Malvern 52 Old Eds 12
Old Eds Blown Away at Malvern
Old Eds made the trip to table-toppers Malvern in the teeth of Storm Brian. Malvern’s open approach to rugby is simply “However many you score – we’ll score more”. This match was very well refereed by Neil Warrilow and provided plenty of good rugby despite the conditions. Eds’ No8 Tom Hill had a fine match taking responsibility with the ball, and the Eds showed plenty of industry but struggled against the conditions and a well-organised defence. Malvern proved well-equipped to capitalise on any defensive lapse and were clinical in their finishing.
Kicking off into the wind Malvern showed their attacking intent as they spread the ball to their dangerous left-winger to score after three minutes: 5-0. Unfortunately, Dan Elkerton’s brave tackle resulted in the full-back’s departure from the match shortly after, with Jack Darlaston coming on to an unaccustomed left-wing position and Duncan Parkinson to full-back. The Eds got their game going using forwards in the back-line to make dents in the Malvern midfield channels. Meanwhile Malvern’s main point of attack was in the outside channels which, on this big pitch, proved the more threatening approach. Again, the ball was fed to the Malvern No11 – this time well-tackled by Eds No12 Ashley Kalnins. Soon after, Malvern’s No2 broke through a tackle to sprint 30m to score under the posts – 17-0 after twenty-five minutes.
Eds enjoyed a period of possession but were repelled by a well-organised Malvern defence. A scrum in Malvern’s 22 saw the Eds push Malvern back by 15m. Encouraged by this, Eds opted for another scrum from a penalty decision and proceeded to execute a fine pushover try converted by B Darlaston: 17-7. Before the end of the half hooker George Parker was injured and replaced by Dave Wilkins moving from No7 with Ryan Hatch coming on to the back row.
Eds restarted the second period and, with the wind at their backs, Malvern’s No8 initiated a passing move for the left-wing to sprint 50m to score within half-a-minute: 24-7. The sides traded blows for some time with Ryan Singh putting in a good tackle on the Malvern No11, only for the same player to receive the ball soon after, fend off a tackle and sprint in for his hat-trick try: 31-7. Further tries for Malvern’s full-back and centre extended the score to 45-7.
Eds then had their best spell of the match as they advanced into the Malvern 22 where the two sides rehearsed their respective offensive and defensive sets. Kalnins got the ball over the line only to be held up. Over a period of 6 minutes the Eds retained the ball and launched wave upon wave of attacks on the line with all players involved. Finally lock Paul Levin, aided by Wilkins, barged over for a well-deserved try: 45-12.
Malvern, however, had the last word as their No10 put his centre through a gap in the Eds defence.
Final score: 52-12
Old Eds First Team: G Cartwright, G Parker, D McAdam, R Singh, P Levin, P King (Capt.), D Wilkins, T Hill, S Pittam, B Darlaston, D Parkinson, A Kalnins, C Jones, L Roberts, D Elkerton
Subs: J Darlaston, S Haberfield, R Hatch