Only the passage of time will determine whether the 2011-12 Championship season turned out to be a pivotal one in club history or just the latest chapter in Moseley’s never-ending battle to retain their second tier status.
Last summer’s appointment of Kevin Maggs as head coach, after the seven-year tenure of Ian Smith, undoubtedly changed the atmosphere and inched the club forward in terms of results.
Eleventh in February last year, became tenth this, five regular season wins became six and 29 points became 33. Not startling but undoubtedly a move in the right direction.
He also weaned the Red and Blacks off their set-piece reliant playing ethos and while his creation didn’t exactly take to the wing in every game, there were several fledgling flights that promised more expansive times ahead.
In 2010-11, Smith’s Moseley scored just 43 tries in 22 regular season games, Maggs’s men managed 48. They also had three players listed in the league’s top 25 try scorers as opposed to none the previous year.
Under Maggs, Moseley retained their ability to frustrate, so characteristic of their dour 2010-11 campaign, but also developed an ability to delight and – particularly in the first third of their programme – some of their play sparkled.
In one respect therefore, evolving a more attractive and ambitious style, Moseley have taken several steps forward in the last eight months.
As far as the pre-season aim of finishing in the top eight, however, they remained resolutely anchored in Pool C. Indeed their pretensions of making the promotion play-offs were already subterranean before the end of 2011, when London Scottish boxed their ears on December 26.
But the largely intangible impression that Moseley are closer to the mid-table than the bottom is inescapable. Maggs’s first year in charge has undoubtedly been positive and – on the field – exactly what the club needed.
The former Ireland international has been largely upbeat, in public at least, and the hours he has put in at the club have set an example where one was needed.
The odd half-time rollicking has not gone amiss either and some of the second halves have been as outstanding as some first halves have been poor. Never more so than a couple of weeks ago when Scottish led 17-5 only to be put through the Moseley mincer.
Maggs also deserves credit for his part in adjusting the team’s tactics going into the play-offs when Moseley became far more direct and accepted they needed to go through their bottom four opponents before going round them.