Vale of Lune 40-8 Burnage

Chris Ramwell under pressure.
Chris Ramwell under pressure.

The Vale of Lune extended their unbeaten home record to nine games on Saturday with a 40-8 victory over Burnage in their final fixture at Powderhouse Lane of the season.

The Vale were rather slow out of the starting stalls as Burnage bottled them up for the opening eight minutes with a number of forward-inspired drives.

The Vale tentatively absorbed the pressure but they had looked slightly edgy, frisky and nervous before winger Damon Hall ripped the blinkers off by unleashing a spinning, accurate cross-field kick from the outside of his boot to set up a thrilling sequence of rugby from the home side.

Suddenly the Vale started to exploit the wide open spaces and to breach Burnage’s rearguard.

A snappy line out involving hooker Andy Powers and number eight Sam Wallbank took the Vale up to Burnage’s goal line.

Although Burnage managed to defuse the situation they made rather a mess of their five-metre line out.

While the ball flirted around wing forward Fraser Spavin was onto it in a flash to purloin a try which Hall thumped over from wide on the left in the 14th minute.

Hall then bolted away after a beautifully timed pass from Tom Cvijanovic to touch down between the posts; he also put over the conversion.

The Vale gallopers were in full cry but their third try was more of a cavalry charge by the forwards who harnessed all their resources to send their opposite numbers scrambling as they tried to stem the surge. Wing forward Jack Ayrton was awarded the try which Hall converted in the 24th minute.

Four minutes later stand-off Rhys Evans kicked a penalty goal for Burnage but there was to be no relief for the visitors because in the 31st minute the Vale nailed down the try bonus point with the last score of the half.

A well directed pass from scrum half Billy Swarbrick to full back Chris Ramwell was taken at full speed, the number 15 showed a clean pair of heels to the opposition as he sped effortlessly over the turf for an unconverted try.

Ben Dorrington then cruised through Burnage’s defensive line before flicking a delicate pass to Ayrton for his second try which Damon Hall converted in the 52nd minute.

Vale’s final score came in the 69th minute and was greeted with a barrage of enthusiastic applause for replacement Bobby Holdbrook when he raced round behind the posts for his first try in only this third outing.

The score climaxed a wonderful inventive passage of rugby that had Burnage chasing shadows and in the end a lost cause, Hall calmly stroking over the conversion.

With Vale riding high they allowed Burnage to snatch a consolation try in the 74th minute when Nick Scholes went over unopposed, Rhys Evans kicking the conversion.

Vale next visit high-flying Northwich on April 22.