Vale of Lune’s head coach believes derby victory over top of the table Kendal on Saturday could catapult his side to great things this season.
Fergus Owens takes his Powderhouse Lane men to their Cumbrian rivals knowing there’s more than local bragging rights on the line.
Vale have made a decent start in North One West themselves, sitting fifth in the table, with Owens believing a win over Kendal would be the icing on the cake.
He said: “We’ve been in this league so long that everyone feels like a close game.
“But Kendal are a strong side and it’s a massive game for both clubs. We’ve made a good start, it’s a derby game and I think a win could push us on to great things.
“We’ve won four games which is less than the teams above us but the bonus points are keeping us in touch.”
The game is set to be a clash of styles with Kendal’s forward-driven game set to go up against Vale’s free-flowing approach.
The visitors will be boosted by the return of Dan and Alex Baines for the trip to Cumbria with Owens hoping the recent bad weather won’t play a part in proceedings.
The head coach said: “We’re really looking forward to it.
“They lost their first game on Saturday but have a really strong pack and we’ll have to counter that.
“We’ve got both Baines brothers back after a few weeks out which will be important for us.
“But it’s been a terrible week for weather and hopefully it will pick up a bit.
“A muddy pitch would really play into their hands. We really need some grass for our type of rugby.
“When we last went there it was so bad you couldn’t tell who was playing for which side.”
Vale go into the derby on the back of a 33-23 win over New Brighton at Powderhouse Lane on Saturday.
Owens said: “It was incredibly similar to the Bolton game a couple of weeks ago where the lads weren’t completely happy at the final whistle.
“It’s good in a way because the lads themselves know they can do better even though they got the win.”