MALVERN RFC’s turbulent start to the season continued as they slumped to a 36-5 defeat to second place Burton at Spring Lane on Saturday.
The Worcestershire outfit’s campaign appeared to be back on track after victories over Barkers Butts and Berkswell & Balsall to move them out of the Midlands One West relegation zone.
But Burton proved to be too strong for Nick Tisdale’s side as they ran out comfortable winners, with scrum-half Darryl Banton notching up an impressive 21 point haul in blustery conditions.
Malvern’s cause was also not helped by injuries sustained to wing Tom Hale and influential skipper Ieuan Mustow in the early stages.
Burton, meanwhile, took their opportunities when they came as Banton kicked three penalties before Craig Dutton scored the opening try with five minutes left of the first half.
Banton completed scoring with another penalty to leave Malvern facing a 17-0 deficit at half-time.
Playing with the wind at their backs, the hosts failed to make the advantage tell early on in the second half, while Burton’s well-drilled forwards were making their presence felt in the scrum.
The visitors soon scored their second try when Ian Gilmour crossed the whitewash on the hour mark. Banton added the extras before helping himself to a try seven minutes later to inflict more misery on Malvern.
The home side managed to get themselves off the mark with a 72nd minute try from Alan Keylock, but it was Burton who completed the scoring as Matt Boden went over in the dying seconds to wrap up the bonus point.