Malvern's hundred percent start to the season was maintained with another powerful display against Silhillians. With wins now recorded in the North Midlands Shield, National Intermediate Cup and now League, the memories of last years struggles on the road are fading in the rear view mirror.
Malvern travelled with a strong squad, on a day that saw the club field three teams on a Saturday without using the Colts who played Sunday for the first time in several years.
Malvern started well and cranked up the pressure at line-outs and scrum with the well drilled and imposing pack( yes an imposing Malvern Pack) putting real pressure on Sills set piece game.
It was therefore fitting that the scoring began with a try for prop John Clark who having seemingly been held up two metres from the line in a choke tackle by four defenders, pumped his legs, contorted his body and took the ball and the four defenders over the line next to the posts. Dan Batty converted.
Malvern were however found wanting in defence soon after, A straight forward Sills move off a line out on Malvern's 10 metre line saw some very poor defending, with the Sills centre bursting through the line without a tackle in sight.
Next up was a try for the forwards with a consolidated period of pressure in Sills 22 resulting in a five metre scrum to Malvern. A muscular effort, that maintained control in the scrum saw the pack edge to the try line where Number 8 Max Richardson dabbed down. Batty converted.
Malvern now started to apply some real grip in defence and attack, pinning Sills into their own half, the pressure told eventually with a good move putting winger Connor Giggle on his 100th appearance over in the corner.
Malvern were then put under some real pressure by Sills, hemmed in on their own line, the defence was tested to the full. Eventually in an attempt to bypass the resolute defence Sills threw the ball wide and veteran full-back Luke Milton gleefully spotted the move intercepting and heading north at speed (it did read at great speed, however in line with editorial ethics it was wrong to add great in), he made the Sills 22 before deciding that the young legs of winger John Wills were better suited to finishing off his fine work, putting Wills in to score under the posts. Batty converted.
Half Time Sills 7 v Malvern 26
Malvern rang the changes at half time, One change saw debutant back row Lewis Gaiderman enter the fray, his first contribution was to seize the ball on half way, burst through the defence and put Batty through for another score. Batty converted.
The next score was vintage Malvern the ball whipped backwards across the back line, players drawing defenders in for Wills to put Milton through to score in the corner.
Three things then happened one after each other, Malvern lost concentration,they started to play a different game to what they were thriving on and Sills started to build some pressure.
This resulted in control being lost and Sills gaining confidence. Sills scored two tries without reply and pushed hard for a bonus point fourth try overall.
Full Time Sills 19 v Malvern 38
Many positives to take from the game, Glen Potter achieving his 75th cap for the 1st team, Glen is believed to be the youngest player to achieve this accolade at just 21. Add in his games since Under 6 in mini and youth rugby and it is likely he is already homing in on 500 appearances at all levels across the youth and senior club. Connor Giggle notching up his 100th game.
Two good debuts for 18 year old Joe Pritchard at scrum-half who kept the back line moving with his accurate passing. Also in the back row Lewis Gaiderman a recent recruit from Luctonians. A good blend of youth and experience is showing across the park.
The next two weeks Malvern are back at "Stadio Spring Lane" with a league fixture against Southam, proceeded by the Members lunch. Then a home tie against Leamington in the last 16 of the Midlands Section of the National Intermediate Cup.