After recording their first win of the season last week, Vale of Lune were brought back down to earth at Rossendale on Saturday with a 26-0 defeat.
The Vale were unable to rekindle the intensity that had hallmarked their performance against Billingham and for the first time since the 2016/17 season they failed to register any points in a league fixture.
Rossendale opened the scoring in the ninth minute when, from a forward drive that sucked in Vale’s cover, centre Jack Ward burst through for a try converted by stand-off James Bramhall.
Vale went further behind in the 17th minute – Rossendale’s forwards went on the rampage to scatter Vale in a surge that ended with flanker, Phil Mills, breaking through for his try which Bramhall converted.
For long periods, Vale were forced on the defensive with number eight Jack Ayrton pulling off a host of try saving tackles but Vale were unable to get out of second gear.
The efficiency of Rossendale was illustrated in the build up to their third try in the 27th minute. Forwards and backs combined in a fluid attack that was rounded off by winger George Peel with an unconverted try wide out.
With three minutes of the half remaining Rossendale collected their try bonus when Mills snaffled the ball at a breakdown to race away for a try converted by Bramhall. Vale made an enterprising opening to the second half but if the Rossendale try scoring machinery had gone under wraps their defence was greased up and more than equal to anything Vale could fire in their direction.
Vale had moments when it appeared that a switch had been flicked but passes were misdirected, players became isolated, and continuity was sporadic.
No matter how much they scrambled, Vale were unable to string together any attacks that could inflict serious damage on the hosts.
For Vale, Ayrton was outstanding, while the front row of Mike Bradshaw, Andy Powers and Ross Pillow went about their business in their usual quiet, understated way, but overall it was as though Vale had never got the short journey to Rossendale out of their system.