IN the most testing conditions of the year, Malvern's seconds battled through against Camp Hill's seconds to make it seven wins from eight in the North Midlands Reserves League.

Steady drizzle made the playing surface treacherous and ball difficult to handle, so the outcome was always going to be settled by the side with the greater commitment, and, once again, the boys from Spring Lane played as a unit to wear down a competitive pack and claim victory.

As the weather closed in and the knock-on count mounted, the grubber-kick became the preferred option and when fly-half Dan Sparrey sent the ball skidding through the host's defence, centre Will Clee collected, then fed number 14 Nick Clark, who opened Malvern's account.

With the experienced Dave Merlin playing eight, the visitors' ball-carrying and mauling began to take it's toll on the home pack, creating gaps which were finally exploited as Sparrey popped a short ball to Merlin 15 metres out. The big forward's momentum carrying him over under the posts, converted by John Brierly.

The second period followed the same pattern as the first with Camp Hill scrapping for all their worth, but Malvern just having the edge in both the loose and the set piece.

With their back-line coming to grips with the greasy ball, chances came for Clee and inside-centre Grant Fraser but they were snuffed out.

Following a swift passage of attacking play, Fraser neatly passed out of the tackle ten metres out, and flanker Stuart Clark surged through to extend the lead, Brierly added the extras to put Malvern 19 points clear.

Camp Hill raised their game, driving over the line for a deserved and converted forward's try, before Merlin copied his earlier effort, bursting under the posts to give Brierly his third conversion.

A collision between opposing wingers resulted in a penalty try for the hosts, and with the gap now closed to 12 points, the visitors kept the ball tight, running down the last few minutes to secure the victory.