On Air Now

Non Stop Beyond

Midnight - 6:00am

Now Playing

Calvin Harris & Rag'n'Bone Man

Lovers In A Past Life

Home defeat for Vale of Lune against Altrincham Kersal

The Vale of Lune team observing the pre-match silence for Remembrance. Photo by Tony North

Rugby Union Match Report: Vale of Lune 8 Altrincham Kersal 24

It's mid-November, but nobody told the weather.

Bright sunshine and a windless warmth graced the pitch as the Vale of Lune took on Altrincham Kersal at Powder House Lane.

After pre-match Remembrance ceremonies were observed, the game began with another changed selection, covering for the ever-growing Vale injury list. 

An early transgression by the visitors gave Damon Hall the opportunity to open the Vale's account with a penalty kick from 40 yards out.

He found the uprights and gave the Vale an encouraging lead.

Once Altrincham had gathered themselves, they worked as a cohesive, forward unit. They gained possession of the ball - and they kept it. Their opening try came from a relentless series of phases and was finished by a short but determined run by their man-mountain second row forward. 

This became a recurring theme. Whilst the Vale held their own in the scrums, Altrincham's forwards dominated the loose play.

Both sets of backs were starved of meaningful possession and when the chances did come, their frustrations were evident and their efforts were consequently unproductive.

When chances were in sight, they invariably fell flat. By the midpoint, Altrincham had extended their lead with another three tries, all scored by forwards.

The half-time score was: Vale 3, Altrincham 24.

Prop Mike Bradshaw, the beating heart of the Vale fightback, found himself enduring an enforced sabbatical following a minor offence.

The Vale front row adjusted itself and pressed on. Sam Wallbank and Chris Ramwell made individual incursions through the Altrincham defences but without threatening the line. 

Flanker Sam Peters took a substantial knock to his ribs and remained prone for a troublingly long time. The appearance of a stretcher is always a gloomy image. He was carried off for prolonged treatment.

Thankfully, the news later emerged that his injuries were painful but not serious. Joe Harrison came on and the positions were adjusted once again.  

Keen to alter the pattern of the game, Vale's playmakers sent high, cross-field kicks into the corners. Isaac Quarry managed to get o the end of one of them, but so did his markers and the move ended in disappointment.  

Altrincham's juggernaut pack kept up their pressure, but the Vale managed to contain the threat for the duration of the second half.

The scrum remained the domain of the Vale pack. Number eight, Jack Ayrton controlled things until the ball was ripe for distribution. Spinning like a missile through the hands of the three-quarter line, it reached Quarry who had popped up on his opposite wing.

He found the elusive gap and passed to Olly Jacques who crossed the line to register the only try of the second half.  

Hooker Ross Pillow was chosen by his peers as the Vale's stand-out performer, whilst credit was also due to Billy Swarbrick and Sam Peters. Next week has no first team fixture but other teams will be on show. The Vale meet top-of-the-table Anselmians away on the 26th of November. 

Team:   M. Bradshaw, R. Pillow, J. Stevens, S. Wallbank, J. Wallbank, S. Peters, T. Nicholson, J. Ayrton, B. Swarbrick, D. Hall, J. Fern, D. Helme, O. Jacques, I. Quarry, C. Ramwell.   Reps: J. Bonia, J. Harrison, J. Silverwood. 

More from Local Sport

Recently Played Songs