Vale of Lune 19-52 Preston Grasshoppers

Vale's Damon Hall on target.
Vale's Damon Hall on target.

Vale of Lune suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of North Premier club Preston Grasshoppers on Saturday in what was a useful workout ahead of the new season.

On a warm, sunny afternoon Dan Baines led the Vale out onto an immaculately prepared playing surface and they immediately gave their shirt sleeved supporters plenty to cheer about with a series of lightning attacks.

Hoppers were forced onto the back foot and in the sixth minute winger Damon Hall, who displayed all the form he had shown last season, powered his way over for a try which he converted.

Preston bounced back from the early rip roaring start from the Vale with a forward inspired try seven minutes later. As the first quarter drew to a close the early Vale fires had been quenched and Preston added to their lead with a converted try.

Changes were made at the end of the first chapter as players from both sides topped up their fluid levels in what had been an energy sapping opening.

Vale struck gold in the early exchanges with two thrilling tries to retake the lead. Scott Manning, showed his power and pace, plus a keen eye for an opening when he cut back inside for a try converted by Hall.

The plaudits had hardly died down when the Vale struck again as Jordan Dorrington embarked on a classy side stepping solo run from 25 metres out for an unconverted try on the half hour mark.

However, Preston, subtly chastened by the ordeal, came back strongly into contention and went into the final third of the game holding a 33-19 lead.

Vale offered stout resistance; they camped for significant periods in Hoppers’ 22 but could not engineer a breakthrough that would have brought them back into the game.

Hoppers appeared more at ease in the heat and extended their lead with further tries against a flagging defence.

Vale will now have to wait until August 26 for their next warm up game away at Bridgnorth because their scheduled home game against Crewe and Nantwich on Saturday has had to be postponed.