Kirkby Lonsdale 5-92 Vale

Fergus Owens
Fergus Owens

IT WAS a St George’s Day to remember for the Vale of Lune as for the second week in succession they rattled in 92 points, but for two players, Fergus Owens and James Hodder, there was an extra reason to break out the bunting and walk tall at Underley Park.

Owens ran in six tries to equal a record set by Mark Nelson in the 1982/83 season against Lancaster University and Kevin Sanderson against Westoe in the 1990/91 season while James Hodder converted 11 of the 14 tries, the highest number of conversions since the legendary John Gill popped over 17 in the 1956/57 season.

Young Matt Rogerson, making his full debut, was selected at lock forward and like his fellow Colt Alex Baines in the back row, was impressive in a fast-moving game.

Of course both these young players are going to have more severe examinations as they make their way through the ranks of senior rugby, but the talent is there for all to see and an exciting future beckons.

Darren Wilson was selected at full-back, with Jimmy Moore on the bench, although Wilson, who appeared more at ease with the world, was at his elusive waspish best throughout and he did revert to scrum half in the second half.

Kirkby Lonsdale’s fate in North One West had been sealed a few weeks ago and with a large cohort of regulars missing it was always going to be an uphill battle in perfect conditions against the free running Vale.

However, a young side stuck to their guns with number eight, Glen Limbrick, in the thick of action as he tried to lift those around him, but the writing was on the wall for the home side from the outset.

After two minutes Owens slipped effortlessly through for a converted try followed by a second seven minutes later from the fly-half, two tries without a hand being laid on him.

Owens and Alistair Richards combined to send Dan Perry skipping behind the posts to make it just 21 points in just 12 minutes.

Gareth Tudor went rocketing between the posts, for the bonus point after a pass from Owens as the game reached its first quarter.

Five minutes later Owens completed his hat-trick after Wilson had run the ball out from deep, and Ian Bird, who was to draw a blank after his five tries last week, had linked up with the roving prop Alex Morrison.

A thundering, crunching charge from Sam Wallbank breached the Kirkby wall for poacher Owens to touch down in the 28th minute.

An orthodox passing move ended with Wilson looping round, juggling with the ball on his way over with five minutes of the half remaining.

A Stuart Storey try just before half-time for Kirkby was reward for a passage of determined rugby but the Vale had the conveyor belt whirring after two minutes of the second half when Rogerson made a 30-metre dash before Owen Hughes added a try.

Seven minutes later Hodder missed with his first conversion.

Owens scored the try after Hodder had caught a cross kick from Moore in a move that stretched the Kirkby defence.

Vale re-jigged their line-up but in the 62nd minute a solo run from Owens ended with the inevitable try, converted by Hodder.

Four minutes later Hodder was off target after a Wilson had set off on one of his squirming runs for his second.

See the Lancaster Guardian (28-04-11) for full story.