Vale 59-17 Manchester

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After the system shocker at Leigh there were a few furrowed brows and nervous Vale supporters before kick off because the Vale would be missing two of their key forwards.

Lee Acton was suspended by the club after his red card the previous week and Sam Wallbank picked up an ankle injury in training.

At the final whistle the faithful were more than satisfied with the outcome against beleaguered Manchester, whose young lions battled until the final whistle.

For the second time this season the Vale not only passed the half century mark but also ran in nine tries with two of them sweeping the length of the field and being rated as two of the finest seen for many seasons at The Lane.

The first of these scores out of the top drawer came at the end of a half extended because of an earlier injury to a Manchester player.

James Hodder, who had fully recovered from the throat injury sustained at Leigh, started the attack from deep in his own half, his yellow boots dancing over the surface as he swayed his way into Manchester territory.

As the move gathered momentum the ball was accurately passed before Sam Moorby completed a pulsating attack. Jimmy Moore converted.

If this try had a stamp of audacity about it, then the final score in the 81st minute was bold, daring with more than a hint of devil may care about it, but absolutely thrilling from its inception to climax.

As the ball bobbled in Vale’s dead ball area Jordan Dorrington swept it up and with the impetuosity of youth glanced downfield with a glint in his eyes and diamonds on the soles of his boots, he set off running.

His colleagues sensed something special was unfolding and quickly formed up in close order as the winger raced out of the 22.

Passes were exchanged, and snap snap went the ball in the autumn air as the attack generated energy.

A breathtaking move ended with Danny Lin touching down as the as the home supporters stomped and raved on the East Terrace , wishing they could get their hands on the Manchester supporter’s air horn that had rent the air on a number of occasions to salute the visitor’s endeavours.

Jimmy Moore put over his seventh conversion of the game almost as an afterthought as the spectators tried to recall what had just taken place; pure magic, and something to remember and lighten up cold winter evenings.

Shortly after the start of the game a Manchester player was injured and after treatment he was taken to hospital and on resumption the Vale started to increase the pressure with a number of forward drives that gradually sapped the visitor’s energies.

In the 21st minute the Vale pack hustled their opposite numbers over their goal line for man of the match Gareth Tudor to collect a back slapping try converted by Moore.

Three minutes later Manchester’s stand off, Richard McCartney, kicked a penalty goal but any thoughts of a Fyffe’s product making an uncalled for appearance were quickly dispelled when the hard working James Curran looped round on his opposite wing to race over for an unconverted try.

In the 30th minute, just when the Vale thought there nothing nasty in the packing case or lurking in cyberspace, centre Douglas Day blasted through some unconvincing tackling for a try converted by McCartney as the klaxon blared.

With Manchester playing with increasing confidence the Vale needed to up the ante.

A fortunate ricochet off Lin’s head in the build up provided Dorrington with the opportunity to flash over for a try converted by Moore with five minutes of proper time remaining.

This score was followed two minutes later with a try from the eager Andy Powers, who flew off the fringe of a maul following a five metre line out for an unconverted try and the try bonus point.

In injury time Moorby’s try had the half time tea cups rattling and in a week of the ‘Great British Bake Off’ the Vale still had another creation in the oven.

Seven minutes into the second half, Powers in his Scarlet Pimpernel role, snitched a second try converted by Moore after the forwards had turned up the thermostat.

Replacement prop, Josh O’Donnell, had hardly had time to set his stall out before he went crashing over for a well taken try again converted by Moore’s imperious boot.

On the hour mark, Manchester, despite a 35 point deficit, launched a swift attack brim full of positive passing that breezed through the Vale’s defences.

Day touched down for his second, converted by McCartney as the hooter trumpeted a well taken and constructed try.

Moore slipped through for a try which he converted with four minutes remaining before Dorrington’s spot of inspired wizardry left the home supporters drooling.

So after being forced to eat hard tack at Leigh it was gateaux time with lashings of cream and to heck with the diet, at least that is until the trip to Heywood Road to face second in North West One Sale FC on Saturday for the Vale’s first visit to Brooklands since October 1991.

Vale of Lune: J Hodder; J Dorrington, S Moorby (A Macluskie 43), A Powers, J Curran; J Moore D Wilson (Capt); J Hesketh (J O‘Donnell 57), O Cowey, A Cowey; H Fellows, I Turton; R Randall, D Lin, G Tudor ( A Garnett 40)

Man of the March: Gareth Tudor

Match Sponsors: Friends of the Vale

March Ball Sponsors: Friends of the Vale.