SOLIHULL turned up at Spring Lane with their usual big pack and it was soon evident that Malvern, with a much lighter forward unit, needed to move the ball away from the mauling physicality of the visitors.

For the first 20 minutes the two sides tested each other out with Malvern making the most territorially. Richard Fleming had a couple of good, incisive runs and new number eight Owen Jones impressed the home supporters from the off.

Malvern started to run the ball around in the second quarter and the pack put pressure on the Solihull line. As their defence got more desperate there were several sly punches and stray boots employed, unnoticed by the inexperienced young referee until the visiting number eight was shown a yellow card.

Winger Nick Hincliffe made a good run to the Solihull 22, the ball was cleared but Huw Dimond cut across and made inroads, flipping the ball back inside for Owen Jones to charge through for his debut league try in the 29th minute. Richard Fleming converted.

Malvern kept running the ball, putting pressure on the Solihull defence. A 5 metre line out saw the catch and drive employed for Shaun Lancett to score his customary try on 34 minutes and suddenly Malvern looked as they were good for a big score. On the stroke of half-time Ted Lang put in a great run, after Solihull had picked up a second yellow, the pack put in a driving maul and Lancett collected his second try.

At 17-0 at half-time Malvern were in the driving seat, but when the second half began they seemed to have lost some urgency.

As Solihull started to rumble towards the Malvern line the referee brandished a yellow card to Malvern's Chris Smith, followed soon after by another to a Solihull forward. With the visitors employing a basic kicking and mauling game, Malvern seemed to lose shape and a line- out saw the visitors drive over to claw back a 63rd minute try.

In the 70th minute a second drive-over try put Solihull within a score of Malvern, who were now looking vulnerable, having lost Matt Richardson to another yellow.

With five minutes left a repeat of the previous scores put them two points behind. From the restart the visitors came back into Malvern's 22 and the Spring Lane side failed to clear their lines. A free-for-all saw Cooper leave the field, and in the last minute Malvern conceded a penalty in front of the posts. The Solihull kicker, whose place kicking had been poor, made no mistake.