Vale of Lune will look to end a run of nine straight defeats in their big derby with Kendal this Saturday.
The high-flying visitors will look to enhance their promotion credentials when they visit Powderhouse Lane at Fergus Owens hopes to arrest what has been a desperate run for a depleted Vale side. The Lancaster side had a free weekend but the Cumbrians won their rearranged North One West fixture against Wilmslow 23-15 on Saturday to leapfrog another one of their rivals, Kirkby Lonsdale, into second place.
The Vale are currently ninth in the division but will face a side unbeaten in eight games in front of what is expected to be a bumper crowd for the 2.15pm kick-off on February 21.
The first team having a free weekend meant the A team took centre stage at Powderhouse Lane and they didn’t disappoint with a 43-22 win over Birkenhead Park 2nds in the Bateman BMW Premier League Conference B.
At one stage a dominant Vale side had established a 38-0 lead in the opening minute of the second half but to the frustration of their loyal band of supporters and team manager Tony Gilmour they eased off the gas and allowed the visitors back into the game.
In the end the points difference proved to difficult to bridge for Birkenhead Park but they had the satisfaction of ‘winning’ the second half 22-12.
There was an audible sigh of relief around The Lane when debutant winger, Brad Goss, crossed for an unconverted try with eight minutes remaining to extinguish Park’s hopes of causing a major upset, although prior to referee Ralston blowing the final whistle, the Vale were pinned back deep in their twenty two.
Tries for the hosts came courtesy of Alistair Richards, who picked up two, Danny Lin, Sean Coulshed, Jamie Antcliffe and Joe Wallbank.
Neil Walker directed operations and was in fine form with the boot as Joe Stevens, Richard Clarke, Jack McIntosh, Tom Cvijanovic, Oli Dodson and Tom Crookall all impressed for the Vale’s second string with skipper Dan Rainford ultimately relieved to hear the final whistle.