Leaders Lichfield crush poor Spring Lane men

Malvern Gazette: LUKE MILTON: Made several fine runs for Malvern from deep in his own half. LUKE MILTON: Made several fine runs for Malvern from deep in his own half.

MALVERN’S difficult season continued as they travelled to runaway Midlands One West leaders Lichfield and were trounced 115-0.

The Worcestershire club had 17 first-team squad players unavailable through injury or work commitments.

The inevitable thrashing happened on the field as Lichfield’s professional and well-drilled outfit proceeded to seize on any Malvern errors and turn them into scoring chances.

While the Spring Lane side’s pack, which was outgunned by a heavier unit, played fairly well in the loose, they always struggled for any meaningful possession.

This meant that the half-back pairing of Nathan Dunford and Adam Dixon had few opportunities to shine, but when they did get the ball they looked set to give the home side a few problems.

However, the home side’s defence were quick to snuff out any Malvern back-line moves, passing the ball and recycling well. Lichfield repeatedly ran the ball through the middle of a fragile Malvern defence to score on a regular basis.

The visitors still managed to put together several good moves when they were going forward and full-back Luke Milton made several fine runs from deep in his own half to trouble the home defence.

Jamie Anderson also made several punishing carries when the pack kept the ball tight and the whole side played with plenty of heart. Unfortunately, heart was not enough, and Lichfield continued to rack up tries on a regular basis to hand Malvern one of their biggest ever defeats.

As Malvern president David Robins said to the players afterwards, they could hold their heads high, as they answered the club’s call to honour the fixture, regardless of whether or not they were second and third team regulars rather than first,team players.

Their spirit and willingness to carry on for the full 80 minutes was recognised by the large Lichfield crowd, who gave the Malvern side a warm reception as they left the field.

Malvern now look to enhance this spirit when they entertain Whitchurch tomorrow in a game which marks the half-way stage of the league competition.

It is hoped that many of Saturday’s absentees will be available to bolster the team against a side sitting in the top half of the table.

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