NEWBOLD 0, MALVERN 57PTS

PREVIOUS visits to the Avonside ground at Newbold have proved to be close and gritty affairs, so Malvern came out to stamp their authority on the match from the off.

The first scrum saw the Spring Lane pack drive the home forwards backwards for the first of six takes against the head by Alex Wenden. It was all Malvern as they continued to threaten the home line and in the 14th minute won a penalty, which Ted Lang put over to open the account for the day.

Dan Sparrey was shown a yellow card for complaining about a Newbold delay at a scrum, which should have signalled to both sides that here was a referee who was not to be trifled with. However, Malvern went about their business as James Hynes and Shuan Lancett drove the ball to the line. Newbold transgressed three times and Malvern were awarded a penalty try, converted by Lang, on the quarter hour, then the youngster added two further penalties in the following 10 minutes as Newbold continued to offend.

From a ruck after a scrum Hynes picked-up and quick ball went to Chris Hooper to make the yards and put Dave Wilkinson in for a try, Lang adding the extra two points. At the next breakdown the Newbold blind side flanker, also their nominated prop replacement, was shown a straight red card for a punch, which weakened their already troubled pack.

Malvern put in a driving maul, the ball was released to Richard Fleming and he carved through the middle of the home defence to score and give Lang a simple conversion.

All the while, Malvern were dominating so that when Newbold did get possession flankers Richard Hobbs and Phil Rawle were on hand to scrap and spoil. Stand off Ryan Watkins proved elusive as he made play after play to set the Malvern backs away, but it was the pack that took the score to 35-0 at the break with a catch and drive after a penalty seeing Hynes driven over for the score.

Four minutes in to the second period Watkins again opened up play, Fleming carved a way back inside and Gareth Taylor was on hand to finish the score off.

Chris Smith was next to see a yellow card as Newbold attempted a plucky recovery, but Malvern soaked up the pressure quite easily. Newbold lost a prop to injury, and with his replacement cooling his heels after the first half sending off, the scrums became uncontested.

Malvern cut loose, Gwynne was pulled back illegally and the home scrum-half was shown the red card, effectively ending the match for the home spectators.

Malvern started to play exhibition rugby, Wilkinson bagging a second try, veteran prop Steve Cooper showing his old turn of pace to be on hand to finish off a backs' move, then Hooper went on a 40 metre run, unselfishly passing for Rawle to administer the coup de grace.