MALVERN Second XV powered to the top of the North Midlands Reserves league last Saturday with one of their finest performances of the season.

This was always going to be a tough encounter with a confident Hereford side boasting some good wins in previous weeks. They didn't disappoint either as they threw strong forward play into attack from the start but the visitors organisation in defence and constant pressure at the rucks made it impossible for the home team to get any movement on the ball or make any significant ground into Malvern territory.

Dan Sparrey at scrum-half made some superb kicks deep into the oppositions half pinning them back into their own 22 and when Aidan Ruddock stole ball from the Hereford line-out 22 metres out, Malvern moved the ball wide with pace. Gareth Richards collected in midfield sold a dummy to the opposition full back and went in to score under the posts for a 7-0 lead 10 minutes in.

Malvern didn't sit back on the lead though and the back row combination of Nick Clark, Dave Wood and Adam Green continued to put a lot of pressure on the home team rucks resulting in a penalty for holding on being awarded. John Brierly stepped up to continue his excellent kicking tally and Malvern moved into a 10-0 lead.

Spreading the ball wide quickly, the wing pairing of Will Clee and Stuart Smith were constantly breaking the home team's defence and linking with full-back Chris Williams gave them space to off-load to centre Ali Hills, who blasted over for another score as the visitors took control on 20 minutes. Capped with another Brierly penalty before half-time, Malvern were in the driving seat 18-0 at the interval.

After the break Hereford laid seige to the visitors, forcing them back into their own 22 for over 10 minutes but Malvern's defence has been a massive part of their success this season having only conceded 64 points in nine league games and they shut out all the home team's attempts before hooker Liam Maloney turned over ball at the scrum and Sparry kicked clear.

Buoyed by their solid defence Malvern picked the pace up on the game and Sparrey and Richards began to run the show sending John Brierly flying through the midfield to score Malvern's third try.

With the clock running down the visitors decided to run a late penalty spinning the ball wide to Clee, who popped to Maloney cutting back inside to score and give Malvern their second 28-0 win over Hereford this season.

Captain Mark Chivers said: "We're really pleased with this result. We knew Hereford were going to be a tough side to beat, especially at home so to come away with another 28-0 win over them is a fantastic effort. All 15 players were outstanding today, let's take this form to Walsall next week."