MALVERN went down fighting against Midlands Two West (South) leaders Banbury in a spirited 28-15 defeat on Saturday, writes Aaron Wise.
The club made the trip to north Oxfordshire with real intent and for the first 40 minutes they tore into the favourites, putting in an impressive attacking display which had the hosts rocking on their heels and saw them make only two visits to the Malvern half of the field before the break.
Ben King had put the Spring Lane side ahead with a penalty before Conor Giggle sped in from the wing with a try to put Malvern 8-0 up.
A well drilled Banbury defence prevented the visitors from increasing their lead before half time as Malvern played an expansive game which stretched the leaders to the utmost.
The whistle at the interval came with some relief for the home crowd but the second half saw the hosts show why they are likely to gain promotion this season.
They nullified Malvern’s running game and proceeded to play a tight and controlled forward dominated tactic, denying the visitors possession.
The style of play paid off as they scored a try 15 minutes into the second period, before taking advantage of some poor tackling to take the lead.
Putting the pressure on Malvern, Banbury forced another score, but the visitors hit back with an impressive try by replacement winger Will Clark to bring them back into the game.
Just when it looked as though Malvern would at least gain a losing bonus point, Banbury won a penalty and their winger went over for the final try to round off the match.
Malvern return to action after the Easter period on April, 2 at Spring Lane against Barkers Butts.