Vale of Lune 31-14 Broughton Park

Fergus Owens dives to score for the Vale against Broughton Park.
Fergus Owens dives to score for the Vale against Broughton Park.

Conditions were ideal at Powderhouse Lane on an early spring day and in front of a large crowd the hosts made all the early running.

Full back Matthew Humpage made a sparkling, frisky, break from deep, skipper Sam Wallbank galloped freely and the Vale pack scrummaged powerfully enough to send the turf flying and pin Park down.

Vale’s opening score came courtesy of their pack when they shunted their opposite numbers backwards from a five metre scrum.

When all the tangle of bodies unrolled Dan Baines’s grin confirmed that the red hated hooker had indeed touched the ball down for an unconverted try in the 11th minute.

Andy Powers brought oohs and aahs from The East Terrace with a side stepping break as the Vale searched for another score which came in the 16th minute, another sublime, gliding movement, this time from centre Fergus Owen. The Coach slipped through the defenders at pace, almost unnoticed for his try converted by Oli Carter.

In the 21st minute centre Jack Kelly threaded his way through a star gazey Vale defence for a try converted by stand off Ben Salisbury.

However, Baily’s radiant beads were back glimmering in the 25th minute for the Vale when winger Ben Dorrington collected a beautifully floated pass at the climax of a move that had started on the other side of the field with a line out. The ball was moved smoothly by the threequarters to Dorrington who scampered down the right flank for an unconverted try.

With the Vale’s star back in the ascendancy Dorrington collected a second try in the 32nd minute after the ball had been whisked wide; Carter thumped over the conversion.

A hugely engaging half ended with the visitors doubling their score. From almost out of nowhere skipper, winger, Ade Titiloye, popped up to sprint away through a ghost defence for a try behind the posts which was converted by Salisbury.

In the 53rd minute Vale collected their try bonus point with a flourish from Alex Baines, who on his way to the goal line, sold a polished dummy before straightening up to touch down between 
the posts, Carter added the extras.

With time running out in a game admirably controlled by referee Damian Hamilton, Titiloye almost scored in the left corner but as he was about to ground the ball he was bundled into touch and in the closing minutes Vale’s Jack McIntosh erupted with a late full frontal charge that if it had ended in a try would have entered the folklore of the McIntosh family.

At the final whistle all paths led to the clubhouse and a place in front of the screens.