Seconds bounce back

MALVERN II 26PTS, SOLIHULL II 5PTS

IN the wake of their narrow defeat by North Midlands Reserves League leaders, Luctonians, the previous Saturday, Malvern's seconds bounced back last week with a strong performance against Solihull's seconds, taking the points by four tries to one.

With conditions dry and still and the pitch firm under foot, both sides were able to make good use of possession, however the host's midfield of Dan Sparrey at fly half, with Gareth Richards and Stuart Smith in the centre, offered the greater threat making good yards time after time.

The visitor's pack had the edge when it came to size, but the fitness, determination and teamwork of the Spring Lane side ensured plenty of ball for the lively Malvern backs, and when the ball was taken deep into the visitor's 22, young prop Steve Bowen rounded off the move with a well taken try. Debutant winger Nick Hinchliffe confidently added the extras.

Malvern's control of the game continued to put the Birmingham side under pressure, and when Hinchliffe received at pace, his neat chip kick allowed him to break the line before gathering to touch down out wide. Converting his own effort, he put his side fourteen points clear. Then flanker Stuart Clark displayed his own try scoring skills, neatly evading the tackler before scoring in the corner.

Solihull raised their game in the second period, rucking hard and supporting the ball carrier to drive into Malvern territory. They scored a deserved try when, following a sustained period of pressure, their forwards rumbled over to open their account, but the introduction of Nick Clark in the back row put further pressure on the visitors who were left trailing in his wake as he thundered through from 40 metres to score a fine seven pointer. Hinchliffe again slotting the conversion as the clock ran down.

Malvern II's next game is at home in the league tomorrow (Saturday) versus local rivals Bromsgrove, ko 2.15pm.

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