After 17 months of pandemic induced non-activity, rugby finally returned in all its full contact glory as a Malvern representative side welcomed their neighbours Ledbury to a pre-season friendly.

This gave both sides the chance to shake off the cobwebs and try out players old and new from across the skill levels in a game of four 20 minute quarters.

Malvern shot into a three try lead in the first session as their speedy backs proved too much for the Ledbury defence, but the second session saw the Herefordshire side respond with three scores of their own as their forwards got into the game.

Both sides rang the changes but it remained an open game, much to the delight of the large crowd.

In the last two sessions, Malvern’s fitness started to show and they ran in four tries to Ledbury’s one, but more importantly the match had given both the players and coaches an opportunity to run the eye over their respective squads.

The response from all the supporters was unanimous - the words “great to be back” echoing around the clubhouse after the match.

Malvern’s try scorers were Lewis Hardiman (4), Ieuan Mustoe, Frankie Bent, Rob Cook and George Lechmere.

Malvern continue pre-season preparation this Saturday (21st August) at 3.00pm with the visit of Leicestershire side Market Harborough, who play at the same level as the newly promoted Spring Lane team.

(Words from Peter Woods).