FOLLOWING the announcement of former Gloucester full back Rob Cook becoming Malvern’s director of rugby next season, the club brushed aside Berkswell and Balsall 53-15 in the Midlands Two West (South) at Spring Lane on Saturday.
Ben King opened the scoring for the hosts with a penalty, before the Warkwickshire outfit hit back with a penalty of their own.
The visitors then went ahead when, following a further penalty, they took a catch and drive to break through for a converted try.
After Berkswell and Balsall went down to 14-men following a tip tackle, King’s penalty reduced the deficit to 10-6, before some deft handling saw the ball shipped to Jack Curtis, who fed it inside to Liam Roleston to burst past the Berkswell defence for an impressive try.
Malvern extended their lead when Ieuan Mustow and Curtis combined to send Conor Giggle along the wing to ground before half-time.
The second half started in the same vein, Mustow teed up John Friths to dot down, before King added the extras.
Malvern then put daylight between the two sides when Essenhigh bundled over, which was immediately followed by a blistering 50 metre run from Curtis, who touched down to open a 41-10 advantage.
Adam Dixon then intercepted a loose pass and charged across the whitewash, before Curtis rounded off the scoring for the Spring Lane side.
Berkswell, to their credit, didn’t give up and scored a consolation try from a driving maul in the closing stages, but the damage had already been done.
Looking ahead to next season, Cook, who will return to Malvern after a previous spell as head coach of the club’s Colts team, said: “I’m really looking forward to joining Malvern.
“It’s a club I’ve been involved with for a while and I’m excited about the challenges ahead.
“I’ve worked with both the senior and youth sections in the past and there is huge potential within the club. I hope we can build something special.”
Malvern travel to Coventry on Saturday to take on basement side Dunlop (kick-off 3pm).