Vale of Lune 40-24 Bowdon

Vale's Callum Grieve. Picture: Tony North
Vale's Callum Grieve. Picture: Tony North

Vale of Lune won for the second week in a row on Saturday, this time beating newly promoted Bowdon 40-24 at Powderhouse Lane.

Almost before the supporters had taken their places scrum half Billy Swarbrick squirted over after a thrust from Andy Powers who had been tailgating a forward drive, Callum Grieve added the conversion to give the Vale a 7-0 lead.

Three minutes later from a line out the Bowdon pack mauled their way to the line in a move that ended with wing forward Mitch McGrath touching down close to an upright, his try being converted by full back Will Nicholson.

Bowdon struck again in the 12th minute with an unconverted try wide out on the right from winger Mark Wells following a swift counter attack that had left the Vale gasping.

In the 20th minute the Vale began to regain control and following a decisive break from full back Scott Manning from deep, his kick ahead was chased down by Swarbrick but the Bowdon cover arrived first before the number nine could spot the ball down.

However, this signalled an upturn in Vale’s fortunes. Man of the match, lock Harry Fellows strode imperiously through tackles in the initial stages of a move that resulted in winger Ike Eastwood thundering over for a try converted by Grieve in the 23rd minute.

On the half hour mark Swarbrick darted away from a quickly taken tap penalty to thread the ball into the waiting palms of Jack Ayrton, who had been at his elbow throughout for a try converted by Grieve.

Vale’s powerful, meaty pack shunted the Bowden eight back ten metres to ensure they finished on a high note and were firmly in control.

Harry Fellows brought up the try bonus when he exquisitely when his swan-like dive took him over the line for a deserved unconverted try in the final minute of the half.

Vale began the second period brim full of energy and eventually the dam burst when Vale’s forwards and backs combined to force Bowdon to concede a penalty in their 22m.

The ball was popped into touch and from the line out lock James Robinson not only took the ball but carried a couple of opponents over the line for a heavy industry try converted by Grieve from wide on the left in the 54th minute.

As the hour approached the Vale produced their piece de resistance when Grieve started and finished a majestic attack that went through a number of hands before he flew between the posts, the centre punched over the conversion.

However, in the 68th minute Bowdon’s forwards dragged in the Vale close to their line, the ball was recycled quickly and before their defence could react Mike Swetman touched down, his try being converted by Will Nicholson.

With seven minutes remaining Swetman went over again for an unconverted bonus point try.

Vale’s grip on the game was dramatically slipping away, their larder was being ransacked but eventually discipline was restored by the noble order of hewers of wood and drawers of water, as the forwards are known.

The pack took over the agenda even though they were deep in the red zone; gradually the chairs were eased back under the table, the cutlery was lined up correctly and all the condiments topped up after the demons had caused bedlam below stairs.