Vale 4ths 7- 5 Rossendale 3rds

Coach Dan Williams.
Coach Dan Williams.

Both these sides are battling for points to avoid relegation and in an intense encounter at The Lane the Vale’s victory brought much-needed breathing space in what has been a demanding season.

Making light of the conditions Vale began brightly with a series of probing attacks, moving the ball away from the areas where Rossendale could inflict the most damage but the early exchanges suggested it was always going to be a tight game.

Vale’s endeavours were rewarded in the 15th minute with a well constructed try.

Joe Stewart kicked ahead, his fellows players swarmed on the ball which was quickly secured and moved wide.

The evergreen Paul McAllister collected a pass and in one movement put in a deft kick.

Mark Bowen, who had spotted the possibilities, picked up the ball for a try converted by Ryan Busby.

Rossendale’s physicality came to the fore in the build up to their unconverted try in the 20th minute when a powerful forward surge had the Vale back pedalling towards their goal line.

The intensity of the first half continued in a tense second half with both sides having to dig deep and fully aware that another score could well prove to the decider.

Deteriorating conditions made handling something of a lottery but the Vale showed great resilience and splendid teamwork to thwart their opponents, both teams are due to face each other again next week at Marl Pits.