MALVERN maintained their winning start against a competitive Leamington side with a 28-19 away win in Midlands Two West (South).

Despite dropping off from their early-season form Malvern did more than enough to take five points to retain second place in the table.

The hosts started well in dank, drizzly conditions with a converted try after intense pressure in the Malvern 22.

Malvern got into their stride and repeated attacks forced several penalties and the first yellow card for a deliberate knock-on.

The Spring Lane men were awarded another penalty, opting for the scrum and the ball was whipped out to Rob Cook who sped through to dot it down and then convert to level.

A second yellow for the hosts followed for a debatable deliberate knock forward and Malvern won the set-piece, sending the ball on the short side for Luke Milton to cut through with Cook converting.

Milton had to go off with a groin strain and Malvern, although looking dominant, made life hard for themselves at line-outs but deserved their lead.

Sam Parsons snaffled a loose ball and skipper Tom Hale at outside centre left the defence trailing as he sped in from 60 metres and Cook converted easily.

Malvern again won a loose ball and Hale was on hand to score the bonus-point try with Cook again converting.

Debutant Sam Thomas showed his potential with a blistering run up the wing just before the break.

Despite playing up the slope in the second half and receiving a third yellow card, Leamington clawed their way back and played to the conditions, keeping it tight.

Sustained attacks tested Malvern before Hale broke downfield, putting in a kick ahead to scorch through and touch down only to be controversially denied for a knock-on.

Leamington stayed in Malvern's half for much of the rest of the game and Conor Giggle was sin-binned for the visitors.

The extra man eventually told as a gap opened and the openside flanker scored.

Malvern were reduced to 13 as Niall Potter-Farrant had to walk and the resultant penalty and catch-and-drive saw a final score for the hosts.

While Malvern continued their unbeaten run of six games the players were not totally happy with their performance though recognised sometimes to win ugly is needed.

For director of rugby Cook there will be much to work on in training before they travel to Southam in the league on Saturday, October 14.