Malvern 11, Newport (Salop) 15.

NEWPORT (Salop) recorded their first-ever win at Spring Lane as Malvern crashed to a home defeat in National Three Midlands.

The visitors selected a pack which outweighed and outmuscled the home forwards, denying Malvern a platform and took the game to the home team from the start.

After an opening 15 minutes of Newport pressure, their effort paid off as they forced a line-out and the huge figure of number eight Vernon Fredericks took the ball over for the opening score.

With Malvern looking jaded and a far different side than the one which battled to a draw at South Leicester the previous week, the Shropshire team continued to press.

Malvern lost the ball at their own line-out and Newport won a scrum going forward and a resultant penalty saw stand-off Chris Perry take the three points. The hosts finally started to raise their game and won a penalty which Robin Fransson drilled over from 36 metres out.

This was followed by another good Malvern drive and penalty, but that effort went wide just before the break.

The second-half began with Newport again on the attack, forcing their opponents to defend deep in their own half for some time and narrowly failing to score as the ball was knocked-on with a try beckoning.

As Malvern’s defence got sucked in to defend the Newport close drives, the back-line was vulnerable and the visitors used this to their advantage, Fredericks again going over to score with Perry converting.

From the restart, Malvern won a penalty for a high tackle and Fransson cut the deficit to nine points. This signalled a good period of play for Malvern, the ball moved quickly across the line to James Bennett, who kicked ahead and outstripped his opposite number to score a fine try in the corner. However, Malvern failed to capitalise on this brief period of ascendancy as Newport retook control, haphazard tackling allowing the visitors to dictate play until the final whistle from referee Clare Hodnett.

It was evident that some serious work needs to be done to get Malvern’s season back on track, especially with the visit to all-conquering leaders Rugby Lions tomorrow and a difficult fixture at home to Syston the following Saturday.