1stXV v Moseley, Sat Apr 28, 15:00, Match Preview
Ampthill welcome Birmingham Moseley to Dillingham Park this Saturday for the final league fixture of the season.
Birmingham Moseley began life in 1873 as Havelock Football Club, an offshoot of Havelock Cricket Club some of whose younger members wanted to play a winter sport. Home matches were played at St. Paul’s Road, Balsall Heath.
In 1874 the club was renamed Moseley Football Club and the famous red and black colours were used for the first time. 7 years later Moseley visited Leicester for the latter club’s first-ever game. At the end of the match both sides claimed that they had won!
In 1883 the club played it’s first game at the Reddings while 1889 saw the club become the first team to defeat the first-ever international tourists to the British Isles, the New Zealand Natives or Maoris. A long term lease for the Reddings was negotiated in 1911, just in time for the Great War.
Moseley struggled during the first full post-war season but by 1924 the club was almost back to its pre-war strength with four XVs being fielded every week.
After some early season games in 1939 the club closed down for the duration of the Second World War and The Reddings was taken over by the War Agriculture Committee.
A new one thousand-seat stand was opened at The Reddings with a game against an International XV in 1957.
1965 saw the beginning of Moseley’s golden age with floodlights installed at The Reddings leading to a much extended fixture list which by the 1970s included the top Welsh clubs.
The advent of league rugby saw Moseley competing at the highest level but half of the main stand at The Reddings was destroyed by fire in 1994, at the same time the club became an industrial & provident society under the 1965 Act.
1996 saw the club become a private limited company under the 1985 and 1989 Companies Acts followed in 1997 by an ‘Administration’ event as the club struggled to deal with professionalism.
In 1998 the club was rescued from administration by a group led by ex player Simon Cooper celebrating it’s 125th anniversary season. However, the financial problems weren’t over culminating in 2002 in a creditors meeting which saw the business continuing to trade. Planning permission for the club’s current home, Billesley Common was obtained in the same year.
More recently Moseley have been a stalwart of the Championship, built a new stand and clubhouse complex but, after a number of close shaves, they finally succumbed to relegation at the end of season 2015/16.
The club’s first season in National 1 saw them record a 5th place finish with played 30 won 20 record. This season they lie 7th in the table with a played 29 won 14 record.
Last week Ampthill produced one their best second halves of the season away at Hull Ionians, trailing at half time the squad outscored their opponents by 5 tries to nil in recording a 16-42 victory, likely condemning their hosts to relegation in the process.
Director of Rugby MarkLavery comments “Finishing where we started when we were lucky to come away with a last minute penalty by Lawrence Rayner to save the game up at Moseley and bank a draw.
This signalled an inconsistent start to the year that carried on for a while and realistically we have only seen the real Ampthill in the last couple of months or so.
We didn’t start well at Hull Ionians and conceded 13 unanswered points in the first forty minutes but we managed to get a toe hold with a Molitika try in minute 42 which sent us into halftime with some momentum and confidence. Some of the stuff we played in the second half was exceptional and we will need to do the same again if we are to get the result his Saturday.
Birmingham Moseley are finishing strongly and the games between the two clubs are always close and it should be a cracking contest between the two sides to finish off the season”
The team this week sees no changes in the pack, Kevin Barrett return at scrum half, Ben Gulliver come onto the bench and Gavin Williams rotate to the bench.