MALVERN produced a credible performance in defeat to Regional 2 Midlands West leaders Silhillians on Saturday at Spring Lane, writes Tom Hale.

Malvern started well and the scoreboard remained untouched as the first 20 minutes ticked by.

The game was, largely, being played between each side’s 22-metre lines with the final pass often falling short of its target. Despite this, a Sils move did stick and Harry Jones scored after a well-worked move.

For the next 10 minutes, Malvern’s tempo improved significantly and Sils were shown a yellow card deep in their half when scrambling in defence. Many phases later, and following some barnstorming carrying from Karl Daly, Franco Bent crashed over for a deserved score that Smedley converted to level the scores at 7-7.

But some poor decision-making from Malvern in dangerous areas followed to give Sils the opportunities to edge in front and they did so through Joseph Bullock's try and Ben Freeman's penalty to make the score 7-15 at the half-time.

Just like they did in the first, it was another strong start to the half from Malvern and Smedley nudged over a penalty to reduce the deficit. Malvern's mood was improved further when Sils were shown another yellow card as their prop intentionally knocked on to prevent a line break for the hosts.

Malvern looked to profit from the extra man, but wave of attacks were thwarted by Sils, who defended well throughout.

The away side’s ability to soak up the Malvern pressure was impressive and a couple of quick tries moved their lead to 10–27. The away side were stretching Malvern’s defence and getting joy from weak tackling out wide.

As the game entered the final period, Malvern edged their way down the field and continued to show a gutsy mindset.

Following a couple of excellent lineout mauls, Joshua Moorhouse finished well after breaking off from the back. The scoreboard was now showing 15-27.

Malvern were very much still in the game and Sils knew this. The team from Solihull opted to take three points from a couple of penalties but they were well missed to keep the home team in the hunt.

The league leaders did, however, finish the scoring in the corner after a well-worked and slick move. As the full-time whistle blew, the score was 15-34.

An enjoyable game and a fair result in the end. Malvern travel to the basement side, Berkswell and Balsall, next weekend.