Happily for them most Moseley players’ experience of relegation battles are entirely positive. For several years now the Billesley Common outfit flirted with demotion only to coquettishly skip to safety when the stakes are at their highest.
In 2010 they lost their first three play-off matches and still stayed up. In 2009 they dodged a trapdoor that swallowed five rivals and threw the National Trophy into the bargain.
In 2007 they had to win their final game or else face their Waterloo. They came out like lions at Blundellsands and didn’t stop until the job was done.
Indeed, the current squad contains very few players who remember when the club was last demoted in the spring of 2003, when the season from hell culminated in John White’s punch-drunk youngsters being knocked out of National One.
Only Gareth Taylor, Ollie Thomas, Mark Evans and the Richards Protherough and Stott remain from the squad that conceded the thick end of 45 points a game.
Ben Pons was part of the club then, but at the age of 14 was considered just a little too young to be drafted on to the frontline.
He was, however, old enough to feel the physical and emotional pain of Coventry’s relegation last year and as such knows exactly what is in store should his team fail to build on last Friday’s outstanding victory against Esher.
It was clear from his performance it is a fate he does not care to repeat. While Chevvy Pennycook led the charge, Pons was always on his shoulder in support.
Between them – and with the help of Michael Maltman and his rediscovered mojo, Adam Caves and David Lyons, they made a mess of Esher’s possession and the fact the Surrey side were unable to unleash their fabled backline was as much down to Pons’ and Pennycook’s counter-rucking as any other issue.
In demonstrating such determination the 22-year-old was eloquently underlining his Red and Black pedigree – and the concomitant love of adversity – as he was the fact he understands how hurtful relegation is.
The Solihull-born back-rower watched from the sidelines last season as his Coventry team-mates – or CarCrash RFC as they were then – spun out of the Championship.
“It was really gut-wrenching to know that we were going down,” Pons recalled. “Being around the team and the heart-break we felt when we sat in the changing rooms afterwards was really, really depressing.
“It’s not a nice feeling, for me it was the ugly side of rugby. It’s one of those things, someone’s got to go up and someone’s got to go down – it’s unfortunate it was us.