THE weather conditions were not the best for a high scoring game, but the Malvern U17 'Stags' came together just at the right time in the second round of the North Midlands U17 Cup.


The home side began well and the 'Stags' were forced to defend their lines as the young Halesonian team tried to batter their way for an early score. But a turn-over gave the ball to Malvern and exploiting the exposed midfield, the visitors secured an early try from N Dennis.

The try kicked-started Malvern's game and from then on whenever Malvern had possession they looked dangerous and only Herculean defence from Old Hales kept the visitors at bay.

Nevertheless, prop forward Wayne Downes with great finesse and deft footwork found a gap in the defence and danced through for the 'Stags' second unconverted try.

Andy Bass, playing his first game for Malvern since returning from injury, celebrated his 17th birthday with a try which he started with a peel-off the rear of a Malvern scrum on the Old Hales 22. Quick interplay between Bass, scrum-half Tom Bott and Rich Bridgends on the wing saw Bass safely home for the try and Malvern a 15-0 lead at half-time.

Early in the second period, flanker Christian Edwards crossed in the corner for Malvern's fourth try, which was followed soon after by a individual try from centre Aaron Kay. Edwards try was converted by Bridgends, who claimed Malvern's final try of the day.

The conversion was taken by Wayne Downes who promptly hit the woodwork.