Matthew Acaster, Alex Brooks
, Scott Fawkes, Hayden Green
Miles Legister, Rhys Hamilton, Ryan Healey, Patrick Keen,
, Matthew McLaughlin
, james wheeler
, will hancox
, Tom Parkes, Calum Cavanagh
, Joel Faux-Conduit, Simon Gore, Jack Bray, Tom Jones
, James Hadley, Jake Whitney
, Will Renwick, Dan Southall
. (Apologies for any omissions)
Another cold morning with a breeze, but fine and dry. Malvern brought a small squad of seventeen and, with an early injury, had limited substitution options. DK on the other hand had a sizeable band of players from which to choose, even with a number unavailable, including Will Squire
, Ben Southall and Luke Bedall. It also looks like Jack Taylor
will be out for the rest of the season with a dislocated knee and we all wish him a successful recovery.
Territory and possession for much of the first half was dominated by the visitors and only resolute defence kept the score line blank. Limited home possession was turned over on a number of occasions which did not help matters. Towards half-time, however, DK began to look the more threatening, but for much of the time play was fragmented, with frequent stoppages.
The second half saw significant personnel changes and the re-shuffled pack started to gain the upper hand in terms of possession and strong running from the backs, particularly Harry Bayliss
, Rhys Hamilton and Jake Whitney
who all scored a try apiece, took the game away from Malvern. After an early solo effort by Rhys Hamilton to score under the posts (7-0), successive waves of attacks were resisted by good Malvern defensive work. However, midway through the half, from a scrum won by DK, Simon Gore passed inside to Harry Bayliss
who ran an unstoppable line to make the score 12-0. A series of Malvern penalties inside the DK 22 caused some anxiety, but the defence held firm. Back in Malvern territory, a scrum to DK saw the ball moved swiftly to the wing for Jake Whitney
to score in the corner (17-0). The last word went to Malvern, who never gave up. From a penalty, they moved the ball wide to score an unconverted try (17-5). The game became scrappier towards the end and despite more DK pressure, the final score remained unchanged.