Below par Malvern through to the semis

Bromsgrove 10, Malvern 19 A Malvern side with several changes in the pack due to injuries and absence travelled to Finstall Park to take on a struggling Bromsgrove side in the North Midlands County Cup.

With a difficult league run in to avoid relegation, the Boars opted to field a weakened side, resting many first choice players for their main objective.

However, the Malvern forwards struggled to gain any supremacy in the battle of the packs, a distinct lack of ball-carrying allowing the keen Bromsgrove second stringers to stifle much of the ball won by Malvern.

With little platform to work from, Malvern's backs were forced to take hurried ball under pressure and it was testament to their skills that the league leaders finally ground out a victory.

It was winger Ryan Henshaw who broke the deadlock by opening the scoring in the 10th minute with a typically powerful run, bursting down the right to collect the try.

It took another 25 minutes for Malvern to add to the score, the strength of Ted Lang giving skipper Ryan Watkins the opening to score and Adam Dixon to convert.

Dixon left the field with a thigh injury shortly afterwards to add to Malvern's injury woes, Jamie Gwynne moving to scrum-half and James Anderson out to stand-off.

Hooker Luke Greenwood was unlucky to collect a sin bin card when trapped at the bottom of a ruck but adjudged not to have rolled away.

In the second-half a spirited fight back by the Bromsgrove youngsters, the slope in their favour, saw them pull back a score.

However, another moment of individual brilliance from Chris Hooper saw the full-back run right through the heart of the Bromsgrove defence to score under the posts and convert his own try. With a couple of minutes left, the game Bromsgrove side worked their way into Malvern's 22 metre area and came off the back of a ruck to score another try, but Malvern's backs had doen enough for the victory.

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