Vale look to settle score against top of the table Wirral

Vale coaches confer against Kirkby Lonsdale, Paul Woodward head coach (left) and Phil Stott. Picture: Tony North
Vale coaches confer against Kirkby Lonsdale, Paul Woodward head coach (left) and Phil Stott. Picture: Tony North
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There is no let up for the Vale of Lune as they do battle with top of the table Wirral on Saturday after their pulsating derby with Kirkby Lonsdale last time out.

The Merseyside outfit visit Powderhouse Lane leading the pack in the North One West and after a controversial 10-10 draw when the teams met in November Paul Woodward’s side will be more than fired up.

A hotly-debated late try handed the Wirral a share of the spoils on home turf and with Nick Royle being denied a late winning try in the 17-13 defeat against Kirkby as well Vale will be looking to take out some frustration on Saturday.

They will boosted by the return of captain Darren Wilson and number eight Matt Rogerson.

Head coach Woodward said: “We have gone from a local derby to playing top of the table.

“We drew 10-10 at Wirral and dominated the game. Wirral themselves even admitted they were lucky to get out of the game with a draw.

“It’s good to have Matt Rogerson back after being unavailable against Kirkby and the big plus from that game was getting Darren Wilson back and his experience at nine was what made the big difference in the second half.

“The squad is looking quite good this weekend and Darren will start this weekend as captain.

“It’s a good game to get him back in as well, especially being at home.”

After a shaky start Vale improved as the game went on against Kirkby with Royle seemingly being denied a legitimate late score that would have resulted in victory.

Woodward said: “It’s one of those things.

“We were down that end and the spectators down that end thought it was a try.

“You could see from the Kirkby players’ body language as well. One had his head in his hands and one was on the floor.

“But that’s life and in the long run it will be a good experience for the lads. 
“I felt a bit sorry for them at the end.”

But the head coach refused to blame the referee for the derby defeat.

He said: “It would be easy to blame the referee but it’s not his fault.

“It’s our fault after giving the soft try away in the first half that turned out to be the winner.

“It was a bit upsetting but it will be a good experience to draw on.

“And in terms of motivation for the weekend, it won’t be hard with the injustice against Wirral earlier in the season too.”