Malvern 15 Try Spree Punctures Dunlop

Malvern 89 - 5 Dunlop

Last Updated: Nov 21, 2016 07:22pm
Malvern, Malvern Hills
By Peter Woods
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Malvern entertained bottom club Dunlop from Coventry at Spring Lane looking for an emphatic win to continue their quest for a top half position. With the visitors in some disarray, having lost over half of last season’s team, they were bound to struggle against a near full strength Malvern side, and so it proved. From the kick off the home side were full of running rugby, winning two penalties in quick succession.

From the resultant line out the ball was moved quickly by scrum half Frankie Purcell to stand off Adam Dixon, who glided through to open the scoring, converting his own try. Exuding confidence, Malvern put in wave after wave of attacking play, the forwards setting up a great platform for Purcell and Dixon to bring the backs into play, Luke Milton frequently joining the line from full back to create the extra man. One such move saw the skipper do exactly that and put Ben King in for a try. Next the forwards tried to get in on the act, loose head prop Toby Vermeire taking the ball on the burst, then nearly rolling a full 5 metres, only to be halted on the line.

From the resulting scrum the ball was again moved smartly across the line to Conor Giggle, who went in at the corner to open his substantial account for the day. Dunlop made a rare foray into Malvern territory, but some good defensive work kept them at bay and the action again went deep into the visitors half. A Malvern penalty saw a quick tap and go and again the ball was swiftly passed along the line for Giggle to score his second. 

Richard Hobbs, just returned from a long injury spell, had to leave the field after a knock, to be replaced by the highly enthusiastic Byron Eacock. Again Malvern attacked, again Dixon’s long miss pass found Milton who drifted through to score, Dixon converting. Dunlop may have looked a beaten team, but they didn’t shirk form the battle all afternoon and camped out in the Malvern 22 metre area for long periods before finally finding a crack in the defence to score a well worked try. Malvern responded by taking the ball to the Dunlop line but Ieuan Mustow was held up as he went over. However, from the scrum 5 the ball was again dispatched to Giggle, who claimed his hat trick on the stroke of half time, making the score 34-5.

Malvern’s high intensity game had taken its toll of several of the game Veterans in the Dunlop line up, and the large crowd looked forward to more of the same in the second half. They weren’t disappointed, as a tap penalty saw the ball moved to Rory Atkins, later to be voted Man of the Match. The young centre showed his pace and strength to storm through for a score which Dixon converted. With tries about to come thick and fast, it was the turn of Vermeire, showing surprising speed for a prop, to make a break and run in a full 40 metres to outpace the defence and score under the posts, giving Dixon a simple conversion. Next it was Milton, taking the ball at speed to run in a try, whilst James Tutty showed that the forwards could match the backs as the number eight breezed through from the half way line. Enthused by this, the non-stop flanker Sam Parsons added to the packs total to give Dixon the extras, then Mustow used his strength and guile to break through and feed Milton, Dixon’s conversion taking the score to 72-5. Eacock showed his hunger for the ball on a good run, before Dixon fed hooker Glen Potter for a score and adding the conversion. Giggle then ensured an expensive evening for himself by evading two tacklers and scoring his fourth try, but it was Parsons who closed the day’s proceedings as he breached a tiring Dunlop defence.

Team Manager Joe Wilks said “Whilst Dunlop were massively under strength by their own admission, it was a superb performance by our lads, who will have been boosted by the performance and the precision and incisiveness they showed whilst scoring 15 tries. Next week it is back to reality with a difficult match away at Earlsdon, who were second in the league last year and still near the top in this campaign.” 


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