Birmingham Moseley began the new National One campaign in sensational fashion after a blistering opening day victory over newly-promoted Hull Ionians. (Photo Credit: Malcolm Knowles)
A change in staff and player personnel over the summer created a sense of optimism around Billesley Common during the off-season and Moseley certainly delivered on the pitch in Round One as they ran in 11 tries.
The Midlands club, along with Rosslyn Park, were the only teams to win at home on the weekend with six away victories occurring across the division.
Cinderford defeated Sale FC whilst Old Elthamians beat new boys Canterbury at the Marine Travel Ground.
There was also an enthralling win for Richmond on their return to National One against Darlington Mowden Park whilst Rams began their maiden season at this level with a fine victory at Cambridge.
Elsewhere, Bishop’s Stortford produced a superb display to see off Plymouth Albion while Chinnor edged past Blackheath in a tight contest at Well Hall.
Birmingham Moseley 70-16 Hull Ionians
Birmingham Moseley cruised to victory against Hull Ionians as Adam Balding’s side kicked the new National One season off in style.
Aquile Smith opened the scoring for Moseley against his former club before Mason Tonks and Jacques Le Roux also crossed to help the hosts into a 24-6 lead.
Joe Green had slotted two penalties for Hull Ionians, but the newly promoted side had no answer to Moseley’s onslaught as Smith completed his hat-trick whilst Buster Lawrence (2), Nathanael Titchard-Jones and Tonks added further tries.
Ben Stephenson and Ben Bell dotted down for the visitors, but Danny Wright and Le Roux rounded off a scintillating performance by the Midlands club.
Sale FC 22-46 Cinderford
Cinderford won their opening match of the 2019/20 National One season as they produced a brilliant display to defeat Sale FC.
The Gloucestershire side surged clear with tries from Nathan Taylor and Sam Smith while James Butler landed two penalties.
Patrick Ah Van and Jake Barron both touched down as Sale trailed 20-12 at the break.
Butler added another Cinderford try which was quickly cancelled out by Ollie Longmore who powered over from close range.
However, Harry Hone, Ed Bouge and Matt Lane all crossed the whitewash to confirm the victory for Cinderford while Teddy Leatherbarrow scored a late consolation for the home side.
Canterbury 14-37 Old Elthamians
George Perkins scored twice as Old Elthamians ran in five tries in a comfortable opening day victory over newly promoted Canterbury.
Perkins stretched over for the game’s first try, but Jamie Stephens crossed from close range as the City Men mustered up a reply.
OEs, who finished runners-up last term, showed their class before the break as a penalty try was added to by Hamish Barton.
With the visitors leading 25-7, Perkins grabbed his second try of the day before debutant Jamie Dever dotted down for the hosts in the second period.
However, OEs would have the final say as they were awarded another penalty try to cap off a satisfying win.
Rosslyn Park 38-19 Rotherham Titans
Rosslyn Park made a winning start to the new National One season as they saw off Rotherham Titans at the Rock.
Tries from Hugo Ellis and Joe Munro were cancelled out by Tom Bacon and James Cooke as the scores were level at the break.
However, Henry Robinson, Greg Lound and Stewart Maguire all went over to put Park in complete control in the second period.
The Titans did add to their tally when Cooke grabbed his second try of the afternoon, but the home side had done enough to begin the campaign on a positive note.
Cambridge 32-36 Rams RFC
Rams RFC began their debut season in National One in the best possible fashion as they secured an away win over Cambridge.
Andrew Denham and Ellis Jones scored for the Rams, either side of a Joe Tarrant try, before Henry Bird dotted down on his first appearance for the visitors.
Denham and Cambridge’s Alex Rayment exchanged tries after the break before Bird scooted over for his second, which proved to be enough for an opening day victory for Seb Reynolds’ side.
Raymant and James Martin both scored to rescue two points for Cambridge, but it was Rams who sealed their 29th victory from their last 31 matches.
Darlington Mowden Park 37-40 Richmond
Richmond began life in National One with a pulsating victory over Darlington Mowden Park thanks to a late effort from Callum Torpey.
Alfie Barron put DMP ahead after just six minutes, but James Litchfield crossed for Richmond while the boot of Rob Kirby steered them into a 16-5 lead.
Callum Mackenzie cut Richmond’s advantage to six points, but Andrew Boyce’s try kept the away side in control at the break.
Both teams exchanged penalties after the restart before an explosive Shaun McCartney flipped the game on its head.
The winger scored three tries in eight minutes to put DMP 34-26 up, but Richmond hit back as Jake Parker dotted down.
Warren Seals’ second penalty of the afternoon gave the home side a four-point advantage, but the recently relegated Richmond would have the final say as Torpey powered over the line for a converted try at the death.
Plymouth Albion 40-42 Bishop’s Stortford
Bishop’s Stortford produced an excellent first-half fightback to beat Plymouth Albion in their National One opener at Brickfields.
Early tries from Josh Skelcey, George Mills and Jamie Salter helped Plymouth race into a 21-0 lead inside 16 minutes.
But Stortford fought back in style as Rob Duff got the visitors on the board before Will Roberts and Dan Elsom levelled the scores.
— BSRFC (@BSRUGBY) September 7, 2019
Albion did hold the lead at half-time, though, as Dan Mugford scooted over with Stortford fly-half Brad Burr slotting over a penalty to make it 26-24.
The ebb and flow nature of this contest continued as another penalty from Burr was swiftly followed by Elsom’s second score of the afternoon.
Cameron Setter and Skelcey both crossed to wrestle the lead back for Albion, but the last word went to Stortford as Seb Brownhill’s try was enough to secure a superb win for Andy Long’s side.
Blackheath 15-17 Chinnor
Tries from Tom Fidler and Ofisa Treviranus helped Chinnor earn their first win of the National One season as they edged past Blackheath.
Chinnor were the better side in the opening 40 minutes, but did find themselves behind at the interval following Jack Daly’s score.
Fidler’s 45th-minute try was the perfect start to the second-half for Chinnor and Treviranus’ effort extended their advantage.
Alex Pickersgill’s try provided a spark for Blackheath as they mounted a late fightback. The centre’s score was followed by a Mark Cooke penalty and with nine minutes to go, the hosts were within two points of Chinnor.
However, Matt Williams’ new look side held on for a solid victory to kick off the new campaign.