Malone tested despite heavy win at Larne
The top of the table clash in Minor East 1 resulted in a 51-8 victory for Malone V at Larne III.
However, the scoreline did not reflect the intensity of the play nor how closely the game was contested until Larne suffered a series of injuries and Mark McKinley was shown the yellow card.
In fact, it was the home side that looked the more determined at the start and they were rewarded with a William Rea try.
"They came straight at us from the first whistle and following their try we had to regroup and get back into the contest," stated Malone captain Johnny Keighley. "We knuckled down and after quick tries from Jonathan Siri and Karl Yellop, and an Andrew McCarter penalty, we then had the platform to go on and control the game.
"It was very physical at times and although we certainly warranted our win I feel the scoreline was rather flattering.
"This is our ninth win in the competition and much of the praise must go not only to the squad but also to our coaching team of Al Mullan, Ben Siri and Ali Stewart as they have put in a tremendous amount of work," he added.
Malone's other try scorers were man of the match Jamie Scott, Keith Goddard, Chris Allen, Keith Torrens, McCarter and a second from Yellop.
McCarter and Yellop shared the four conversions while Gary Knox kicked a penalty for the home side. Malone now have 18 points from their nine fixtures and Larne are six points in arrears with a game in hand having also suffered a 43-21 defeat by Ballymoney IV.
Other result in Minor East 1: Belfast Harlequins IV 19 Armoy 12.