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Home > News > Second half revival helps Malvern record double
Your News Second half revival helps Malvern record double

Malvern travelled to Leicester for their first-ever visit to Syston looking to replicate the heroics of the last match against Rugby Lions. However, the home side had other ideas. Having put in 10 minutes of pressure the Malvern pack got into the Syston 22 metre area but gave away a soft penalty, the home full back Craig Hewitt took a quick tap and go and carved through an unprepared Malvern defence to score and Ian Smith converted. Tails up, the East Midlanders ran the ball around, and prop Tim Pickard stormed across field to make a try saving tackle as Syston looked to have a clear run-in. However, Malvern lost turnover ball, Smith hacked on to score and convert and Malvern looked to be in disarray. Luke Milton went off with a blood injury; Nick Miller came on and immediately put in a typically feisty break. Malvern won a penalty, then put in a well-controlled 21 phase pick and drive movement taking them 40 metres into the home half, Miller on hand when the ball went out to pull back 5 points. This was the signal for Syston to turn up the heat again and on the half hour mark they won a turnover on the Malvern and poor Malvern cover tackling allowed winger David Torr to score and Smith to convert for a 21-5 lead. For the rest of the half Syston used the wind and slope advantage to keep Malvern pinned back.

As the old clich has it, the match turned out to be a game of two halves. After some hard talking at the break, Malvern came out a changed side. Winning a scrum at the restart, the ball was quickly whipped along the back line for Gary Dipple to claim his maiden try in a Malvern shirt, Adam Dixon putting over the conversion. Syston werent given a chance to regroup as Malvern retained the ball and after some excellent handling across the back line Ryan Watkins went through, Dixons kick bringing Malvern back to only 2 points down. A couple of tactical substitutions saw Miller and Simon Daws as Malvern strove to build on the momentum. With the home pack being put under pressure by the Malvern front eight, a couple of penalties took the Spring Lane men deep into Syston territory. The ball came out quickly and Miller was again on hand, his power taking him through for Malvern to take the lead and Dixon to bag the extra two points. Syston battled back into Malvern territory and Milton was sin-binned, the resultant penalty making it 24-26, setting up an exciting last quarter. Malvern, almost unrecognisable from their first half performance, controlled the rest of the game and Dixon made a break and Dipple was on hand to close out the match for the visitors.

After the heroics against Rugby Lions, it was evident that Malvern are now a scalp to be taken, but Syston had to concede and give the visitors their first double of the season. Malvern now face second-place high scoring Dudley Kingswinford at Spring Lane this Saturday, kick off 3.00pm.

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