Rugby Union: Beal edges it for the Saints

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Northampton. . .8

Moseley. . . . .6

THIS was a rehearsal without the top dressing. The pair come together in earnest here at the end of next month in a Pilkington Cup quarter-final. 'So don't read anything into this,' Alex Keay, Moseley's director of playing, said. Which is not to say there has been a shortage of reading material concerning the club.

In fact, the reverse is true. Earlier this week the prop Bob Phillips joined the branch line out of Gloucester that leads to the Reddings where he will have Mike Teague and Phil Blakeway for company among others. Then, come Friday, Moseley were announcing the signing of Richard Angell, the Coventry and Midlands outside-half.

'We've got a nice mixture of experience and youth,' Keay said. 'People can see we're ambitious.' Precisely, and in the drive to win matches winning friends has its perils. Still there is a way to go yet before Moseley make it back into the First Division, which Northampton managed following internal strife.

Now the Saints, who took on board their own Gloucester man in John Etheridge, are riding high. Yesterday at Franklins Gardens, though, they were short of Hunter, Pearce, Olver, Shelford, Bayfield and Rodber. But Moseley, minus Teague and Shillingford, failed to take advantage. After Jim Reed-Daunter's two penalties to one from John Steele had given Moseley the interval lead, Keay was left remonstrating with a touch judge after a flag raising and lowering farce that concluded in Nick Beal's match-winning try.

Northampton: J Ward; N Beal, F Packman, R MacNaughton, H Thorneycroft; J Steele (capt), M Dawson; G Baldwin, P Roworth, C Allen, J Etheridge, J Phillips, M Ord, D Merlin, R Tebbutt.

Moseley: J Reed-Daunter; S Purdy, I Bancroft, J Bonney, G Bartlett (D Hanson, h/t); A Kerr, B Fenley; M Linnett, D Ball, N Lyman, C Raymond, S Lloyd, B Barr (capt), W Hart, D Parry.

Referee: J Coulson (Northumberland).

Scorers: Steele (pen, 5 min, 3-0); Reed-Daunter (pen, 10 min, 3-3); Reed-Daunter (pen, 35 min, 3-6); Beal (try, 59, 8-6).