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Black Saturday for Vale in away defeat

Rugby Union match report: Anselmians 50 – 7 Vale of Lune

Vale travelled to Wirral based table-topping Anselmians who boasted the best defensive record in Regional 2 North West having only suffered a solitary away defeat at the hands of 2nd placed Firwood/Waterloo.

In damp conditions early pressure came from the Vale pack with Mike Bradshaw and Joe Harrison to the fore driving into the opposition 22 but with little to show for their efforts.

Anselmians first incursion into the Vale half resulted in a penalty award and from the ensuing line-out catch and drive an unconverted try was scored.

Vale's cause was not helped by early injuries to forwards Alfie Bolton and Adrian Turner to be replaced by Sam Lester and Louis Evans. Besides making his usual sniping runs scrum half Billy Swarbrick spun the ball out wide at any given opportunity enabling centres Dan Helme and Olly Jacques to parade their differing styles of play but the home side's defence was at its most miserly.

Vale's best opportunity of a try resulted in replacement prop James Bonia burrowing over the opposition line only to be denied by the referee adjudging a double movement. Skipper Andy Powers was yellow carded and the Saints took advantage of various Vale indiscretions to run in three more tries with one converted giving a halftime score of 22-0.

The second half saw Vale start strongly with Chris Ramwell making his trademark corkscrewing runs into the opposition half before being injured. Jordan Fern, Isaac Quarry and Harrison Dodge all made elusive runs but slight errors and Saints' watertight and at times over robust defence coped.

The effort put in by the Vale forwards was rewarded when from a maul on the opposition 22 the long serving Joe Wallbank burst over for a try with fly half Jonathon Silverwood adding the extras. Anselmians second half tally of 4 converted tries and a final score line of 50-7 was in no way indicative of the huge contribution of every member of the Vale team giving coach Rob Quarry hopeful encouragement for when returning players become available for the impending second half of the season.

Team: M.Bradshaw, O.Branford, J.Stevens, J.Harrison, A.Turner, A.Bolton, J.Wallbank, A.Powers(capt), B.Swarbrick, J.Silverwood, I.Quarry, D.Helme, O.Jacques, J.Fern,  C.Ramwell

Reps: J. Bonia, L. Evans, H.Dodge

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