MALVERN 2XV hopes of winning the league title look to have come to an end following a 25-3 defeat at Warley on Saturday.

In muddy conditions, Malvern knew only a win would suffice in their fight to stay in touch with league leaders Upton in the Counties 4 Midlands West (South), but it was to be a difficult afternoon for Malvern, who could not contend with the monstrous Warley pack.

Just five minutes into the game, a huge drive from the home side saw them push Malvern over the line for a converted try. The score line was made worse from the kick-off when some backchat from the visitors resulted in a penalty in front of the posts, which Warley converted to make it 10-0.

Malvern spent a lot of time in the Warley half but the conditions proved testing and a number of handling errors close to the Warley line prevented the away side from crossing the line. As it was, a Cullen Harris penalty would be all they could muster, but at least it reduced the deficit to seven at 10-3.

More pressure came from Malvern but for all their effort, the quality in the key moment was missing and just before half-time, having done a fair amount of defending, the Warley pack once more proved too hot to handle as they crossed in the corner to leave Malvern 15-3 down.

The second-half proved equally frustrating for the away side, who were maybe guilty of over playing in the wet and mud when a more simple approach could have done the trick. 

The game remained 15-3 deep into the second-half but two more scores from Warley sealed a bonus-point win that could well be a huge dagger into the heart of Malvern's promotion push.

They are just one point off leaders Upton in the table, but have played two games more and with only three games to go, they need a miracle if they are to be crowned champions.