Penrith 23-25 Vale of Lune

Jack Turton.
Jack Turton.

On St George’s Day and the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare the Vale of Lune produced drama at Winters Park just as the curtain was about to come down.

Trailing 23-22, Andy Powers led a drive deep into Penrith territory, the ball was recycled for Jack Turton to drop the match-winning goal.

Turton’s three-pointer was the Vale’s first successful drop goal since the end of the 2012/13 season which in turn ensured Vale’s first league double over Penrith since the 2000/01 season; certainly not the case of “Much Ado About Nothing,” as the evening’s celebrations confirmed.

On arrival at Penrith the Vale discovered that they had been left their cherry and white shirts back at base and were forced to borrow a set from the hosts.

The “light blues” conceded a sloppy try in the third minute when Kris Bratton sliced through, his try being converted by Mike Fearon.

With the breeze at their backs and playing down a slight slope the Vale quickly put behind them the early disaster and in the ninth minute produced the perfect riposte. From a line out Sam Wallbank drove over for an unconverted try.

Both sides probed for openings but with defences generally on top few clear-cut opportunities were created. However, Vale’s forwards again proved their worth, this time a try coming from a well-controlled scrum.

Alex Baines, in his 50th start, picked up on the fringe to cross from close range for a try which Ben Dorrington converted in the 32nd minute.

Five minutes later Penrith regained the lead with an orthodox threequarter move, carried out at speed. An overload was created for winger Jon Fell, his try being converted by Fearon via an upright.

Suddenly the Vale appeared fragile in the face of a late Penrith rally which ended with Fearon kicking a penalty.

Three minutes into the second half Fearon kicked another penalty as Penrith began to play the game in the Vale’s paddock.

Excellent defence held the home side at bay and as the hour mark approached the Vale scored their third try. Adam Macluskie completed a flowing back move with an unconverted try in the 57th minute.

Vale were now back in contention, a long-range penalty from Fearon in the 62nd minute just added to the pressure, but they rose to the challenge immediately to claim their try bonus point.

Dan Baines went over for an unconverted try after a passage of uncomplicated forward rugby in the 66th minute.

The visitors were now within touching distance of a historic victory, sure they left it late but as the Bard wrote “All’s Well That Ends Well”.

lVale seconds finished their Conference B season with a 14-12 home win against Chester 2.

Toby Holt scored the winning try in the 80th minute.

The fourths lost at Rossendale 27-25 but have avoided relegation.

On Saturday the first team travel to Leigh in a rearranged North One West fixture, while the thirds will entertain Clitheroe in their thrust for promotion.