Vale of Lune 33-23 New Brighton

Vale of Lune's Ben Dorrington sets up a try against New Brighton. Picture: Tony North
Vale of Lune's Ben Dorrington sets up a try against New Brighton. Picture: Tony North
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A few gallons of water have flowed under the proverbial bridge since these two clubs last faced each other in the 2010/11 season when the visitors were relegated from North One West.

In the meantime New Brighton have regrouped and last season finished as champions of South Lancashire/Cheshire One with only one defeat.

Vale of Lune captain Sam Wallbank wins the ball in the air against New Brighton. Picture: Tony North

Vale of Lune captain Sam Wallbank wins the ball in the air against New Brighton. Picture: Tony North

The latest meeting developed into a contrast in styles and tactics.

In the visitors’ case it revolved around their strong pack but as the Vale have already shown this season they have a far different take on how the game is played, moving the ball around at pace at every given opportunity. Excitement, frustration and tension can go hand in hand but at the final whistle Vale’s exciting style ensured they ran out deserved winners, their five tries bringing another bonus point victory.

Cards were laid on the table from kick off and in the seventh minute winger Joe Silcock kicked a penalty goal for New Brighton.

But after absorbing the visitors’ advances the Vale went into the lead in the 11th minute when centre Ben Dorrington touched down for a try which he converted himself.

New Brighton continued to channel the ball through their forwards, the Vale foraged in the wide open spaces but when Phil Berry received a yellow card New Brighton took full advantage of having an extra man when winger Luke Thompson touched down wide out in the 28th minute for an unconverted try.

Vale extended their lead with six minutes remaining when skipper Sam Wallbank set off on an angled unopposed run that took him away from the cover for a try converted by Dorrington.

Facing a stiff wind in the second half the Vale were pegged back and in the 48th minute New Brighton’s pack rolled towards Vale’s line from a line out and from close range lock Will McCaig went over for an unconverted try.

The visitors edged into the lead in the 54th minute when stand off Steve Dean kicked a penalty goal.

But the celebrations were short lived because the Vale hit back immediately when the ball was moved crossfield from a line out, full back Chris Weeks torpedoed into the line to sprint clear for an unconverted try, Dorrington’s conversion crashing against an upright.

As the game moved into its final quarter the Vale began to thread together their attacks that gathered in intensity.

Rob Lamberton’s try claimed the bonus point in the 63rd minute but it was all rather confusing, in particular for New Brighton who were expecting the referee’s whistle to blow, but Mr Henry waved play on with Dorrington adding the conversion.

Lamberton collected his brace in the 73rd minute when he completed an attack that began with a tap penalty on the opposite side of the field.

When the right winger received the ball there was plenty of work to do but with little space to work he delicately stepped back infield, his well balanced run taking him away from the chasers, Dorrington converted.

In the final minute there was just enough time for the New Brighton forwards to put their case when prop Chris Micali thundered over, his try being converted by Steve Dean from in front.

Vale of Lune: C Weeks, T Ball, B Dorrington, I Bird, R Lamberton, A Macluskie, B Swarbrick, J Hesketh, P Berry, R Pillow, A Foxcroft, B Charnley, M Barker, A Garnett, S Wallbank (capt). Replacements used: P McLaren-Dorrington, M Fowler, C Lomas.