MALVERN demonstrated their ability to ‘win ugly’ as they came out on top in a dour contest against a dogged Leamington side on Saturday.
After a scoreless opening period, the visitors managed to find the points necessary to win the Midlands Two West (South) clash 13-0 at Moorfields.
Ben King finally broke the deadlock with a penalty before Richard Fleming and Jordan Nwachukwu crossed the whitewash to claim only their second double of the season, which delighted Malvern president David Robins.
“Sometimes it is necessary to grit the teeth and just keep applying oneself to the plan and this was the scenario on Saturday,” he said.
“The cold undoubtedly affected handling and the greasy conditions didn’t help, but Malvern insisted on trying to play a running game even when the more sensible option would have been to play more in the forwards.
“That isn’t the Malvern way, but we collected the win anyway.”
Having produced a fine display scoring display to see off Droitwich last weekend, Malvern started brightly as they looked to replicate that performance.
But they were unable to hit the heights they had set themselves as Ollie Rayner made a break before the away side were penalised at the scrum.
Every time Leamington had the ball, they were stifled in the middle of the park by a determined Malvern defence and when they finally got deep into away territory with a penalty the visitors stole the lineout ball to clear the danger.
The Warwickshire side had a good period of possession and they thought they had opened their account when a well-weighted kick was caught and touched down, but it was ruled out for a foot in touch.
After this scare, Malvern tightened their defensive play even more to put a stranglehold on any Leamington breaks, but their own attacks broke down through a combination of dropped passes, knock-ons or needlessly kicking the ball away.
Half time was reached without any prospect of a score from either side, but Malvern now had the slope advantage and put in several attacks without managing to penetrate the hosts’ defence.
At last the deadlock was broken when Malvern were awarded a penalty on the home 22m line and King slotted over to give them the lead.
The Spring Lane side upped the tempo, keeping Leamington penned in their own half, and Fleming added to the scoresheet when he intercepted on halfway and stormed through to score.
After a couple of failed attacking attempts, Malvern again spun the ball wide and Nwachukwu used his power to muscle over in the corner and make sure of the win.