THERE was a new-look feel to both senior teams on Saturday, but unlike the previous weekend, it was two defeats at Spring Lane.

The firsts were taking on Moseley Oak in a Regional 2 Midlands West encounter and having won at home to Berkswell & Balsall the week before, confidence was high.

A number of second team players were promoted into the first team due to unavailability but it was a brave performance against a strong outfit.

Like in many games this season, Malvern were very much in the fight for the first 40 minutes and they took the lead early on when John Clark bulldozed his way over the line.

Moseley's powerful pack were proving a challenge for Malvern, however, and that gave them the base in which to spring their first attack which brought them their opening try. In the process, Lewis Hardiman was forced off with a shoulder injury and debutant Isaac Flewers came on in his place.

Ben King put Malvern back ahead with a penalty but Moseley responded quickly with try number two of the afternoon in the corner.

Malvern plugged away and didn't let their heads drop, forcing Moseley back into their own half and a yellow card to the visitors handed Malvern the advantage for 10 minutes.

And they soon made it count as another new face in winger Raffaello Cossali-Francis evaded a tackle before a chip in behind found Franco Bent, who crashed over to make it a one-point game.

Rather frustratingly, Malvern were not able to hold the visitors out just before the break as they managed a third score to swing momentum back in their favour.

At 13-19, the game was very much in the balance but the second-half was where Moseley turned it on to take the game away from the hosts, scoring 24 unanswered points to secure a 43-13 bonus-point win.

As for the seconds, they were naturally affected by some of their usual suspects being involved with the 1XV but it was a still a game that, on paper, they were big favourites to win.

Having exchanged converted tries in the opening stages, Bishops Castle established a healthy lead at the break following two more seven-pointers to make it 7-21 and give Malvern a real challenge in the second-half. 

The visitors dug deep and defended bravely down the slope but after sustained pressure, Marcus Hill went over to give Malvern some hope of a comeback. But they were quickly on the back foot and when Bishops Castle scored their fourth of the day, it looked unlikely Malvern would turn it around.

Two late tries from Robins and Chris Hayes did bring about two losing bonus-points, which could be crucial in their title push. They remain top of the table but Upton now have a game in hand and only three points to make up.