Momentum lost as game is postponed

Damon Hall. Picture: Tony North.
Damon Hall. Picture: Tony North.

Vale of Lune’s blistering start to the season, with seven successive wins in North One West, lost some of its momentum when their fixture at St Benedicts was postponed due to a Waterlogged pitch on Saturday.

The next blank Saturday is November 18 to accommodate a rearranged league game but in the meantime the Vale will be planning for the visit of Stockport on November 4.

Stockport, who were relegated from National League Three North last season, last faced the Vale in the 2007/08 season when they won both fixtures; 50-5 in November 2007 and at Bramhall a month later, 22-3.

Vale have made a phenomenal start to the current season.

They have not lost a North One West game since April 22 when they went down at Northwich.

In addition, they have not lost at Powderhouse Lane since October 2016 when they were savaged by Wilmslow Wolves, 40-19.

In their seven games the Vale’s points total has reached 312 and they have conceded 99.

Contrast this record with last season when at the same stage the Vale had won one game, they were next to bottom in the table having only managed six match points, the for and against record columns made equally 
dismal reading, 91 points scored against 213.
The try count following the seventh game last season stood at 11; this time around the total has reached 46, exactly half of the try total for last season.

Damon Hall has played a major role in providing the bulk of Vale’s haul of points with his 18 tries, 31 conversions and six penalty goals, but the Vale are from a one-man band.

There is cohesion and spirit surging like an unstoppable tide not only through the senior squad but throughout the club.

There is a genuine desire to pull on the cherry and white jersey, which is reflected in the ever increasing numbers who are attending training on a regular basis.

Not only are fitness levels rising but drills and tactics are being formulated that can be rolled out at all levels, the advantage being that should players be promoted they are familiar with the calls and patterns of play.

So what has changed from the last few seasons? The bulk of the squad has remained the same, but a ‘bring it on’ ethos has developed of self improvement allied to collective improvement.

This philosophy was most apparent in the games against Firwood Waterloo and Wilmslow when Vale were forced to dig deep in atrocious conditions and came from behind to claim victory.

Clubs will now be queuing up to be the first to topple the Vale, a real scalp as the Vale discovered in January when they became the first club to beat Birkenhead Park, ending thier 16-game unbeaten run.