Sedgley Tigers put in a stirring second-half display to beat Birmingham Moseley 32-26 at home and head into the National One Christmas break in fourth place after an impressive first half of the campaign.

The latest victory again proved their battling qualities as they saw of an in-form side sitting just behind them in fifth place in the table.

And it pleased coach Steve Hazzelby as they responded to the previous week’s defeat at Plymouth Albion.

Hazzelby said: “We had beaten them convincingly at their ground earlier in the season but their recent form was very impressive with narrow losses to top teams Chinnor and Plymouth in the last two weeks.

“They are a well-organised team who like to play open rugby and a big, physical set of forwards with a solid set-piece scrum and accurate lineout.

“They were lying fifth in the league, just one point behind us so we knew this would be a massive challenge and so it turned out to be.

“It was an unbelievable second half for us and credit to the whole squad who did not let a very good Birmingham side score any points.”

The hosts started well and went into the lead with a penalty from fly-half Warren Seals after two minutes, but Birmingham hit back almost immediately with a converted try after a strong catch-and-drive from their forwards.

They followed this up with another 12 minutes later to extend the lead to 12-3 and were looking dangerous every time they had possession.

However, a lovely passage of play down the left saw Tigers winger Andy Riley feed the ball inside for centre Nathan Pope to score under the posts and Seals added the conversion.

Birmingham looked to keep the ball alive at every opportunity, building phase after phase and a sharp line break by their right winger saw them score their third try and extend the lead to 19-10.

Despite this, Sedgley hit back three minutes later with a great try for hooker Danny Maher after a powerful catch-and-drive by the forwards.

This was a very impressive first-half performance from the visitors and another catch-and-drive from their forwards in the 40th minute saw them deservedly go into the break with a 26-15 lead and a bonus point secured.

The Tigers needed a big reaction if they were to get back in the game in the second half and this came straight away with a second try for Pope, who latched on to an inside pass to race 30 metres and reduce it to 26-20.

Birmingham looked to throw everything at the hosts, moving the ball quickly to their impressive backs and building phase after phase - but they could not break down the resolute Tigers defence.

A fine line break by Seals saw him beat three tackles to touch down near the posts and he converted his own try to put the Tigers in the lead.

In a wonderful game of rugby for the neutrals,play went from end to end with both teams looking dangerous.

Then, a scrum on the halfway line with 10 minutes to go resulted in Tigers number eight, Tom Ailes, picking up the ball and racing 50 metres, beating three defenders, to touch down in the bottom left-hand corner. It was a wonderful individual effort to give Sedgley a fifth try and made the final score 32-26.

The next game comes after the festive break on January 6 when Blackheath head north to Park Lane from London.