Malvern roll over Barkers Butts to continue winning streak
Malvern 55 Barkers Butts 12
Malvern gathered another bonus point win at Spring Lane on Saturday in wet, greasy conditions. One would be forgiven for thinking that the weather and state of the ground would not be condusive to Malvern's running style. However, nobody had told the men in maroon and gold, as they came out of the blocks well, moving the ball after a quick tap penalty, for full back Luke Milton to speed in for the opening score. Rob Cook was forced to drop kick the conversion in windy conditions and scored an in-off the post for the extras. As both sides struggled to control the wet ball there were a number of knock ons and dropped passes, but Malvern held the big Barkers' pack well in the resultant scrums. A series of good forward drives saw Malvern awarded another penalty, quickly taken, and Tom Hale came inside to collect the ball and cut through a ponderous defence for a try, Cook converting. Another scrum, Malvern came away with the ball under pressure and Hale was again on hand to skid through and over the line despite some close attention, Cook bagging the conversion. The bonus point was secured when Malvern stole a Barkers' lineout and moved the ball upfiled for Jack Curtis to stike the killer blow with a fine try. With Malvern's line speed and deft handling keeping the Coventry side on the back foot, it was Liam Roleston's turn to show why he is probably the fastest prop in the league as he outstripped the opposition with a barreling run to touch down and make the score 31-0 at the break.
With the visitors already two men down and in the sin bin, their troubles increased when they had a player red-carded for a stamp on the head of Jack Curtis, who was thankfully uninjred. Malvern made them pay for this indiscretion when Rob Cook broke, kicked ahead and gathered to feed Tom Hale to stretch the lead further. Barkers decided to play keep ball with their forwards playing it tight and they worked their way into Malvern territory, but good defence prevailed, a penalty releived the pressure and Jon Wills, on for Hale, showed a clean pair of heels to stretch the lead, Cook converting. Barkers again stuffed the ball up their jumpers and worked towards the Malvern line, this time rewarded with a try from a well-executed cross field kick. Malvern replied immediately as Milton, in some of the best form of his life, ended a slick move with a try, and he then made another break to put Conor Giggle over, Ben King converting. Barkers scored a late consolation try but they were a distant second on the day.
Malvern go to Silhillians on Saturday for the game postponed by snow, eager to disprove the "bogey team" tag which the Solihull side have seemingly built over the last few seasons. Kick off is at 3.00pm.