Vale 59-5 Kirkby Lonsdale

Vale v Kirkby Lonsdale.'Darren Wilson clears the ball
Vale v Kirkby Lonsdale.'Darren Wilson clears the ball

Before kick-off it had been a case of all hands to the pumps as the water table rose to such an alarming level in the bottom right hand corner adjacent to the East Terrace that if the water could not have been drained away then there were serious doubts that the long awaited fixture against Kirkby Lonsdale would go ahead.

In the end the submersible pump, plus some old fashioned hard work with spades and forks, ensured the game went ahead.

Prior to kick off there were thoughts that the Vale of Lune would force open the flood gates against Kirkby Lonsdale but the visitors proved expert at sealing up the gaps in the dyke and although the Vale ran in nine tries, the final scoreline did not truly reflect the tenacity of the Kirkby defenders who made the Vale work all the way for their highest points total of the season.

As was to be expected Kirkby Lonsdale came out with all guns blazing as they rocked the Vale back with a series of attacks.

After absorbing the early surging waves from Kirkby the Vale surfed towards their opening try when Hodder rode his board with controlled balance, and with Jordan Dorrington outside him as a foil he arced his way through to clear water for a try in the ninth minute.

Moore’s conversion ricocheted off both uprights but failed to go over.

Scrum half Wilson has the rolling gate of someone who is used to the roaring 40s and when he collected a stray kick 45 metres out he quickly hauled up full sail and set off on one of his clipper runs for a try converted by Moore in the 16th minute, but picking up an injury in the voyage.

There was something ship shape and Bristol fashion about Macluskie’s try six minutes later after the Vale’s forward press gang had gone about their business prior to the centre to torpedoing his way over, Moore converting.

Sam Wallbank spearheaded the next counter with a broadside down the left to open up space for Curran to haul in his first try converted by Moore in the 26th minute and the all important bonus point.

After a relative period of calm Curran confidently pulled up the anchor to embark on a buccaneering run for his try in the closing minute of the half converted by Moore.

The half time isotonic ration had gone down well and within four minutes of the second half Powers skimmed over following an orthodox threequarter move after Harry Fellows had cannoned his way forward straight from the kick off; Moore again added the conversion.

Apart from the occasional foray the Vale eased the oars out of the rowlocks and drifted a little as Kirkby Lonsdale sensed a change in wind direction and their whole hearted efforts were rewarded when stand off Liam Clearly broke cover to touch down for a well taken unconverted try in the 66th minute.

Vale quickly had everyone back on deck and in position and were soon levering off the hatches.

Hodder went over by the left hand corner flag well below the water line, but from wide out Moore’s conversion attempt fell short in the 73rd minute.

Curran, who had commandeered the loud hailer for most of the second half as he exhorted his teammates to send the ball in his direction, was rewarded in the 78th minute when after a slippery, balanced run from Moore, he flagged up his hat- trick and the traditional jug of grog, Moore converted his try.

In the third minute of extra time Powers cruised over for his second after Gareth Tudor had broken off the base of a five metre scrum before unselfishly slipping the ball to Midshipman Powers.

While Moore was receiving treatment for an injury and before the magic spray could kick in, Hodder impishly put over the conversion.

Harry Fellows was a deserved recipient of the man of match award, Jordan Dorrington continues to excite and Sam Moorby, who came on as replacement, showed no ill effects from the injury he sustained against Wilmslow.

Vale of Lune: J Hodder; J Dorrington, A Powers, A Macluskie, J Curran; J Moore, D Wilson (Capt); J Hesketh, O Cowey, A Cowey; S Wallbank, H Fellows; R Randall, D Lin, G Tudor. Replacements used: J O’Donnell, P Berry, S Moorby.

Kirkby Lonsdale: T Pickthall; J Maddox, K Akrigg, D Barton, B Orrego Luca; L Cleary, A Crimmins; J Law, J Whittaker, T Groves; M Hughes, S Dowker; J Konczynski, S Storey, T Shepherd. Replacements: T Slater, D Teesdale, M Garnett.

Match Sponsors: Senior Rugby Sponsors.

Match Ball Sponsor: Friends of the Vale.

*Although Sale FC preserved their unbeaten record with a 21-15 win at Carlisle they lost their top spot in North One West to the Vale of Lune because they were unable to secure the all important bonus point.

After losing their opening game to the Vale, Altrincham Kersal have stretched their unbeaten run to five games following their 64-17 home win against Manchester.

Liverpool St Helens returned to winning ways away at Rochdale, 20-11. Wirral lost their third game in a row going down at Anselmians, 23-19. Leigh, who host the Vale on Saturday, lost at Wilmslow, 24-15, while Fleetwood’s home game against Widnes was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch at Melbourne Avenue.