Vale of Lune’s North One West season was topped and tailed by their long-standing rivals, Broughton Park, with the visitors avenging a 28-23 defeat at Hough End in a hugely entertaining encounter.
When the dust had settled, the Vale had the consolation of a losing bonus point, as Broughton Park moved up to sixth leaving the Vale still in eighth, their lowest league position for a number of seasons.
For the first time this season the Vale included Jimmy Moore in their line up while it was also a sad occasion for two Vale players, Andy Garnett and Rob Ward.
After a long an illustrious career at the Vale the highly respected Garnett has decided to hang up his boots with Ward leaving the area after completing his studies at Lancaster University.
From the kick off the Vale were on the back foot as Broughton Park whisked the ball around and their enterprise was rewarded when stand off Olly Lancaster dropped the neatest of goals after five minutes.
Four minutes later the Vale fell further behind when Ade Titiloye set of on a languid crossfield run that mesmerised the Vale defenders and signalled danger as the pace increased.
Without a hand being laid on him the right winger touched down, his try being converted by full back Ronan O’Brien.
The Vale got their opening score in the 15th minute when skipper Darren Wilson scuttled away from a scrum for an unconverted try.
In the 23rd minute Nick Royle, back on his old stamping ground on the wing, made history when he collected a cross kick to race away for his 41st try of the campaign to complete a record-breaking season.
For a brief couple of minutes the Vale held the lead which was snatched away from them when the ball was hacked through a startled defence. Before anyone in a cherry and white jersey could react, centre Michael Butt swept up the ball for a try converted by O’Brien.
The second half began in dramatic style when James Curran intercepted a pass to set off towards Park’s line, running 50 metres for a try converted by Turton after two minutes play.
Once again the Vale’s lead evaporated when, with Wilson prowling in the sin bin, a forward surge from Park ended with prop Donald George being awarded a try in the 51st minute.
As the game moved into its final quarter the Vale wound up the intensity in their efforts to produce another score but some rather well telegraphed passages of rugby failed to pierce Park’s defence.
Broughton Park defended well, they gave away a string of penalties, the Vale declined the three points on offer and gambled on conjuring up a five pointer but in the end all they had for their endeavours was a solitary losing bonus point.
Vale of Lune: J Moore; J Curran, A Macluskie, R Ward, N Royle; J Turton, D Wilson (capt); J Hesketh, P Berry, R Pillow; Paul McLaren-Dorrington, A Foxcroft; A Garnett, B Charnley, H Fellows. Replacements: G Tudor, O Dobson, J Antcliffe.