MALVERN beat neighbours Ledbury 35-14 in a hard-fought North Midlands Shield clash at Ross Road.

A first-half brace from Mossie Tauribau set Malvern on their way before Rob Cook, Tom Hale and Liam Roleston went over to secure the bragging rights in the first meeting between the two sides in more than 10 years.

But Ledbury will take a lot of positives as they trailed their higher-graded opponents 14-9 at the break courtesy of three George Bennion penalties and grabbed a second-half try through Jamie Rayfield.

The hosts came firing with some tenacious defence in the first 10 minutes to halt Malvern.

They were also awarded penalties to keep their rivals pinned in their own half before Adam Dixon shook off tackles to break upfield.

Hale then took the ball on and flanker Tauribau finished off the move. Cook converted.

As Ledbury made ground more penalties were given and Bennion made the most of them as he landed two penalties.

Ledbury were putting together some scintillating attacks led by veteran Kieram Hallam and speedster Matt Hallett.

But Malvern got their second try when Dixon’s half dummy put Tauribau in again. Cook added the extras.

Ledbury got the last score of the opening period with a Bennion penalty.

After the break Malvern made an immediate impact as Cook to made a 60-metre try-scoring run and added the subsequent conversion.

The away side were made to battle for every piece of possession, but they increased their lead further.

Glen Potter snaffled the ball after a clearance kick was charged down and quick hands across the line saw Hale go over. Cook converted to make it 28-9.

Ledbury captain Rob Anscomb rallied his troops and his men reacted as they took the game to Malvern.

After Jon Bywater was shown a yellow card, Ledbury got a try when scrum-half Rayfield burrowed over from the base of a ruck.

But Malvern managed another breakaway score towards the end with Ieuan Mustow setting up Roleston for their fifth and final try. Cook converted.

Tomorrow sees Malvern visit newly-promoted Evesham in Midland Two West (South) and Ledbury host Rugby St Andrews in Midland Three West (South) (both 3pm).