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Nine Try Malvern Demolish Leamington

Malvern 53 - 10 Leamington

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2014 07:21pm
Malvern, Malvern Hills
By Peter Woods
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Malvern continued their run of wins at Spring Lane with a performance of ruthless intensity against an admittedly ordinary looking Leamington side on Saturday. For the first 10 minutes or so the visitors looked quite competitive and tested the Malvern defence. George Roberts, Malvern’s evergreen winger, stifled one dangerous attack with an enormous hit which put the L’s winger into touch and this signalled Malvern’s real start to the game. Richard Fleming used his strength to burst through the midfield channel and the ball was moved swiftly out to Roberts for the opening score, converted by Ben King. Leamington rallied briefly and drove upfield, winning a scoring penalty whilst Fleming was bizarrely sin-binned for ostensibly taking “one for the team”, although there hadn’t appeared to be any prior warning. However, Malvern made light of the one-man disadvantage by driving downfield utilising their superior forward power and James Southall, looking sharp, went over to extend Malvern’s lead. The Spring Lane men were now operating at full tilt, moving the ball around in classic Malvern style, and the next play was a thing of beauty as the ball was moved across and back over the width of the pitch for flanker Stuart Clarke to score in the corner. With the whole team gelling, the back row of Clarke, Richard Hobbs and Rory Jones were being given a fine platform to work from and disrupted Leamington’s scrummage, with the result that they stole the ball deep in the visiting half and fed Southall for his second score of the day. King converted and Malvern had won the try bonus well before half time. Adam Dixon, back at stand-off, put in a terrific long kick to within 10 metres of the Warwickshire side’s line. Great pressure in the line out by locks Adam Green and Jack Longley saw Malvern once again steal the ball, the forwards put in a controlled drive and Clarke bagged his second of the day to put Malvern 29-3 up at the break.

The visitors started the second period brightly and won a scrum five, but Malvern’s defence drove them back and the home side won their own scrum to relieve the pressure. After a few quiet minutes the Malvern machine clicked into gear once again as Richard Fleming made inroads and George Roberts went on a 30 metre run. Rory Jones backed him up, and Ben King was on hand to receive the ball and the centre hit the opposing 10/12 channel to go over and then convert his own try.  Malvern were now rampant, pushing back the visiting pack as Craig Freeman, George Withers and Grant Fraser dominated the opposing front row. Malvern won a penalty and Fleming once again ran through the Leamington midfield to score and set up an easy King conversion. Again Malvern attacked, Will Clee making good yards, then Fleming and Hobbs were involved before feeding King for his second try of the day.

There followed an unsavoury incident when Malvern put in a driving maul inside the visiting 22 and a Leamington player clearly head butted replacement forward James Redfearn. In the ensuing fracas George Roberts, who had been substituted, rushed on to the field to break up the scuffling and was red carded by the referee, who hadn’t seen the original incident. Bizarrely Leamington gained a penalty and a kick and chase downfield was halted by skipper Luke Milton, who was harshly sin-binned and a penalty try was awarded to Leamington. However, Malvern were determined to have the last laugh and a kick and chase was won by the athletic Jack Longley to take the home side over the 50 point mark and into a clear second place in the league.

Malvern’s Director of Rugby Dave Irish was delighted with his team’s performance. “We quickly found our rhythm today and kept the intensity up throughout the match. The whole team was involved and from tight head prop to full back played with a commitment and application which we have developed in training and translated on to the field of play” 

Irish was reluctant to be drawn on the head butting incident, preferring to wait until things had calmed down before a decision is made whether or not to cite the Leamington player. “Rugby is tough enough game without resorting to violent and illegal acts, but we will give it a few days before deciding on our course of action. The Roberts red card was a direct result of the head butting incident which started a fracas, but clearly he shouldn’t have entered the field of play, having been substituted. However, I prefer to concentrate on next week’s game at Spartans, a side we haven’t played, at least in recent years.”

The kick off at Spartans will be 2.15pm as GMT is now in operation.


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