MALVERN put on an improved show in an entertaining 29-10 home defeat to local rivals Hereford in Midlands One West.

Played under the lights at Ledbury, a large crowd were treated to a fast-moving game which saw both sides run the ball early on.

Perhaps some cold hands contributed to knock-ons and dropped passes, resulting in several evenly-contested scrums.

The Wyesiders opened the scoring after winning a scrum on the Malvern 22 and driving to the line.

Malvern responded with Rob Cook's break setting up a forward drive as the Spring Lane side had a period of dominance.

The ball was moved swiftly out to Dan Batty who broke the defensive line and set winger Conor Giggle off on a try-scoring run to make it 5-5 at half-time.

The second period opened with Malvern winning a penalty but Hereford then had a kick of their own to clear the lines.

As the visitors attacked Adam Dixon's attempted interception was interpreted by the official as a deliberate knock-on and he was sin binned.

Hereford responded with a couple of drives to suck in the Malvern defence then they spread the ball for a try to retake the lead.

Malvern put some pressure on their opponents, winning a series of penalties but failing to convert the advantage into points.

Hereford responded by winning penalties and Malvern went in at the side of a ruck.

The subsequent catch-and-drive saw them go over to stretch the lead then shortly afterwards gain the try bonus point.

Once more the Malvern throw-in at the lineout was poor and Hereford snaffled the ball to score a converted try.

Malvern responded by working the ball upfield after a mighty George Roberts clearance kick.

Although Hereford won a penalty for blocking, Malvern turned the ball over and Rob Cook joined the line from full-back to speed through to score in the corner.

But sixth-placed Hereford had the last say as a poor clearance kick allowed them to race downfield for a final score of the evening.

Bottom-of-the-table Malvern host another derby on Saturday when Worcester visit Spring Lane (3pm).

Upton host Woodrush in Midlands Three West (South) on Saturday while Bromyard visit Kings Norton in Midlands Four West (South).