Vale A battle hard in Sedgley Park defeat

Danny Lin.
Danny Lin.

Vale produced a most determined, heart-warming performance against the unbeaten league leaders, scoring five tries, the most conceded by Sedgley Park this season.

A glance at the league table only confirmed that the visitors would face a tough challenge against the pace setters but the Vale refused to roll over against a side that contained a number of players with recent first team experience.

After the first quarter the Vale trailed by 28 points but they battled their way back into contention with spirit and flair.

In a solid, compact, competitive pack both Danny Lin and Alex Morrison were outstanding, hooker Hodgson was lively throughout, and replacement Joe Clarkson’s ball winning skills were much in evidence when he left the technical area.

Scrum half Ollie Dobson was brim full of confidence, with an eagle eye for any opportunity to open play up, and Jimmy Birchall quickly adjusted to his ne role at full back.

After their nightmare opening the Vale shored up their defences and a solo try from Lin, converted by Neil Walker in the 23rd minute, put them on the front foot.

Five minutes later Scott Manning crossed for a try converted by Walker, but Park ended the half with a converted try from long range.

Vale turned round 21 points adrift but quickly reduced the home side’s lead when Lin eluded a number of tacklers for his second try, Walker converted.

Dobson spotted a gap to dart over for his try, Walker’s conversion bringing the Vale back into contention.

Unfortunately a series of missed tackles allowed the home side to extend their lead with a converted try before former Vale player Kingsley Barker touched down for a converted try.

In the 68th minute the Vale scored a breathtaking, audacious try when Dobson showed a pair of twinkling boots in his own dead ball area to preface an attack that went the length of the field, Alex Hill rounded off a thrilling move with an unconverted try.

Sedgley Park raised their game to add two converted tries in a contest that had not been quite as one sided as the final score line suggests.

Vale A: J Birchall; A Hill, J Antcliffe, S Manning, H Bartle; N Walker Capt), O Dobson; J Hodgkinson, R Hodgson, J Stevens; D Rainford, R Needham; T Cvijanovic, D Lin, A Morrison. Replacements used: J Clarkson, M Field, J Alker.