continued to punish their failure to not make anything of a good opening when Angus O'Brien kicked two penalties in quick succession in the 32nd and 36th minute. As half time approached Moseley had openside Joseph Carpenter sent to the sin bin for an offence off the ball.
Half Time Score Cross Keys 20 Moseley 3
Moseley started well in the second half and were rewarded with a second penalty of the game for Will Hooley after 5 minutes of the half. Keys were then reduced to 14 men shortly after when Reuben Tucker was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle but he was joined by Moseley's former Wales Under 20's skipper Cory Hill who was yellow carded for reacting angrily to Tucker's offence.
With both sides down to 14 men Moseley once again set about setting up camp on the Keys tryline and a series forward drives from the visitors resulted in a number of penalties against Keys and as a result of not rolling away from the ruck Danny Hodge was sent to the bin to put Keys down to 13 men. It seemed inevitable that Moseley would score from this position and they did exactly that when number 8 Chris Brightwell barged over against makeshift Keys flanker Nathan Trowbridge from a scrum. Will Hooley failing to add the extras.
Moseley returned to 15 and Keys to 14 with Reuben Tucker and Cory Hill returning to the field but Moseley were soon down to 14 once more when former Osprey Mike Powell was sin binned for dragging down a maul after 62 minutes of play. Angus O'Brien missed the resulting penalty which would have settled Keys nerves.
As the game entered the final 5 minutes or so Moseley were again on top and crossed for their second try to ensure a tense finale. Moseley wing Scott Armstrong crossed following a long pass which appeared to be blatantly forward but the officials played on and Armstrong crossed for an unconverted try with just minutes remaining.
Keys held on and were rewarded with a win for two superb tries as well some some great individual performances and excellent defensive work.
Cross Keys Scorers:-
Tries: Nathan Trowbridge (x2)
Conversions: Angus O'Brien (x2)
Penalties: Angus O'Brien (x2)
Tries: Chris Brightwell & Scott Armstrong
Penalties: Will Hooley (x2)