Blackburn 21-30 Vale

Al Crookall.
Al Crookall.

Vale of Lune recorded their first league away win since February at Blackburn on Saturday with an impressive six try victory.

Playing up the slope and into the elements the Vale shot away to the prefect start.

Full back Charlie Lomas gathered the ball straight from the kick off and set off on a deceptive run that took the defenders by surprise before passing to Ben Dorrington for the centre to score well inside the opening minute.

In the seventh minute Dorrington returned the compliment when his initial break set up Lomas’s try.

It all looked comparatively easy for the Vale, but Blackburn gradually worked themselves back into the game and in the 13th minute hooker Danny Whitehead crossed for a try converted by centre Dan Birkett.

A Birkett penalty goal levelled the scores in the 17th minute but despite a number of promising attacks from both sides the defences were in control.

Vale’s next score came after Fergus Owens had almost tap danced his way between the uprights but when he was halted the ball was moved quickly to the right for winger Jimmy Birchall to score wide out in the 30th minute.

However, Birkett’s boot kicked two penalties in the 36th and 40th minutes to put Blackburn into a half time lead.

Blackburn extended their advantage in the fifth minute of the second half when a sleepy Vale defence allowed full back Leon Fifield to race over for an unconverted try.

Vale narrowed Blackburn’s lead to a single point on the 54th minute with their bonus point try.

Sam Wallbank almost made it too the line but was held up short, from the resultant scrum he kept his eye on the ball as his fellow forwards trundled their opposite numbers and like all knowledgeable number eights, once the line came into view he pounced.

Victory was secured for the Vale in the closing seven minutes with a brace of tries from winger Al Crookall. In the build up to his first replacement Fraser Spavin and Wallbank surged past defenders to splinter Blackburn’s defence and open up the space for Crookall.

In the third minute of injury time Crookall never gave up the chase for a ball that bobbled its way over Blackburn’s goal line.

The shape of a rugby ball can produce some strange dynamics when it hits the ground, forget about the googly, doosra or the flipper, a bouncing rugby ball can be far more lethal as a Blackburn defender found to his horror when the ball eluded his grasp, Crookall was the first to react and in slow motion apologetically touched the ball down.