Sandal 50-24 Vale of Lune

Ben Dorrington. Picture: Tony North.
Ben Dorrington. Picture: Tony North.

Vale of Lune were beaten 50-24 on Saturday after travelling to Sandal without a number of their regular players with five missing.

Adam Foxcroft and Steve Tagg formed a new second row pairing in the absence of Harry Fellows and James Robinson, while Ross Pillow returned to the front row.

In the backs, Charlie Lomas replaced Billy Swarbrick at scrum-half, Blake Steele swapped wings in the absence of Olly Jacques with Jordan Fern coming in on the right wing.

After missing the last five games through injury Ben Dorrington partnered Fergus Owens in the centre berth following the unavailability of Damon Hall.

Despite all the changes, Vale ‘won’ the first half, 19-15, but for the second game in succession, against Yorkshire opponents, they ended up losing.

Vale made the first impact with a try in the sixth minute following a free flowing counter attack as Dorrington bounced his way through tackles for his try which Alex Briggs confidently converted.

Four minutes later, Vale doubled their tally when Owens glided through the Sandal defence without a hand being laid on him before offloading the ball to Fern for a neatly constructed try, with Briggs adding the conversion.

Sandal’s supporters had more to worry about in the 16th minute when, from a line out, the ball was transferred crossfield, space was created and full back Chris Ramwell arrived on cue to take Steele’s pass for an unconverted try.

In the 20th minute, Sandal started to rouse themselves, – the ball was moved swiftly to the left, eventually Vale ran out of numbers which allowed winger Danny Grainger to nip over for an unconverted try.

Sandal then launched a counter attack from deep in their half, the ball was spun delicately through many hands before Grainger crossed the whitewash in the 23rd minute, Greg Wood put over the conversion.

In the 30th minute Wood chipped over a penalty goal to complete the first half scoring in what had been an entertaining half.

Vale’s four point lead was wiped out in the 42nd minute when Grainger collected his hat-trick with a well taken try which Wood 
converted.

In the 55th minute, a Sandal forward rumble resulted in a penalty try and everything settled down to confirm Sandal’s next score in the 63rd minute when Wood twinkle toed his way over for his try which he converted.

A rare Vale attack came to an inglorious end in the 67th minute when right winger James Ellar intercepted a pass to pelt 80m for a try which Wood converted.

Sandal’s final score came from full back Jack Townend following a period of pressure, Greg wood’s conversion from in front brought up the half century mark.

There was enough time left for the Vale to salvage something from the game when in the third minute of extra time they gained a try bonus point when the hard working Jack Ayrton was on hand to score after a superb break from Fergus Owens.

On Saturday, Vale entertained second in the league Billingham, for the first time in what is certain to be another rigorous investigation, both physical and mental, conducted by one of the current front runners to claim the North Premier title.