Warrington 27-24 Vale

Vale of Lune travelled down the M6 to face Warrington in what was quite simply a cracker, but for the second week in succession the Vale digested the bitter pill of defeat on the road.

Warrington opened the scoring when Vale struggled to clear their lines, winger Kevin Jones’ elusive run ended when he released Luke Johnston for a try which the number fifteen converted in the eighth minute.

Jack Turton under attack. Picture: Tony North.

Jack Turton under attack. Picture: Tony North.

In the 17th minute a fluid Warrington attack did not pose too much of a threat until they suddenly filled the blind side with a stack of players, a situation that was exploited by Jones, who swept away for an unconverted try.

With six minutes remaining of a throbbing first half the Vale fell further behind when from a solid scrum the ball was moved wide but an ambitious long pass which might have split the home side’s defence was intercepted by Johnston who set off into the grey yonder with supporting players following in his wake.

Passes were exchanged, the attack gathered momentum, Duncan Rickard made certain that Johnston completed the move with a try which he converted.

Two minutes into the second half Jones slipped casually through a number of tackles, kicked ahead and won the race to touch the ball down at the limits of the dead ball area for an unconverted try.

In the 45th minute Fraser Spavin was driven over for an unconverted try wide out on the right after Ben Charnley had soared, not for the first or last time, at the line out.

This was just what was needed for the Vale and in the 55th minute they closed the gap even further, courtesy of their forwards.

A tight Vale scrum marched their opposite numbers over their goal line and a patient Ben Charnley dotted the ball down for a try straight out of the coaching manual, Turton added the conversion.

In the 62nd minute Olly Dobson set an attack moving, Nick Royle eluded the cover and once into his stride threaded his way through with ever increasing speed for his 25th try of the season which Turton converted with a drop kick.

Vale now had a losing bonus point but the tension was beginning to build because the outcome was far from certain.

A long range penalty from Johnston fell short and the Vale sensed a slight swing in their favour but they had the possibility of a losing bonus point snatched from their grasp when replacement kicker, centre Jono Smith calmly wacked over a straight penalty from the Vale’s ten metre line in the 70th minute.

In the gathering gloom the Vale banked two bonus points when James Curran pinned back his ears for the fourth try which cut Warrington’s lead to within losing bonus points range.