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Malvern Running Game Blitzes Old Yards

Old Yardleians 10 - 48 Malvern

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2016 05:05pm
Malvern, Malvern Hills
By Peter Woods
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Malvern came out of the blocks at full pelt on Saturday to put Old Yardleians under pressure from the first whistle. Moving the ball around with confidence, they got into the home 22 metre area and very nearly scored in the first 2 minutes, but Yards managed to clear. The Birmingham side responded by driving into Malvern territory, using their big forwards, but the Spring Lane defence held well and they ran the ball out of defence, gaining a penalty for a deliberate knock on which Will Gough despatched to take the lead. The Tilehouse Lane side again responded by using their larger, heavier pack to punch holes in the Malvern defence, but couldn’t succeed in doing so, such was the discipline and fury of the visiting players. Time and again they forced turnovers, coming away with the ball and running at Yards from deep. With debutant scrum half Frankie Purcell putting in an impressive game as he stepped up from the Colts, his long, flat pass gave stand-off Adam Dixon plenty of room to make breaks and get his back line going. Hooker Charles Rambridge went off early in the game with a suspected broken shoulder to be replaced by another Colt, Glen Potter, who slotted in seamlessly and looked full of both confidence and running .Malvern again stole the ball and went on the attack, Richard Fleming linking with Dave Smith to set Conor Giggle off on a scoring run which Gough converted. As Malvern again forced a turnover, it was skipper Luke Milton who scored next with a powerful run in from 70 metres to give Gough an easy conversion. Malvern’s immaculate defensive work continued to frustrate the home side and the next to receive the benefit was Ieuan Mustow for to go over, Gough again adding the extra two. With Malvern now containing the Yards set piece, and the whole team putting in a mighty defensive shift, the pattern continued. Yards won a penalty, Malvern turned the ball over and this time Dave Smith broke downfield, finding the speeding Potter who dashed in from 40 metres to score just before the interval.

The second half started a much more even affair as Yards began to retain possession more and used their loose forwards to drive into Malvern territory. Eventually their persistence paid off as they forced a couple of penalties and put in some pick and drive moves to score an unconverted try. Malvern responded immediately, Dixon seizing on a loose pass to cut through the defence with ease to run in and set up Gough’s conversion.  From the restart, Milton fielded and ran through a visibly tiring Yards defence for another fine try. As the game drew to a close the home side again lifted their game and took a quick penalty, driving over for a score, but Malvern had the last say. Dixon made another break, Alex Stockwell took the ball to the line and old stager Richard Hobbs was on hand to smuggle the ball over, Gough ‘s conversion signalling the end of a thoroughly entertaining, hard fought but clean game.  The only black marks on the horizon are the shoulder injuries to both Rambridge and Fleming, who both look to be out for the season.

Malvern Director of Rugby David Irish was delighted with the way his team played, praising the determined defensive work put in by the whole side. He also took time to comment on the two Colts who made impressive debuts. "The lads are a credit to the way the youth section has been run by so many quality coaches and parents over the years. I would encourage all the Colts and any other players who left the upper sixth last year to get to training on Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm, as the debuts of Frankie and Glen show we are more than willing to give anyone who is good enough a chance in the 1st team."

Overall the club are now really seeing the benefit of a youth section that in recent years have started to push players into the senior section, today’s 1st team boasted no less than 5 players who have progressed through the junior ranks.

Malvern return to league action with an away fixture at resurgent Rugby Lions, who have steadily climbed back up the leagues and have attracted some quality players to Webb Ellis Road in doing so. 

PHOTO: FILE PIC


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