HEAD coach Nick Tisdale says a lack of match fitness was the reason behind Malvern’s second half slump at Spring Lane on Saturday.
Tries from James Southall, Luke Milton and Richard Preece inside the opening 16 minutes put Malvern in control as they powered to an impressive 24-5 lead at half time.
But Adam Dixon’s penalty just before the interval was the hosts’ last score as Kenilworth stormed back, with Dominic Sheehan going over twice in the final ten minutes to snatch a 24-24 draw.
Tisdale said he was frustrated to not claim the victory which would have steered them further clear of the relegation zone in Midlands One West.
However, with a number of players returning after long injury lay-offs, the Malvern boss said it was no surprise his side could not maintain their level.
“I am disappointed to be that far in front and then let two points slip away,” Tisdale said.
“We were in control and we had a lot of momentum as the forwards were carrying well, we got through some very good phases and I think we still left points on the field at half time, so it is frustrating.
“But then again we had quite a few boys back from injury who were not match fit and I guess we tired in the second half.
“We had Luke Milton, Ryan Watkins and James Hynes all back from injury and Richard Fleming playing in his first game of the season on the wing.
“People are having to come straight back into the first team when you would like them to gain game-time in the second team to get themselves match fit.
“But at the moment that’s not the case and it is obviously taking its toll towards the end of the games.”
Tisdale said he was also bracing himself for a tough afternoon at runaway leaders Lichfield on Saturday (2.15pm).
“I am not around nor Ryan Watkins and Nick Miller is unavailable, so it is going to be tough,” he added.
“But the boys will dig in, like they have done all season, and they will work hard. Sometimes it can be a moral victory which can set you up for the next few weeks, so we’ll see.”