Under floodlights at Ledbury RFC, on Friday 5th October, Malvern College 1st XV rugby team played Monmouth School for Boys 1st XV in the second, annual Border Shield competition.
As a curtain-raiser, eight U11 rugby teams from Malvern RFC, Ledbury RFC, Abberley Hall School, Packwood Haugh School, Prestfelde School, The Elms School, The Downs Malvern and Monmouth School Boys’ Prep played in a junior tournament. This set the stage for a fantastic evening of rugby watched by over 1,500 spectators.
The game started well for Monmouth, who scored in the first minute capitalising on a mistake made by the Malvern side. A slightly shell-shocked Malvern had to defend strongly for the next 10 minutes. Then Malvern began to get some sustained possession making significant inroads into the Monmouth defence. A clever bit of play by Malvern’s Fly Half, Dylan Sillence allowed Centre, Ludo Staley to break the Monmouth defence and score under the posts. Full Back Henry Forbes kicked the conversion. What followed was exciting, end-to-end rugby for the remainder of the half with both teams going through the phases and defending stoutly. Just before half time Monmouth scored to make the half time score 7-12 to Monmouth.
In the second half, Monmouth had lots of possession in the early stages, but Malvern’s physical defence kept them at bay. Malvern then made full use of their possession with a sublime cross-field kick by Dylan Sillence which Captain Nick Yeoward (No8) caught and scored in the corner. Once again Henry Forbes converted to take the score to 14-12 to Malvern. The game was very evenly balanced. Monmouth had the slope advantage in the second half and that made it more difficult for Malvern to gain field position.
Quick thinking from captain Nick Yeoward from a free kick, five metres out extended Malverns lead to 21-14, Forbes successfully converted again. With 15 minutes on the clock Malvern won a scrum on the halfway line. Nick Yeoward picked up and passed to scrum half Oliver Millard who then straightened and passed to the young winger Vansh Ladwa who left everyone in his wake to score under the posts, a try that was converted by Forbes. 28-14 Malvern.
The last 10 minute period of the game was heroic from the Malvern players with Monmouth throwing everything at the Malvern line. Eventually Monmouth kicked a penalty to make the score 28-17. Monmouth came back again and scored once again to make the closing minutes a very tense affair, 28-22. Malvern showed tremendous character and put their bodies on the line to thwart the Monmouth attack, and eventually Malvern forced Monmouth to knock on which lead to a scrum from which Malvern kicked the ball out to end the game.
Nick Tisdale, Master in charge of Rugby at Malvern College, says “The game was a superb spectacle of schoolboy rugby, with both sides looking to attack from all angles. I am sure that the game and the occasion will stay in the boys’ memories for years to come.”
I would like to extend my gratitude to Ledbury RFC, sponsors and all of the Malvern College staff who enabled us to stage this great event.”