MALVERN secured their fifth consecutive Midlands Two (West) South win with a narrow 34-29 victory over Spartans at Coppice Lane on Saturday.
The Spring Lane outfit are the form side in the league having not lost since February, and their dominant end to the season continued with a battling display in Sutton Coldfield.
From the first whistle Malvern took off with intent, as Jack Curtis made a quick break and fed George Amphlett, who in turn put skipper Tom Hale away to ground, which Ben King converted.
From the restart Malvern immediately extended their lead after high-intensity play saw Curtis cruise across the whitewash, before King successfully slotted a penalty.
The visitors kept sweeping forward and applying heavy pressure, which eventually led to their third try of the afternoon, when Adam Dixon found Amphlett, whose sheer pace left the Spartans defence bewildered as he stormed over to score.
Malvern were unable to take a healthy 22-0 advantage into the interval, however, as Spartans moved the ball upfield to score in the corner just before the break.
The second half saw the hosts win a series of penalties, before the referee finally awarded them a penalty try, with the resulting conversion shortening the deficit to 22-12.
The visitors then found themselves just three points ahead as Spartans ran in another converted try following impressive play.
Malvern’s nerves were beginning to show as Richard Hobbs was sin-binned, but a resulting Spartans penalty was poorly hit and failed to find touch.
Instead it found Malvern lock Ben Richards, who offloaded to Conor Giggle for the visitors’ bonus point try.
But the Sutton Coldfield side refused to lie down and responded with another converted try, bringing the scoreline to within one-point.
Malvern were the closest they had been to slipping to their first defeat in five outings, but fine play from Curtis saw a chip over the top find Ieuan Mustow, who dotted down to seal the win as the clock wound down.
Malvern wrap up the 2016/17 campaign in a fortnight’s time when they host Nuneaton Old Edwardians at Spring Lane on Saturday, April 22 (kick-off 3pm).