Vale 13-19 Kirkby Lonsdale

Ben Dorrington under pressure from Kirkby.
Ben Dorrington under pressure from Kirkby.

At the final whistle the Vale of Lune were kicking themselves at the chances that were missed in a frustrating performance against high flying Kirkby Lonsdale.

In the first half the Vale enjoyed long periods of dominance but were unable to take full advantage, they lacked a real cutting edge and did not have the necessary guile to find a way through a well organised Kirkby defence.

Vale began on the front foot and following a break by Fergus Owens and a flowing run from James Birchall, Kirkby infringed and Ben Dorrington guided the ball between the uprights.

However, Kirkby’s Tom Slater then carved his way easily through Vale’s defence for an unconverted try after a dash down the wing from David Bird had set the attack in motion.

In the fifth minute of injury time Dorrington kicked his second penalty goal but there was a definite feeling amongst the Kirkby contingent that they had got off rather lightly with only a one point deficit.

The Vale extended their meagre lead in the 67th minute. Referee Henry awarded the Vale a penalty try after a deliberate knock inside Kirkby’s twenty two, Dorrington plonked over the conversion.

There was no time for the Vale to celebrate their score because on the hour mark they were completely undone by a passage of unscripted rugby from replacement Martyn Knapton.

After collecting the ball on half way he brushed off a would be tackler and sprinted down the left hand touch line and just as the cover began to gather he kicked ahead.

Not only did he easily win the foot race but he gathered the bouncing ball in full stride to sprint behind the posts for a thrilling score; Tom Pickthall converted.

Kirkby were invigorated by this score and in the 78th minute they went into the lead for the second time.

A huge crossfield kick caught the Vale stranded, winger Harry Ralston finished the move off with an efficiently taken try, which was converted by Pickthall.

There was a huge chunk of injury time remaining but Kirkby held out for the victory.

nVale seconds found a lively Lymm back division hard to suppress, losing their Premier League game 43-11 at “Beachwood.”

Prop Alex Preston scored a deserved try in the second half, Vale’s other points coming from the boot of Neil Walker who kicked two first half penalty goals.

The Vikings opened their account for the season with an encouraging victory, 30-18, away against Burnley 3.

Upper Eden 2 proved to be a strong experienced outfit defeating Vale B, 27-17 at Powderhouse Lane.