MALVERN recovered from letting a 19-point half-time lead slip to score a dramatic winning try in the final play of the game to secure a bonus-point win over Shipston at Spring Lane.

The hosts had led 19-0 at the break thanks to a penalty try and scores from captain Joe Budd and prop John Clark.

But a resurgent Shipston produced a stunning second-half display to score four tries to lead 22-19 heading into the closing stages, where Harvey Smedley crossed for Malvern's winning score.

It had been an even start to the game with both sides having spells of possession in enemy territory without either being able to capitalise until Malvern's pressure eventually told.

The hosts had twice been held up over the line before Budd darted through a gap and was taken out illegally, leading to the referee awarding a penalty try and a yellow card to the guilty party.

Soon after this, Hereford & Worcester winger Connor Giggle, made a storming run through the Shipston defence before losing the ball over the line. Shipston failed to clear from the scrummage and captain Budd was not to be stopped this time, scoring Malvern’s second try of the game.

Shipston, who had previously struggled to maintain possession, began to make useful yards down the field through penalties to touch. Their hooker threw in with great control throughout the game and their lineout was a real strength but Malvern managed to turn the ball over with Adam Dixon clearing well.

This set electric winger, Lewis Hardiman, off down the wing before he was illegally impeded off the ball as Shipston just about kept Malvern out.

Just before the half-time whistle, Malvern’s scrummage marched up the field and put the home side in a fantastic attacking position. From this, Clark went over to make the score 19-0 at the break.

But any hope that maybe the hosts would cruise to a win were quickly extinguished after the break.

Despite starting the second half brightly, Malvern conceded early on as Shipston closed the gap to 19-5. Moments later, Smedley found himself in acres of space but couldn’t quite free his hands up to ship the ball out wide to finish the game off. This was a real turning point in the contest and gave Shipston the belief that they could get themselves back in the contest.

The away side grew in confidence and three consecutive scores stunned the hosts and the big crowd to lead 22-19.

With moments left in the fixture, Malvern smashed their way down the field and, for the first time in the second half, played some quality rugby. The ball was shipped out wide to the mercurial Smedley who evaded several tackles to score a last-gasp winning 5 points.