West Park St Helens 14-40 Vale of Lune

Fergus Owens sprints clear.
Fergus Owens sprints clear.

Following three weeks of inaction the Vale of Lune recorded a double over West Park St Helens and in doing so registered their highest points total of the season in a bonus try victory.

Straight from the kick off the Vale softened up West Park with a barrage of attacks, the perfect situation for Fergus Owens to exploit as he side stepped his way over for a neatly taken solo try, converted by stand-off Ben Dorrington. Vale made the home side’s task even harder with a second converted try as the first quarter drew to a close following an exuberant passage of rugby, number eight Jack Ayrton skimming over with his try converted by Dorrington.

In the third minute of added time Owens sublimely crossed for an unconverted try after the ball had been recycled through many hands.

Vale extended their lead in the second minute of the second half when following a powerful forward drive hooker Andy Powers went over for the try bonus point, Dorrington curling over the conversion from wide out on the right.

Holding a comfortable lead the Vale were rocked in the 50th minute when they were punished for a passage of slack rugby which was completely out of character. 
A lazy kick downfield was collected by full back John Pape in front of his own posts and he set off up the incline with a speedy, balanced run in a move that took the Vale completely by surprise and ended with winger Matthew Appleton scoring a try converted by Lee Rosney.

The game began to swing in West Park’s favour in the 53rd minute when Pape cruised through a static Vale defence for a deserved try converted by Rosney.

For a brief period the Vale looked shaken but they were quickly stirred into action by a break from Owens followed by an intense forward drive which dug the foundation for a Jack Ayrton try converted by Dorrington in the 53rd minute.

In the 70th minute Jack Ferguson accelerated powerfully down the short side for the neatest of tries converted by Dorrington.

It had been a tricky fixture for the Vale with so many changes from the squad that faced Blackburn on February 18 but newcomers, Bobby Holdbrook and Richard Hodgson impressed, while Harry Fellows and his fellow lock, Adam Foxcroft in his 50th start formed a strong partnership.

Fraser Spavin, a false’number 11, saw little of the ball in a game that suggested a longish lay off had taken a slight competitive edge off the players, although in fairness six good tries were stashed away.