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Rugby Union - Defeat in Tisdale’s first game in charge
12:30pm Friday 2nd November 2012 in Sport
THE old cliché of a game of two halves was never more evident than in Buckinghamshire when Malvern lost 19-8 at fellow strugglers Amersham and Chiltern.
The hosts played the first 40 minutes of the National Three South West encounter with the slope and a blustery wind at their backs.
Malvern, in new head coach Nick Tisdale’s first game, started better and a series of drives by the pack took them deep into their opponents’ territory.
However, when the backs tried to pass the ball wide the gusting wind blew it offcourse and Amersham regained possession.
Following a tap penalty, the big pack drove to the Malvern line and their giant prop went over for a 16thminute converted try to claim a lead against the run of play.
For the next 20 minutes, Malvern’s forwards again played a controlled game, keeping possession and getting close to the home line but the crucial score eluded them.
They conceded a penalty and a relieved Amersham took the pressure off with a kick to the 22-metre line.
The visitors offended again as a catch-and-drive move took Amersham to the line and their number eight went over to put the hosts 12-0 up by the break.
Malvern lost Luke Milton and Ryan Henshaw as the injury hoodoo continued to plague the Spring Lane outfit.
The second period gave them wind and slope advantage and they made it count within three minutes, piling into the defence and releasing the ball for George Kitching to speed in for a fine try.
Amersham hardly got out of their own half even when in possession with the visitors tackling like demons to nullify moves.
On the hour mark, the inevitable penalty came and Adam Dixon brought the score back to 12-8 with Malvern looking good for their first win on the road of the season.
However, two clear-cut tryscoring chances went begging as chilled hands failed to hold the ball in the icy wind.
Ieuan Mustow was also desperately unlucky as a pass went behind him and he just failed to recover it.
Amersham woke up and kept the ball for the last 10 minutes, inching their way upfield to secure victory in the dying minutes.
The lack of clinical finishing meant Malvern left empty-handed but Tisdale was heartened by much that he saw.
New young prop Jack Cosgrove was solid as were all the pack against an Amersham eight which was considerably heavier.
Malvern’s backs, while perhaps ignoring the conditions a little, still impressed with their willingness to run the ball.