Vale 92-17 West Park St Helens

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IN their final home North One West game of the season the Vale romped to victory against already relegated West Park St Helens.

Long serving three-quarter Ian Bird, who is due to hang up his boots at the end of the season, led the visitors a merry dance running in five tries, the first time he has achieved such a feat, to bring his season’s total to nine.

Any mid-week talk of a West Park banana skin were dispelled in the opening few minutes when the Vale rattled in two quick tries.

Gareth Tudor accelerated through a huge gap followed by a well worked try from Moore, who converted both scores.

After such a quick fire opening any ideas of sitting back and waiting for further scores were dispelled in the fifth minute when West Park scored through Warren Hunt.

It took the Vale a while to pick up the pace but in the 17th minute they extended their lead.

Bird set off on a slanting run for his try, converted by Moore. Seven minutes later Fergus Owens charged down a kick and while West Park hesitated he calmly collected the ball for his try between the posts which he converted.

West Park produced a few colly-wobbles when Hunt kicked a penalty in the 28th minute followed three minutes later with a try from John James after a quick counter attack had wrong footed the Vale, Hunt added the conversion.

In the final minutes of the half the Vale effectively put the game beyond West Park’s reach with a cluster of three tries.

From a quickly taken line out, Andy Garnett nipped over, followed by a typical pin your ears back and run effort, from Alistair Richards, both converted by Moore. Hodder scored and converted his try just before the interval to leave the Vale poised one point off their half century.

A slick passing move enabled Hodder in the 47th minute to score an unconverted try and throw the scoreboard into confusion but 10 minutes later everything balanced when Bird collected a rebound to barrel his way over, Moore converted from wide out.

Hodder completed his hat-trick on the blind side after his forwards had taken a scrum against the head in the 64th minute.

Not to outdone Bird reeled of his three in the 68th, 71st and 78th minutes respectively, Moore converting two.

Owens coasted through for the final score which was converted by prop James Hesketh with a slapping conversion technique that does not feature in any coaching manual.

Vale of Lune: J Moore, J Hodder, K Barker, I Bird (capt), A Richards, F Owens O Hughes (D Wilson 50), J Hesketh, A Powers (P Watson 49), A Morrison (S Foy 61), G Tudor, B Charnley, S Wallbank, A Garnett, A Baines.