Head coach James Kerr will be looking for Banbury Bulls to remain in top spot at the end of the year when they entertain Nuneaton Old Edwardians in Saturday’s Midlands Two West South fixture.
Bulls go into their final fixture of 2015 on the back of a bonus-point victory at Malvern where Joe Mills helped himself to a hat-trick of tries in the 37-8 success.
Malvern elected to play into an extremely strong wind at Spring Lane but, despite having the better of the opening exchanges and going in front through a penalty, Bulls dominated the remainder of the first half.
Robin Cooke opened his league account after a set move at a scrum met a strong Malvern defence in midfield. Full-back Mills threw a speculative wide pass that found Cooke in open space and his pace was too much for the covering defenders.
Bulls continued to press and used the elements well with strong ball carriers gaining good field position. Two penalties from Ed Phillips were soon followed by a try for the Banbury captain, he put Sean Banister through a hole around the fringes before receiving the ball ten metres out for a simple run-in and he added the extras.
Matt Goode was next on the score sheet with a bruising solo run. He ran straight over three defenders before outpacing two more Malvern players to score.
At quick tap-penalty from Phillips on halfway found Sam Stoop who drew and passed to loose head prop Manu Paniagua who tore down the wing, drew the fullback to feed Mills for the first of his brace. Phillips added the extras for a 30-3 lead at the break.
As the teams turned around the question was, how many points would the elements be worth? But Banbury threw that debate wide open when they were the first team to score after the restart.
Phillips took a cheeky 22 drop out to himself and fed Seamus O’Dwyer. Bulls sucked in the home side’s defence with forward runners before attacking wide on the left and exploiting the overlap, the ball flowed through the back line before Mill touched down under the posts, leaving a simple conversion for Phillips to make it 37-3.
Banbury were not able to add to their tally but their defence was seriously tested as Malvern continually pressed theirline. The home side got on then score sheet, giving them hope, but Bulls held strong with some very impressive defence across the entire pitch till the final whistle.