Vale 2 lost 3-2 to close rivals Preston Grasshoppers 5 in Division Five North of the North West Counties Squash League, but not before some sterling performances brought them within a few points of victory.
A subdued Chris Halldearn lost meekly at number five but Vale were given hope when John Harker put in a tenacious display at number four, emerging triumphant in the fifth to claim a victory.
Joe Hopkinson lost 3-1 at number three, while Stuart Featon had a topsy-turvy game at two, with it all resting on the fifth Stuart lost 11-15.
At number one, young Max Castaldi salvaged something for the Vale but not before a titanic struggle against his opponent.
He won the first game 16-14, lost the next 10-15, won the third by 15-10, lost the fourth by an agonising 16-14 but battled on to take a 3-2 win with a 15-11 score in the fifth.