Vale prepare for Birkenhead encounter

Fergus Owens.

Fergus Owens.

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After two fixtures in January the Vale of Lune are twiddling their thumbs until they are able to pick up the threads once more this Saturday, at home against Birkenhead Park.

A similar format continues in February with three games scheduled including the rearranged fixture at Rochdale on February 4, but providing the weather does not intercede six games, through March and April will remain, before the shape and dimensions of Vale’s completed garment, dropped stitches and all, can be displayed in all its glory.

It can all be very frustrating to players, supporters and treasurers having to come to terms with blank Saturdays but these days are set aside so that fixtures can be accommodated should they be postponed because of adverse weather conditions or any other emergencies.

So after two new year fixtures, one win and a draw, the Vale host second in the table Birkenhead Park who have yet to lose, the only points they have dropped being their drawn game at Blackburn, 20-20, on January 7.

In October the Vale came within a whisker of snatching a dramatic victory at The Upper Park.

With 13 minutes of normal time remaining the Vale were trailing 29-12 and Park looked home and dry with their one hundred percent record intact.

Suddenly the mercurial Fergus Owens took matters into his own hands to set up tries for Billy Swarbrick and Andy Powers, Jack Turton added the conversion for the final try, but time ran out for the Vale much to the relief of the home side who were definitely wobbling.

On their last visit to Powderhouse Lane in September 2014 Birkenhead Park won 27-22 but rolled the Vale over at home in January 2015, 52-14, the highest number of match points the Vale conceded all season.

Birkenhead Park finished the seasons as champions, seven points ahead of Kirkby Lonsdale.

Birkenhead Park were relegated from National League Three North, winning six games and finishing next to the bottom, 13 points above Burnage.