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Injury hit Malvern fall to further league defeat
8:00pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in Sport
MALVERN’S first-half dominance at Walsall was ultimately halted as their injury list grew once more and they slipped to a 22-11 Midlands One West defeat.
The hoodoo struck even before the game when James Hynes’s back went into spasm in the pre-match warm-up.
Fortunately, replacement prop Charles Rambridge had turned up to watch and was brought into the squad with borrowed boots and was soon called into service.
Malvern attacked from the kick-off with the pack asserting an early dominance which was to last for much of the match.
Nathan Dunford, playing at stand-off in place of the unavailable Adam Dixon, put in several penetrating kicks to keep Walsall penned back in their own half.
The pack put in a tremendous driving maul followed by a second which ended with a line-out from which the Malvern forwards drove over the line for hooker James Swain to touch down.
However, Walsall came back immediately as Malvern fumbled the restart and gave away a penalty which made the score 5-3.
Malvern continued their attack but lost number eight Jamie Anderson to a rib injury and not long after the injury jinx struck again when prop Pete Sharp popped a rib cartilage, meaning that Rambridge entered the fray early on.
Malvern still dominated up front and a penalty which Dunford put over gave them a 6-5 half-time lead.
The Walsall coaches obviously gave their team a roasting at the break because they came out with all guns blazing. A Malvern clearance kick was charged down for the home side to pick up and score, followed soon after by another try.
The visitors missed a couple of penalty attempts and then lost a crucial five-metre line-out and Walsall hacked the ball downfield to win the chase and score, the conversion sealing the game for a fortunate home side.
Despite defeat, Malvern can take heart from a spirited display.