MALVERN got their Midlands Two West (South) campaign off to the perfect start with a 39-17 victory over Worcestershire rivals Evesham on Saturday.
In the first meeting between the two sides in 15 years, Malvern started well as the visitors drove over from a line-out to open the scoring with Rob Cook converting.
Newly-promoted Evesham replied with a penalty but Malvern’s Tom Hale then powered through for a try which was converted by Cook.
A converted try pulled Evesham to within four points before a Cook penalty nudged Malvern further ahead.
George Parson then crossed for his first Malvern try, with cook kicking the extras as the visitors went into the break with a 12-point lead.
After the break, Malvern continued on from where they left off as Mossie Tauribau fed Hale to claim a bonus point try.
Evesham responded again with a try but an offside from the hosts allowed Cook to kick another penalty.
As the game progressed, Malvern’s superior fitness told and as they rang the changes, Liam Roleston went on for his first-ever game at prop, replacing loose head Dominic Murphy and acquitted himself well.
Murphy had taken the sting out of Evesham’s big tight head and Roleston continued the job, whilst Glen Potter and Craig Freeman were steadfast all afternoon.
With the Adam Green/Jon Bywater second row dominating the line out, Evesham were starved of good ball and Will Brown.
Tauribau and Sam Parsons in the back row stifled and harried all afternoon.
While wingers Tom Williams and Conor Giggle had a fairly quiet afternoon, it was the centre partnership which had the last say as Ben King went over for the final try, with Cook again making sure with the boot.
A solid start to the league campaign gave director of rugby Cook some satisfaction, although he was well aware a lot of work still needs to be done, especially at the breakdown as players still come to terms with the law changes.
Malvern now have a blank Saturday, returning to action in two weeks with their first home game against relegated Kenilworth.