Vale aim to end season with local bragging rights

Nick Royle.
Nick Royle.

Vale of Lune head coach Paul Woodward is hoping his side end the season by earning some local bragging rights.

Victory over Broughton Park in the final game of the current campaign could see eighth-placed Vale leapfrog not only the visitors to Powderhouse Lane on Saturday but also Kirkby Lonsdale.

Woodward said: “Being above Kirkby Lonsdale means a lot to everyone up at the Vale.

“And Kirkby have got a tough game at Wilmslow so if we beat Broughton Park and get the five points we could move above them and I think sixth place would be a fair reflection of the season.

“It will be a tough game but we want to finish on a high.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere on the day because there’s an old players’ reunion, the under 10s are training before the game and it’s the last games for Andy Garnett and Rob Ward so the lads should be up for it.”

Flanker Garnett will play his final game before retirement with winger Ward leaving Lancaster University at the end of the current academic year.

Woodward is hoping to have Nick Royle available on Saturday with the Vale appealing his controversial red card in the defeat against Birkenhead Park last time out.

He said: “We’re contesting Nick Royle’s red card with a disciplinary hearing on Thursday night.

“He was sent off for something he didn’t do. Darren Wilson was caught off the ball in the run up to a try and there was a bit of fisticuffs from the kick off.

“If anything Nick was pulling people away.

“It’s totally out of character. I’ve used him as a role model this season.”

Royle’s red card was the low point of what was otherwise an impressive display despite the 28-7 reverse against title-chasing Birkenhead.

Woodward said: “I think it was our most impressive defensive display of the season.

“They’re a very tough side and we lost a centre early and had to juggle a few people around and they had quite a lot of possession.

“The Birkenhead Park coach said afterwards it was the toughest game they’ve had this season.

“After we lost Nick Royle to the red card we were playing the last 20 minutes with 14 so it was all hands to the pump and I was really impressed with the attitude.

“It was a big, big test and we came through it well. It’s all part of the learning curve for next season.”