MALVERN Rugby Club scored a major blow in their fight for a Midlands Two West (South) top-two finishing spot.

A thrilling 37-31 win at third-placed Kenilworth put the Spring Lane men 10 points ahead of their promotion rivals.

Malvern started well but the Glasshouse Lane hosts struck first with a penalty in a high-tempo contest.

Both teams were frequently penalised for holding on to the ball too long in the tackle but once this was sorted the game ebbed and flowed at pace.

Experienced Kenilworth scrum-half Gaz Renowden intercepted a pass to run through for a converted try.

But Malvern replied swiftly as a loose ball was deftly moved across the line for Luke Milton to score.

However, they were 10-5 down at half-time after another effort was ruled out for a knock-on.

Although Malvern had the wind and sun in their favour in the second period, Kenilworth won a scrum against the head and opened up the defence to lead by 12.

But the visitors hit back with a penalty deep into home territory and Glen Potter touched down after a catch and drive from the resulting line-out.

Malvern took control for a period and Rob Cook dispatched a 45-metre penalty.

They won another penalty to set up a catch and drive again with Liam Roleston scoring to put Malvern ahead for the first time.

Cook converted and then added the extras once more after Tom Hale won a kick and chase.

But a Malvern clearance kick was charged down for Kenilworth to reply with a converted try.

They then retook the lead with a converted effort after running the ball from their own 22.

However, Malvern replied as the ball was once again spread wide and Hale scorched through.

Cook’s conversion gave his team a three-point cushion and they kept late possession to set up their director of rugby for a successful drop goal.

Malvern survived a final scare to hold off a Kenilworth side who showed plenty of character.

They host sixth-placed Leamington in the league on Saturday at Spring Lane (2.15pm).

Droitwich lead by six points at the top after a 27-14 home win over lowly Silhillians.