Vale of Lune 35-7 Fleetwood

Vale's Nick Royle flying at full speed.
Vale's Nick Royle flying at full speed.

Irrespective of the opposition this was always going to be a difficult fixture for the Vale of Lune to negotiate for a numbers of reasons, not least being their lack of competitive game time for a month.

However there were few early signs that the home side were ring rusty in an explosive opening 24 minutes when they had rattled in 28 points, but the Vale were unable to kick on against a tenacious Fleetwood side with their performance hardly reflecting a club that were third from bottom of North One West.

Even after such a disastrous opening the visitors pressurised the Vale in all areas but were unable to engineer the openings despite some stirring build up work.

In the end the Vale were thankful to get the wheels turning again and at the final whistle it was a case of mission accomplished, namely a bonus point victory that keeps them very much in touch with the three clubs above them in the league.

All worries about the Vale lacking game time were dispelled from the kick-off and after four minutes Harry Fellows scored his first senior try when he completed a crossfield passing movement that featured a purposeful dash down his wing from Rob Ward, Jimmy Moore converted.

But Fleetwood launched a number of attacks which underlined a willingness to move the ball around much to the delight of their travelling supporters.

However, they fell further behind in the 15th minute when Moore landed the first of his two tries with a side-stepping run through a tangle of defenders for a try which he converted.

The Vale went further ahead on 21 minutes. Ward, clinically and with the minimum of fuss nipped over after an unselfish pass from home debutant Nick Royle, Moore converted from wide out on the right.

Vale reached their bonus quota in the 24 minute when Moore set sail on a 65-metre solo run for his try which he converted, after some excellent foraging below decks by the forwards.

Five minutes later former Vale player Luke Ford crashed through tackles for a deserved try between the posts converted by the industrious Ryan Riches.

For the remainder of the half the Vale were forced to ride out the storm but their anchor held as Fleetwood looked to add to their haul.

With daylight fast disappearing the Vale navigated their way to their final score in the ninth minute of the second half.

As the ball bobbled into the dead ball area Sam Moorby hurtled after it to dive between a knot of arms and legs to net a try converted by Moore.

Moore was denied a hat trick when he was held up short of the line and Fleetwood tried to take maximum advantage when their hosts were reduced to 13 players at one stage late in the game when first Royle and then Lee Acton were sin binned.

Fleetwood were unable to seize the initiative against a steadfast Vale defence and in the closing minutes the Vale ended by frantically battering away deep inside Fleetwood’s 22 in what had been a testing return to league rugby for the home side and a good work out for all concerned ahead of their rearranged fixture at Powder House Lane against Widnes on Saturday.