A GAME TO WHET THE APPETITE.
By Stuart Vernon | Monday 27th February 2012
The B team and Burnley produced the perfect hors d'oeuvre ahead of the main course at Twickers.
While England and Wales produced a match of intensity and near unbearable tension in front of a packed house at Twickenham and watched by many thousands in clubhouses the length and breadth of the UK, including players who had completed their eighty minutes of endeavour with the self same commitment that had been on display at HQ.
True the skills and fitness levels were different in the Vale versus Burnley confrontation but there was a common thread running through both these games, passions were high and emotions just as raw. It made no difference that one was played out before thousands and when the viewing audience is factored in millions, and the other in front of only a handful of dedicated supporters.
Such was the case at Powder House Lane in a cracking game that was a credit to the players from both sides and also referee Martin Powell. He refereed with quiet authority and common sense throughout. All the players were quickly aware of who was in charge. He applied the laws evenly, not an easy task for Martin Powell who was a B team regular last season, and at the end of a hard fought encounter he certainly could not be accused of being biased.
After making a promising opening on the main pitch the Vale fell behind to an eighth minute penalty following Burnley’s first excursion into the home side’s twenty two. This score pepped up Burnley’s game as they forced Vale to scramble to protect their line, but gradually the Vale forwards gained control and stand off Andy Irvine put in some accurate kicks as the Vale went on the offensive.
At the end of the first quarter a rumbustious forward drive ended with Dan Rainford plunging over on the blind side for an unconverted try on the left. But the Vale fell behind to converted try after the visitor’s strong running centre had caused mayhem in the Vale’s defence.
Burnley’s occasional visits to Vale’s red zone had proved to be very lucrative excursions indeed, however, in the final attack of the half the Vale shot into the lead with a try straight out of the top drawer. Dean Hickling made a break before slipping the ball to Chris Strachen who scorched over the surface with a solo run that ended behind the posts, Paul Scott added the conversion.
An early Paul Scott penalty gave the Vale confidence and they extended their lead in the forty fifth minute with a piece of quick thinking from Irvine. While the Burnley defenders fumbled with the ball on the ground Andy Irvine nipped in to snatch the ball and race twenty five metes for his try, Paul Scott’s conversion attempt hit an upright but was not deflected over.
Once more some indifferent tackling cause the Vale to concede a converted try in the fifty second minute an to bring Burnley within three points of the Vale’s lead. A Paul Scott penalty in the sixty sixth minute gave the Vale some much needed breathing space as Burnley mounted a series of dangerous attacks in the closing minutes.
Vale’s defence held firm, strong scrummaging defused Burnley’s potential and in the closing minute Paul Scott pulled off a try saving tackle as the Vale heroically defended their lead to register a deserved victory in a game that was played in the right spirit and again congratulations to all concerned.
For someone who travels and reports on the first team on a regular basis you can sometimes forget that the game depends heavily on the commitment and dedication of those who fashioned such a pleasurable experience at The Lane. Hats off to all!
Sandbach 2 v Rossendale 2
See below photo of the Sandbach celebration after winning the Division 1 title and being promoted to the Premier League
The Raging Bull NW Leagues Cheshire Cakes Div 2 South Whitchurch 2nd XV 31 pts v 34 pts Broughton Park 3rd XV
An ecstatic Alan Marsland reports !!!!
2013-04-06 The Raging Bull NW Leagues Div. 4 North Wigan 3rd XV 36pts v 19 pts Vale of Lune 4th XV
A much tighter game than the score might suggest !!!
Some great pictures once again from Vales' Chief Phtographer Tony North !!
After losing 133 pts to Nil in recent game Vale keep the score in this, the only game today in the Leagues to only 96 pts.
Quote of the day " Steven Briggs Vale's scrum half - What was the score today Ref ?? Ref Shaun Mcglue " 96 pts to 3 pts !! Feels like a win Sir today !!! Thanks for a good game .
Vale come up against an efficient Wilmslow side !!!
Pictures by David Pyke Wilmslow !!!
(Vale of Lune 4)