Carlisle 18-41 Vale of Lune

Damon Hall sprints clear to score. Picture: Tony North.
Damon Hall sprints clear to score. Picture: Tony North.

Vale of Lune moved to the top of North One West on Saturday with a bonus point victory over Carlisle at Warwick Road.

Damon Hall posted his second hat-trick of tries with yet another powerful, polished performance. In addition he also converted four of his side’s six tries plus a penalty goal.

Initially the Vale appeared rather lethargic in defence, allowing an early Carlisle attack too much time and space but a gliding run from Olly Jacques settled any nerves and in the 15th minute the Vale opened their account.

From a controlled line out Vale’s forwards protected the ball, and once a platform was established the threequarters were brought into the action.

Hall duly finished off a move that must have been rehearsed numerous times in training with an unconverted try.

However, Vale were not having things all their own way as they discovered to their cost in the 20th minute.

A series of nonexistent tackles led to their downfall when centre Dan Holmes hammered his way over for an unconverted try.

Carlisle did not allow the Vale much slack and when Hall kicked a penalty goal in the 24th minute the home side were back on level terms 10 minutes later when after Adam Foxcroft was yellow carded for a high tackle, full back James Clark kicked the resultant penalty.

As half-time loomed the Vale produced a cultured move comprising of a sequence of swift passes, given and taken at speed which in turn created space for Hall to exploit.

From 30 metres out the winger threw in a double hitch kick as he hurtled towards the line for an unconverted try.

In the fourth minute of the second half, Chris Ramwell nonchalantly plucked a spinning ball from the air and in one fluid movement he was on his streamlined way for a try converted by Hall.

Now the Vale began to play with increasing pace and in the 54th minute they went further ahead.

Fergus Owens played a major role in the move that brought not only Hall his hat-trick but the try bonus point, because it was the delicate off-load from Owens that gave Hall the opportunity to dash for the line as he converted his own score.

On the hour mark, from a five-metre scrum, the Carlisle eight were hustled over their line for the eagle eyed Sam Wallbank to get his talons on the ball for a typical number eight try converted by Hall.

With four minutes of proper time remaining Wallbank was at it again, pilfering a try after the forwards had again compressed Carlisle a few metres from their line, Hall again converted, although Carlisle did grab two tries in the five minutes of added time.