Wirral 10-10 Vale

Nick Royle.
Nick Royle.

A full blown debate began during and after Wirral had levelled the scores with a converted try in the seventy eighth minute against the Vale on Saturday.

With the rain lashing down full back Nick Royle appeared to have shepherded the ball over the dead ball line from an innocuous kick downfield and it looked a mere formality to defuse it.

Unfortunately Wirral’s predatory number eight Rob Pearl had also taken an interest and with fingers and palms grabbing for the greasy bar of soap referee Brown adjudged that Pearl had opened the oyster first and awarded a try which stand off Daniel Harvey converted as the debate continued.

With darkness rapidly descending the Vale went on the offensive in the closing minutes trapping Wirral in the red zone.

It was a real backs to the wall scenario for the home side, they rode their luck as the relentless pounding continued but the Vale were unable to make the break through.

Vale began with a series of attacks, James Hesketh, Jack Turton, Danny Lin and Ben Charnley took play into Wirral’s twenty two and Turton fired a drop goal attempt wide before the Vale scored in the fourteenth minute.

Charnley intercepted a pass in his twenty two and slipped a pass to Royle.

The full back took off immediately, jinking through a flat Wirral defence and quickly outpaced the chasers to touch down behind the posts and before the kicking tee could arrive Turton dropped kicked the conversion.

Wirral mounted a series of attacks but the Vale proved equal to the task and the game settled into a interesting contest between two well matched sides who played sensible rugby without straying to far out of their comfort zones or trying to play in a manner that was alien to their natural order.

With four minutes remaining Turton kicked a penalty goal but early in the second half Harvey opened the home side’s account with a penalty as the game settled into a familiar, but far from boring pattern.

Vale were always capable of exploding like a glittering Roman Candle, with Turton lighting the blue touch paper with a lightning break out of defence and then the flying Rob Ward anticipated a kick ahead from Darren Wilson only to be bundled frantically into touch but as far as the Vale were concerned the curtain was about to rise on a “Rocky Horror Show” at Thornton Common Road.

Vale of Lune: N Royle; R Ward, J Higgin, O Carter, J Curran; J Turton, D Wilson (Capt); A Cowey, J Hesketh, R Pillow; B Charnley, G Tudor; A Powers, D Lin, A Baines. Replacements: D Haigh, A Macluskie, D Rainford.