MALVERN confirmed the bragging rights as Worcestershire's top junior rugby side at Spring Lane on Saturday.

The forward power on display was too much for their North Worcestershire rivals as Bromsgrove's nippy young back division were starved for ball - and what ball they did win was quickly stifled by the hard tackling Malvern defence.

As early as the third minute Malvern were ahead after a penalty took them to a five-metre line out and who else but prop Shaun Lancett came out with the ball after a catch and drive score. For the rest of the half it was a fast and furious Malvern display, although the visitors pulled back three points with a penalty.

George Roberts and Dave Hill were on fire, although the Malvern line-out was below par in the strong wind. Skipper James Hynes grabbed the attention with a series of punishing driving runs, setting up second-phase repeatedly. Malvern went further ahead when Richard Fleming, again with an eye-catching performance, made a fine break downfield to set off full-back Chris Hooper for a 40 metre run in to score, Ryan Watkins converting.

From the restart, Bromsgrove counter-attacked but a kick ahead, gathered by Roberts, was dangerously followed through, resulting in a yellow card for Summerfield. The visitors put over another penalty, but in the final minute of the half Hynes drove through, Muli put Fleming away and Watkins converted for a 19-6 score line at the break.

Bromsgrove's kick-off return attempt was fumbled, Malvern stole the ball back and Roberts used his deceptive power and speed to break through the away defence for a superb try, Watkins collecting the conversion points. Anderson replaced the hard-working Chris Smith as Malvern's forward power play continued to sap the strength from the visiting pack and put the backs away.

Malvern then suffered a major blow as skipper Hynes collected a serious knee injury, which upset the rhythm of Malvern's play and they lost a bit of shape. However, the power was still evident in close play as a 20-metre driving maul ended with Lancett claiming his second try of the day to cement his place as the league's top-scoring front row forward.

As Bromsgrove's frustration increased, there were a few flurries of 'handbagging' which upped the yellow card count, although the game had been generally cleanly fought.

Two late consolation tries for Bromsgrove, as Malvern finally were stretched in defence, gave some respectability to the score line, but it was an emphatic victory to take Malvern into the repeat North Midlands Cup fixture on Easter Saturday (April 7).