MALVERN slumped to their third successive Midlands One West defeat as Whitchurch ran out 37-8 winners at Edgeley Park.

The Spring Lane side competed well for the first 35 minutes but the hosts proved too strong, running in seven tries.

Ben King gave the visitors the lead with an early penalty and Malvern’s high, pressing defensive line kept their opponents at bay with some great tackles.

But having lost hooker Liam Moloney with a pulled hamstring in the warm-up the Malvern line-out misfired all afternoon, conceding possession to Whitchurch.

Further rejigging was necessary when Brad Smith came off with a leg injury – and Whitchurch soon took advantage.

With Malvern missing tackles Whitchurch’s inside centre sped upfield to score. The Salop side then turned the ball over and won a penalty which also earned Richard Fleming a 10-minute spell in the sin-bin.

Opting for a scrum, Whitchurch controlled the drive before whipping the ball out for the outside centre to go over for a 10-3 lead at the break.

At the start of the second half Malvern conceded a soft try whilst down to 14 men as Whitchurch scored in the corner.

From the restart Whitchurch repeated the score as more tackles were missed by Malvern who were unable to reproduce the tight defensive work they showed in the first period.

Just when it looked as though Malvern might be coming back into the game a kick was charged down and the interception saw the home side go 25-3 up.

It was fortunate for Malvern that the home kicker was off form, otherwise the deficit would have been even greater.

Malvern did respond with a very good passage of play as they won a succession of penalties before spinning the ball wide for Jack Curtis to score.

But this only lifted the home team who hit back by turning over the ball in the Malvern 22 and winning a penalty which was quickly taken to restore the gap. The replacement kicker added the extras.

Whitchurch then capped a workmanlike display by running the ball out of defence and through some more haphazard Malvern tackling for a final try.

Malvern face free-scoring league leaders Bromsgrove at Spring Lane on Saturday (3pm) before a rest week.