MALVERN managed to avenge the previous weekend’s result with a 16-10 win over Barkers Butts at Spring Lane, writes Ash Bajwa.

Barkers edged a 28-27 thriller in the reverse fixture but Malvern regained third place in Midlands Two West (South) with Saturday's victory.

With some first-team regulars absent, opportunities were given to Richard Fleming, Will Dovey and George Roberts in the back-line while John Friths and Charlie Kerr started on the bench.

The first 20 minutes epitomised the rivalry between the two teams with intense phases of possessions and big tackles coming in.

But neither team got on the scoreboard with both losing and turning over possession constantly.

Man of the match Arran Carr led the charge for the home side.

Halfway through the first period play was stopped for the best part of half-an-hour.

This was due to a Barkers player getting knocked out following a strong tackle from director of rugby Rob Cook.

After the player was safely stretchered off the pitch by paramedics the teams warmed up once again and the game resumed shortly after.

Barkers were soon on the front foot as they earned themselves a lineout in Malvern’s 22 and their flanker picked the ball up from a ruck and had an easy run-in to punish lazy defence.

Soon after tempers began to flare and handbags were thrown which resulted in a yellow card for a Barkers player.

The second half was a real test of Malvern’s character to see if they could fight their way back to secure a win.

Malvern battled hard and finally got their breakthrough.

A penalty taken quickly on the opposition's five-metre line gave Dovey the chance to score in the corner to get the home side right back into the fixture.

But Barkers immediately regained their five-point lead after a penalty kick was converted with the score at 10-5 going into the last stretch of the game.

Malvern looked to snatch the match as they worked up a good position inside the Barkers 22-metre line.

A scrum was won and the ball got shipped down the blindside for Conor Giggle to dive down in the corner.

This brought the scores level with five minutes remaining.

Malvern, with the momentum, won a penalty within kicking range thanks to a Josh Moorhouse turnover.

Dan Batty kept his cool and slotted the kick perfectly despite the tough conditions.

Shortly after the game was fully secured thanks to another Batty penalty.

The game was a real test of character for Malvern and showed the resilience and adaptability of the team to win after some difficult circumstances against such a strong, talented team.

There is no love lost between the two sides and it is always entertaining seeing them battle it out over 80 minutes of physical and intense rugby.

Malvern host Earlsdon at Spring Lane on Saturday with the reverse fixture earlier in the season being a close encounter with the Worcestershire club coming out on top in a 15-5 win.

Meanwhile, Midlands Four West (South) leaders Upton return to action at fourth-placed Old Yardleians on Saturday.