Malvern equal to a good DK squad but did not shine on a blustery day.
Malvern started with a lively series of attacks on the visitor’s 22 yard line but some resolute DK defence prevented any serious gains in yards and Malvern eventually spilled possession. Given a chance to clear their lines DK immediately lost their shape and Malvern found some space to attack when they regained possession with Oakley breaking wide left to put the first points on the board.
On a blustery day DK played a decent kicking game and soon figured out that the home side would struggle with anything kicked behind them. Almost inevitably the first DK try came from a kick that Malvern tactically failed to anticipate and tidy up. Subsequent missed tackles targeted too high on the body gifted further yards and momentum to some sturdy DK runners. Their second try was created in a similar manner to the first giving them a 5-14 advantage with half time looking a long way away.
It appeared at this stage that Malvern might be sunk but Curtis stepped up and after winning back possession in a ruck, against the run of play, he set up an attack that he subsequently finished with a try. The third Malvern try was also a forwards combination with Richards making a surging run and then laying the ball off with style to release Friths. Malvern added a fourth through Forsyth to end the half with a deserved 24-14 lead.
The second half saw wholesale changes to the Malvern line up and after Hayes scored from a good backline build up Whiteman added another from a loose DK kick which was duly converted by Batty. A counter try from DK left the score at 41-19 but Malvern extended that lead after Batty followed up his own excellent fly hack to touch the ball down.
With a comfortable lead Malvern stepped back and allowed DK to play which you cannot do against decent sides. The visitors clawed back two tries to end the game at 41-29 with the last 10 minutes of the game being a harsh reminder for the pack that you cannot step back and allow the opposition to build up momentum!