MALVERN began the New Year with a romp in the mud against weakened opposition last Sunday.


Five unopposed tries in each half were the result of total domination in all phases of the game. The pack, conserving its energy in the uncontested scrums, rampaged freely around the field while the backs blew away the cobwebs with some direct running and fluent passing moves. Honourable mention should also be made of Marc Soley and, later, Andy Powell, who made the ultimate sacrifice of playing for the other side.

Powell it was, in his Malvern shirt, who opened the scoring from close range. Prop Jasper Johns did likewise after a typical surge by Liam Maloney, and then came another moment of magic from Matt Tighe, turning defence into attack with a brilliant run from his own half that released Adam Diaz for a debut try. Dominic Taylor, revelling in the chance to prove himself at No.8, broke from the base of a scrum to keep the scoreboard ticking over, and Tom Kennedy-Hughes finished the half in style by smashing down his opposite number in midfield, kicking ahead and winning the chase for the ball with an outstretched hand.

Any fears that the slope might assist an Old Salts comeback in the second period were quickly dispelled as Malvern dominated.

There was further scores for Jasper Johns, Tom Kennedy-Hughes, Adam Green, Andy Hill and Mike Pinfield going over for his debut try.

Substitutions were made without weakening the performance and new players slotted into place to such good effect that coach Adam Blackmore has now added strength in depth to a formidable side.