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Home > News > Oxford Harlequins 29 - Malvern 28
Your News Oxford Harlequins 29 - Malvern 28

Malvern travelled to bottom side Oxford Harlequins for what should have been a routine victory. What happened on the field amazed the home support and stunned the travelling faithful from Malvern into disbelief. The home side started well as Malvern looked sluggish, working their way to the away goal line then winning a penalty to take the lead. Play from both sides was a bit too frantic and disjointed, which became the pattern for most of the match. Even when Malvern put some good passages of play together, wrong options were taken, with needless kicking away repeatedly surrendering possession. However, a good drive upfield saw Malvern awarded a penalty, a scrum was taken and James Southall nipped in on the short side to score for the lead. This didnt last long as Malvern aimlessly kicked away and Oxfords winger gratefully accepted the ball to run through and score. This woke Malvern up and a sustained period of play saw persistent offending by the Quins and Tom Longley clawed back three with 15 minutes left. points. Failure to secure the ball at the restart gave possession back to the home side, who worked the ball upfield and sloppy marking saw their tight head gifted a score. In the 10 minutes before the break, Malvern finally put together some good passages of play and winger Will Pennell scores twice, Longley converting once, for Malvern to retake the lead at the break.

Longley stretched the lead after the break with another penalty, Oxford replied with one of their own to stay just 4 points behind. The growth in self belief in the home ranks was clearly visible as Malvern continued to make some naive decisions. However, Ieuan Mustow looked to have rescued Malvern as he seized the ball and ran in from 60 metres to open a 9 point gap. However, instead of playing a safety-first game Malvern kept trying to run the ball and with 10 minutes to go Oxford intercepted to score and set up a nail biting finale. Again Malvern failed to retain possession, giving away a soft penalty and Oxfords speedy winger carved through some appalling cover to give them their first win in the last minute of the match.

Whilst Malvern have some undoubted talent in the young ranks, several players showed a lack of discipline and thought in their off the cuff tactics, which resulted in three tries being gifted to Oxford. Malvern now face Redingensian Rams at Spring Lane this Saturday (kick off 3.00pm) who are likely to provide stiffer opposition.

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