30th May, 2017

Malvern claim narrow victory over Southam

Craig Gibbons 13th Feb, 2017

MALVERN ground out a 15-8 victory over Southam in the Midlands Two West (South) at Spring Lane on Saturday.

Avenging a heavy 41-18 defeat by their Warwickshire opponents in November, the slender win sees Malvern leapfrog Southam in the standings to climb to sixth.

Despite a slippery ball and bitterly cold conditions, both teams tried to play the running game which caused bountiful handling errors, but provided the large Spring Lane crowd with excitement.

The hosts were off the mark when Tom Hale switched wings to create an overlap, before darting across the whitewash.

Following Ben King’s conversion, Southam replied with a penalty and began to get a foothold in the game as their pack dominated and drove their way to the Malvern line.

The hosts buckled under the pressure as the powerful Southam pack bullied their way over for a try, but the Warwickshire outfit missed the following conversion which left the game tight at 8-7.

Malvern slowly came to terms with the Southam scrum and started to negate their drives, with Sam Parsons, Richard Hobbs and Jack Curtis making good breaks from the base of the scrum.

Curtis and Liam Roleston were secure in the line out as the hosts put in several attacks, but Southam’s defence thwarted the danger time and again.

Malvern edged in front before half-time however, when King knocked over a penalty after the visitors were penalised for not releasing the ball at a ruck.

Buoyed by the narrow lead entering the second-half, Malvern took advantage of a failed clearance into touch when Curtis put in a blistering charge up the left wing to score.

Despite King missing the difficult conversion, the rest of the half was dominated by the Spring Lane side as they kept possession and applied pressure.

Knowing that they were only one score ahead, Malvern continued to attack the Southam line until the final whistle, making sure they would claim the four points that would keep them creeping up the league table.

Malvern take on Barkers Butts at The Bob Coward Memorial Ground on Saturday (kick-off 2.15pm).