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Malvern waste opportunities for big success
1:00pm Saturday 10th November 2012 in Rugby
WASTEFUL Malvern were outthought by streetwise Avonmouth Old Boys in a 17- 3 National League Three South West home defeat.
With the Spring Lane hosts only one place above the relegation zone and their Bristolian visitors, expectations for a win were high.
But, after a bright start, Malvern were penalised which was to become a repetitive feature of the match.
The visitors piled on the pressure to secure a penalty which full-back Andy Taylor put over to open the scoring.
Malvern rallied well with the pack driving upfield and took the first scrum of the match against the head, driving the much bigger Avonmouth eight back.
A second scrum put the visitors in disarray and Malvern were awarded a kickable penalty which went wide.
The rampant pack forged deep into the Avonmouth half regularly but were continuously penalised at the breakdown for failing to release as ball carriers were isolated.
However, Avonmouth were caught offside and Adam Dixon levelled on 20 minutes.
Before the half-hour mark, Malvern were penalised at a scrum and the penalty was put into the corner.
The catch-and-drive was employed and lock James Foss went over with Taylor converting for a lead against the run of play.
Malvern conspired to help the referee add to the penalty count and surrendered the advantage they had built in possession terms.
The list of errors was capped when a spilled ball was snaffled just before halftime and Avonmouth countered quickly for winger Billy Reynolds to score in the corner.
Taylor’s sure boot converted for what turned out to be the final score of the match.
The second period saw the older, more streetwise Avonmouth forwards employing all the tricks in the book to negate Malvern’s set-piece dominance.
Malvern were not helped as Dixon and debutant hooker Antonio Harris suffered shoulder injuries.
But the major problem was naivety as the wily Avonmouth pack dominated the loose and disrupted at the scrum.
Fourth-from-bottom Malvern’s coaching team were left with plenty of work to do as Avonmouth deservedly took the points.