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Home > News > Malvern 53 - Maidenhead 11
Your News Malvern 53 - Maidenhead 11

Although still beset by injury problems, Malverns young guns opened the game against newly promoted Maidenhead with some high tempo rugby to put the visitors under pressure from the first whistle. Forcing a line out the ball was taken on by Oli Marshall, who popped it to teenage dynamo Harry Nuttall for the opening score in the 8th minute. Whether Malvern though that this was to be the opening of the floodgates, or some determination from the visitors not to be whipping boys for the third game running, the game turned in favour of the Maidenhead as the Spring Lane side took the foot off the pedal. A Virgo penalty was quickly followed by some spirited play in the home half resulting in a try from lock Mueller. Malvern conspired to concede territory and possession through some poor decision making and elementary errors and Virgo stretched the lead to 5-11 just before the half hour mark. This prompted a big wake-up call and a resurgent Malvern stormed downfield, winning a penalty which Tom Longley slotted over. With Marshall and Nuttall causing some havoc amongst the visiting forwards and half backs, Malvern found some rhythm to their game and were showing some purpose after the early torpor. George Kitching put in a couple of fine long range touch efforts and Jordan Hillier made a good break as more pressure was piled on a creaking defence and penalties were conceded to give Malvern the upper hand. After the visiting blind side flanker was sin binned for an indiscretion, Malvern opted for the scrum, the ball found Richard Fleming and the big centre powered through to retake the lead and set up a simple Longley conversion.

Some wise words at half time inspired Malvern to come out of the blocks at full pelt and skipper Matt Williams went on a charge as the Malvern forwards took the game deep into visiting territory. Forcing a penalty, Longley bagged another three points ahead of a sustained period of intense play from the home pack. As the Maidenhead players, showing much lower fitness levels, struggled to cope, it was the turn of Nick Miller to storm through the defence to score, Longleys conversion making it a respectable 25-11. Securing the ball at the restart, winger Tom Hale went on a marauding run, setting up quick ball for Miller to snaffle a second converted try. Maidenhead stepped up to the plate with a period of possession in the Malvern half, but the home defence stood firm and they turned over the ball, moving it quickly upfield and only a last ditch tackle stopped Miller from claiming his hat trick. A loose ball was snaffled by Malvern and James Southall was on hand to score. As Maidenhead ran out of steam, a few handbags were swung and Hillier was shown a yellow card, but more pressure from Malvern saw them break from their own 22, Nuttalls perfect offload putting Longley in to score and convert. With the game drawing to a close, Miller again broke through and sent Nuttall in for his second and Longleys sixth conversion to round off a first win of the season.

Whilst players, coaches and spectators alike were pleased with the win, it was against a side which is going to struggle, and Director of Rugby Liam Hughes identified several areas which will need attention before the visit of early-season league leaders Weston super Mare on Saturday. On the plus side, there are likely to be around eight squad members back in training after injury, some of whom should be available for selection immediately.

Kick off at Spring Lane will be 3.00pm.

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