MALVERN suffered a heavy home defeat at the hands of Cheltenham Tigers on Saturday as injuries continue to mount up for the Spring Lane outfit.

Already low on numbers, Malvern suffered more issues in the 15-41 loss to Cheltenham, with the likes of Harvey Smedley and John Friths all coming off as the hosts ended the game with just 13 players. 

It was a ropey start from Malvern in front of a healthy Spring Lane crowd, and they found themselves 19-0 down after Cheltenham scored three early tries.

The hosts did finally find their feet as the half wore on and fly-half Adam Dixon set Ben Gaubert off down the right wing before he crashed over in the corner a few phases later to get Malvern on the board.

Vern had their tails up by this point and they soon had a second after a sustained period of pressure ended with Dixon dummying his way over the line to make it 19-10 at the break.

The home side had done well to wrestle their way back into the contest, but the second-half  unfortunately followed a similar theme to the majority of games this season.

Injuries did not help their cause and the replacements were all used up by the point Friths was forced off, leaving Malvern down to 14 and Cheltenham took full advantage by racking up the score.

Smedley also limped off after a collision with the opposition prop as Malvern went down to 13.

But despite their numerical disadvantage, Malvern did finish well and scored the final try of the game when Niall Potter-Farrant dived over in the corner.

Whilst it was a disappointment for the 1s, it was another win for the Malvern 2s, who march on in their bid to win the Counties 4 Midlands West (South) title.

They made it eight wins in a row to move within three points of league leaders Birmingham Exiles, with a game in hand.

Ryan Pickering and Ethan Palmer scored in the opening quarter to give the hosts a 14-0 lead that grew to 28-0 before half-time after another for Pickering and an intercept from Raffaello Cossali-Francis.

Stourport did pull one back after the break but another for Cossali-Francis saw the score grow to 33-7 and it looked as if the game was done. 

But the away side battled hard in the final quarter and made a real fist of it as Malvern took their foot off the pedal and at 33-24, the result began to look in danger.

But a late penalty from Cullen Harris sealed the win and the full five points took Malvern up into second in the table.