MALVERN progressed to the second round of the North Midlands Colts Cup after a superb 26-19 victory over higher-ranked Newport Salop at Spring Lane, writes Ash Bajwa.

Captain Tom Bill was the star of the show as he scored a hat-trick before Malvern, coached by Worcester Warriors star Ted Hill clung on to beat a side who are third in the division above.

In a very competitive and feisty affair Bill opened the scoring when he wrestled his way over the try-line. Lewis Hardiman added the extras.

But Newport responded with two converted tries in quick succession to take a 14-7 lead.

Malvern saw a lot of the ball in the first half and got within two points of the visitors when Bill crossed for his second.

Both teams demonstrated their ability in defence but it was Malvern who took their opportunity as Bill competed his hat-trick. Hardiman landed the conversion.

It proved to be a tight finish with both sides going on the attack in the final 20 minutes.

Malvern increased their lead when Hardiman dived over after the ball was shirted out wide before adding the extra two points.

Newport’s pressure paid off with a score late on but it was not enough for the Shropshire side.

Malvern return to league action on Sunday when they host Telford.