1stXV v Birmingham Moseley, Sat Oct 01, 15:00, Match Preview
Ampthill are honoured to welcome Moseley this Saturday for their first ever visit to Dillingham Park.
Birmingham Moseley, renamed this season, 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 last season, 2015/16.
This season has seen the club win all four games to lie 2nd in the table just 2 bonus points behind leaders Hartpury. Last week, after trailing at home to visitors Blaydon at half time, they ran away with the second half securing a comfortable win.
Ampthill bounced back in fine style from the disappointing performance at home to Mowden Park to record a 29-37 away win last week at Lougborough Students with the home side securing 14 of their points in the last 5 minutes of the game meaning the scoreboard did not reflect the balance of play.
Amps squad this week sees dual registered Matt Beesley make his first start at prop with a fit again Ben Gulliver returning at lock while Rob Bell starts at openside. The back line remains unchanged from that which started against Loughborough while the bench sees 7 players named, the selection will be reduced to 5 on match day morning after fitness tests.