MALVERN went into the festive break with all guns blazing to thrash Earlsdon 46-14 at Spring Lane.

They shrugged off the previous week’s 24-18 loss at leaders Droitwich to maintain second spot six points off the top in Midlands Two West (South).

Malvern collected the kick-off deep in their own half and Luke Milton blazed through with a blistering 60-metre run to open the scoring with 20 seconds gone.

Rob Cook converted and then his pinpoint kick to touch gave the hosts a line-out deep in Earlsdon territory.

A catch-and-drive move saw the pack control the maul to the line and Richard Hobbs touched down.

Earlsdon hit back quickly as they intercepted a chip clearance and ran in a soft converted try.

But this only stung Malvern back into action as a penalty and subsequent line-out saw the ball worked across and Milton was again on hand to score, giving Cook the conversion.

Earlsdon put in sustained pressure and Malvern's defence collected two yellow cards in a matter of minutes.

The visitors opted for scrums instead of kicks at goal in their search for points but the Malvern pack dug in to negate their heavier opponents.

Then the home side broke into the Earlsdon half, working the ball patiently for flanker Sam Parsons to burst over for the bonus-point try.

Malvern lost influential stand-off Adam Dixon but they still worked the angles to split open the defence as skipper Tom Hale went over in the corner.

The line-out fired well with Jon Bywater and Jack Longley imperious in the air while the under-pressure scrum still controlled the ball with Will Gough picking up repeatedly and setting up attacks.

Adam Green came on for Hobbs to give more options at the line-out and Malvern defended well before cutting loose once more with Milton again charging through to score.

From a line-out, another catch-and-drive move saw Liam Roleston, fast growing into his new position at loosehead prop, control the ball and touch down.

As frustration grew in the Earlsdon ranks, they had a man yellow carded.

From the penalty, Malvern once more built patiently until Cook found a hole in the defence and dummied through to score and convert.

Earlsdon took advantage of slack marking to score a second converted try but the game ended as it had begun with Malvern attacking to round off a satisfactory first half of the season.

They return to action on Saturday, January 6, at old rivals Kenilworth before two home matches against Leamington and Southam on January 13 and 27 respectively.