DIRECTOR of rugby David Irish praised the team spirit as Malvern came storming back in the second half to clinch a 44-31 victory over Old Yardelians on Saturday.
A hat-trick from Tom Hale and two tries from Connor Giggle saw the hosts recover from a 24-10 deficit at half time to secure a stunning win at Spring Lane, which moves them up to second in Midlands Two West (South).
Rory Jones and Ollie Rayner also played a key part in the comeback, but Irish refused to heap praise on any one player as he believed it took a huge team effort to turn the game on its head.
“Old Yards made the most of their opportunities and gave us a tough task,” Irish said. “But the lads just stuck to the game plan and our superior fitness and some great movement of the ball paid off in the end.
“There were some fine individual performances today, but it was cohesive team work which ensured the win.
“The atmosphere around the club is amazing, and with the high turnouts at training still continuing to be impressive I expect plenty of competition for places across all three sides.”
Malvern got off to a great start when Jones touched down after James Southall made a break. But this lead did not last long as their powered packed opponents levelled the score before adding another.
Irish’s men were on top for long periods in the first half, but it was Old Yards who were racking up the tries as they scored a third to pull further clear of Malvern.
Despite the deficit, the home side continued to plug away and managed to close the gap before the break, with a try from Giggle.
This seemed to spur Malvern on as Hale went over after great work from Jones, who was causing numerous problems for the visitors defence.
The Worcestershire side received a set back when a catch a drive saw Old Yards power over. But unlike the last two season which saw Malvern crumble in similar situations, the hosts responded in superb style.
Hale struck twice to complete his hat-trick, with Rayner converting on both occasions, to give their side a 34-31 advantage.
Fly half Rayner then added another three points from the tee before Malvern sealed victory with a try from Sam Parsons late on.