Rugby League: Beale's Case for Role of History; MOSELEY Bressington A; Bressington N, Holder, Cox, Colvin; Binns, Taylor; Buxton, Caves, Bayliss, Daniell, Stott, Hunt, McIntosh, Evans. Replacements: Bick, Davies, Southern, Chance, Renard, Brading, Hunter
Byline: Brian Dick firstname.lastname@example.org
Of all the fixtures in this weekend's Powergen Cup fourth round few look as lop-sided as today's tie which takes Moseley to Plymouth.
A National Two part-time side, yet to win a league match away from home, against a National One professional club who simply don't lose on their own pitch. Everything, it seems, is stacked against the Midlanders.
Even Perry Mason at his most far-fetched would have trouble arguing a case for a Moseley win.
Picture it. All is lost as Raymond Burr stands, head bowed before the county judge, when in bursts his crucial witness with the knock-out evidence to save the day.
The witness looks and sounds strangely familiar as he points out: 'We have been in the final three times, have shared the winning of it once. Compared to that, Plymouth Albion are relative novices.' Hold on a minute - it's John Beale.
As Moseley's director of rugby so rightly suggests, Moseley are the ones with the cup pedigree. They made it all the way in 1982, drawing with Gloucester, reached the final in 1972 and 1979 and have made it to the semis twice more.
As for Plymouth? One measly quarter-final in 1988 is all they can drag from the history books. Unfortunately, things have changed since Beale was a player. Plymouth have a shiny new stadium, a massive fan-base and a full-time squad. The best that can be said for Moseley is that they have none of the above.
What they do have, though, is the belief that they can think the unthinkable and win the unwinnable.
'We are going down there to win the game,' Beale said. 'The last time we played Plymouth Albion, we played them at home and we beat them in what was just one of four wins in National One the year we went down; we have improved massively since then - although so have they.' Moseley's preparation has been far from ideal. The back division that tore Hartlepool and Rosslyn Park to pieces has itself been decimated.
Their brilliant young fly-half, Ollie Thomas, has been ruled out with a rib problem. His replacement Greg McDonald has a calf injury which means full-back Andy Binns will be closer to the pain-line.
The captain, in fine form this season, has played a lot of rugby at No 10 but not for a while and, with Plymouth'smarauding forwards looking to kick down the door through his channel, it could be a tough afternoon for Binns. …