MALVERN renewed county rivalries with last season's promotion rivals Droitwich but were thrashed 59-29 in Midlands One West.

They knew Droitwich would want to avenge last season's Midlands Two West (South) drubbing at Spring Lane and a leaky Malvern defence looked out of sorts all afternoon.

Malvern started brightly and won penalties to go within the home 22 but squandered the scoring opportunity with an accidental offside.

Droitwich worked the ball downfield to take the lead with a converted try.

Their forwards then won a turnover, Malvern's tackling was woeful and it was 12-0 as the hosts took full advantage.

But Malvern's set-piece was good against a much heavier pack and they moved the ball quickly.

Richard Fleming made good yards and Luke Milton sped through to pull back five points.

But Malvern shot themselves in the foot again as a long throw at the lineout was snaffled by Droitwich who went through to score.

The visitors won three penalties in quick succession to take them deep into the Droitwich half and Brad Williams burst through for a converted try to bring it back to 17-12.

But instead of capitalising Malvern, who had lost scrum-half Frankie Purcell to a head knock, capitulated as Droitwich turned the ball over and sped downfield to score.

The half ended with Malvern gifting an interception try as they tried to stretch the defence with a scoreline of 31-12 at the break.

The second period opened in similar vein as the away side were put under more pressure, clearing to touch but giving the home team the chance to build another attack from which they scored.

Malvern were unlucky to have a try disallowed when they worked the ball well down the wing only to have the referee overrule because the touch judge signalled a foot in touch.

They were awarded a penalty for a previous offence and built patiently until Fleming burst through a gap to score.

From the restart they again failed to take advantage of possession and ex-Malvern player Chris Hooper waltzed through for one of his four tries.

Malvern intercepted a Droitwich pass for Luke Milton to score but the home side twice more poured through to take their tally to 59 points.

Fleming's late second try and Malvern's fifth was scant recompense for a game when all they had to show was a losing bonus point.

Now firmly in the bottom three and with a gap opening up, Malvern host high-riding Dudley Kingswinford on Saturday before a difficult trip to Hereford on November 3.