9:30am Wednesday 15th January 2014
MALVERN’S injury jinx struck again as they lost 36- 15 at Silhillians in Midlands One West.
They seemed to have recovered from the problems, which bedevilled the firsthalf of the season, only for three players to be forced off on a soggy Sils third-choice pitch.
However, Malvern made a fine start, taking play deep into the home half and winning a penalty which Adam Dixon coolly slotted over.
Jamie Anderson again proved dangerous with punishing drives deep into Sils territory before Nathan Dunford’s clever chip took Malvern to within 15 metres of the home line.
Winning a free-kick, Dixon’s long pass found James Hynes lurking near the touchline and the big backrower- turned-prop went over for a try in the corner.
Dixon kicked the conversion from the sideline but Sils responded with sustained pressure in the Malvern half which saw Jonathan Bywater sin-binned.
Despite fine defence, the numerical advantage told when the Solihull hosts finally forced their way over and converted to bring the deficit back to three points.
Both sides tried to play running rugby but the Malvern injury hoodoo struck again when James Doorbar picked up a hamstring problem.
Sils forced a five-metre scrum and drove over to take the lead only for Malvern to respond with a 30-metre driving maul into the home 22.
Malvern were denied a try when the ball rebounded off a post and Tom Longley scooped it up to dive over but the referee deemed Malvern had first knocked the ball on.
Just before half-time, their injury list grew when Dixon left the field with shoulder trouble.
As the visitors played up the slope with a rejigged back-line, Sils took advantage of poor tackling to make 70 yards and set up a drop goal to lead by five points.
Malvern responded by using their superiority in the loose, putting in a controlled forward drive and winning a penalty. From the resulting line-out, the catch-and-drive was put into play and Hynes bagged his second try of the day to level.
Once again, Sils responded with pressure and finally broke through to score and convert before putting the game beyond Malvern after poor tackling, running through the middle of the defence to make it 29-15. Having also lost Bywater to injury, Malvern struggled to hold Sils, who finished the game with a fine move from deep through their lively back-line.
Disappointed Malvern can take comfort from being far better in the loose with sterling performances, notably from Anderson and Richard Preece, while Dave Smith and Bywater secured good line-out ball in difficult conditions.
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