A MUCH-improved Malvern display made high-flying visitors Dudley Kingswinford graft for a 38-10 win in Midlands One West.

Third-placed Dudley had much more possession in the first half-hour at Spring Lane but Malvern impressed with their tackling and set scrums.

Whereas the previous week against Droitwich the tackling had been woeful, against a busy, well-drilled team they more than held their own.

The first half was a game of cat and mouse as both sides probed with Malvern driving the visiting set scrum back a few times even though they conceded a large weight advantage.

James Tutty made breaks to take Malvern into away territory before they again destroyed the Dudley scrum to win a penalty which Jasper Windsor-Clive slotted over for the lead on 30 minutes.

George Roberts produced a big tackle on his opposite number but Dudley showed why they are early promotion contenders, turning the ball over in Malvern's 22 and scoring a converted try.

They doubled their total on half-time as Malvern tried to run the ball from deep and were penalised for crossing.

The second period began with Malvern pressuring Dudley, winning a series of penalties for offside.

The final kick into the red zone was marked but Dudley gave possession back with sloppy play and Adam Dixon's cross-field punt put the hosts deep into the away 22.

A chip through caused defensive indecision and Jack Longley charged through to win the race for the try.

Windsor-Clive converted and Malvern looked to be back in the game at 14-10.

But Dudley patiently worked the ball the length of the field, retaining possession to score once more.

With Sam Parsons sin-binned, Malvern conceded a penalty at the scrum as the weight advantage told and the inevitable catch and drive saw Dudley stretch their lead for the bonus point.

Malvern were far better value than the previous week and still threatened with the ball in hand despite losing Tutty to injury.

But strong defence kept them at bay and Dudley scored two late tries for a flattering 28-point margin.

Malvern can take heart from their performance as their first year back at level six has not been helped by an injury list affecting several key players.

With the exception of league leaders Newbold, they go into a series of potentially winnable games against teams in mid-table or below.

Third-from-bottom Malvern visit mid-table Hereford on Saturday (2.15pm).