MALVERN were knocked out of the North Midlands Cup by local rivals Worcester Wanderers who secured a 24-13 victory to progress to the final.
Nick Tisdale’s men would have been hoping to finish their sorry season on a high note following their relegation from Midlands One West.
But Worcester, who also failed to beat the drop in National Three South West, eventually ran out winners after withstanding a strong start from the hosts.
Malvern’s lack of power in the scrum has been an issue all season and so it proved again on Saturday as Worcester’s forward forced their opposite numbers on the back foot before Keiran Morris touch down.
A Tom Longley penalty put Malvern on the board, but a yellow to Stuart Clarke opened up the chance for Wanderers to add to their lead. Former Malvern number eight Chris Griffiths powered over, which Paul Burton converted to move 12-3 in front.
The referee was turning out to be a central figure in the match as he sent James Gunther and Tom Dodge to the bin which left Worcester down to 13 men.
And Malvern took full advantage as Longley closed the gap just before the break with a penalty before Tom Hale weaved his way through Wanderers’ defence to score. Longley added the extras to nudge the hosts in front at 13-12.
But once Worcester returned to full strength, Malvern found themselves pinned back as they fell behind when Sam Carter crossed the whitewash.
Wanderers then gave themselves an unassailable lead when Burton’s cross-field kick found Dodge who sprinted through to score what proved to be the decisive try.