Game One: Vale of Lune U11 5-Bowden 5
VALE made the short trip down to Preston for the annual tournament and were quickly out of the blocks in their first game against Cheshire side Bowden, scoring within the first three minutes of the game. From the kick-off Vale’s forwards pressurised their opponents and won turnover ball which was quickly recycled and spun out for Rich to surge over the line.
This was a fantastic start and it set the standard for the remainder of the day. Bowden came back strongly but Vale’s defence held firm to thwart any attacks with the whole side tackling very well. The match was evenly contested by both sides, with the forwards gaining good possession which was then worked out wide to the wings with some great handling. Bowden were pressing hard for a score which they eventually got after some good work by their backs. The match produced some great attacking rugby from both sides and a draw was probably the fairest result.
Vale of Lune U11 20
THE second match against Warrington produced one of the performances of the season to date as the forwards worked hard to gain good territory and possession, but it was the backs that shone, as they ran the ball at every opportunity and produced some fantastic handling to score four wonderful tries. The game was won by playing very simple rugby very well.
Warrington always pressed when they had possession and tested the Vale defence, but some determined tackling kept them out. The whole team worked hard to keep the ball and maintain pressure on Warrington to ensure that they controlled the game and played in their half of the pitch. The final scoreline proved the success of these tactics.
Vale of Lune U11 50
Sedgley Park 0
THE final pool match brought up Sedgley who were under strength, having only 10 men. Vale needed to improve their try count and so had to field a full 12 players to try and achieve this. A very one-sided affair produced 10 tries which gave the team what they needed. Some excellent running and handling brought up the scores, but credit must go to Sedgley who never gave up and were determined until the final whistle.
Vale of Lune U11 20
SANDBACH were an unknown quantity as Vale had never previously played against them and they proved to be an excellent team. However, the Vale players decided to produce their strongest performance of the day to simply outclass and out-muscle the opposition in a game that was both expertly controlled and the rugby played was simply outstanding.
The forwards were ferocious in their desire to gain possession with Burrows and Gash superbly stealing plenty of ball in the maul, Clare was at his destructive best tackling and rucking and Smith and Fisher ruled the line-out and their open play was excellent.
Riley distributed very well to keep the backs fed and was always looking to take the opposition defence on, breaching it for a great try. Gray marshalled his backs well, setting his centres off on some excellent runs with some slick passing. Rich and Penny were at their best with some destructive running, carving up the opposition and both scored great tries.
At every opportunity the ball was swept out to Nathan and Eaton on the wings, who were both on fire, producing some fantastic runs. Defensively Vale were outstanding with everyone putting the tackles in and Atkinson was excellent as the last man keeping control at full-back.
Vale of Lune U11 5
THE last match of the day proved to be a very close affair with little to choose between the two sides.
Lymm got off to a good start with a try by one of their forwards whose determination to cross the line was excellent.
Vale contested every ball and gained good possession too with Nathan, Rich, Clare, Burrows and Fisher producing some charging runs.
Lymm were doing their best to put pressure on Vale’s line but were kept out by some outstanding tackling by the whole team.
The second half brought much of the same intensive play by both sides as they ran the ball at every opportunity. Lymm scored again, but the determination shown by the Vale players was rewarded by an excellent piece of play which went the length of the field before Eaton scored in the corner. The Vale continued to apply pressure to the opposition’s defence and only the final whistle provided the relief for Lymm and ended an excellent match.
The whole squad gave 100 per cent throughout the day and can be extremely proud of their performances. The coaching team were absolutely delighted with the way they performed and conducted themselves, both on and off the field.
Vale of Lune U11 (tries): S Fisher (1), D Clare, W Burrows, S Smith (2), K Gash, A Riley (1), S Gray, S Rich (8), B Penny (2), C Eaton (3), Nathan (3), J Atkinson, J Tobin, M Cole, J Kidd, F McClean.