Vale 31-31 Wirral

Alistair Richards sprints for the line. Picture: TONY NORTH.
Alistair Richards sprints for the line. Picture: TONY NORTH.

THE first Saturday of April was a rumbustious affair at Powderhouse Lane that erupted in a handbag flailing free-for-all in the final minutes which saw Jimmy Moore being shown a yellow card and some rather fruity verbal exchanges on the East Terrace between the Vale of Lune supporters and the visitors’ coaching staff.

In bright sunshine the Vale’s opening matched the weather conditions, the ball was moved confidently around and after two minutes a some swift passing provided winger Alistair Richards with time and space to score an unconverted try.

Seven minutes later the Vale launched an attack after hooker Phil Watson had taken the first of his three balls against the head.

The Vale flowed down field with the Wirral defence stretched, and when the angle of attack was switched Ian Bird went careering over, Jimmy Moore added the conversion.

Fergus Owens made one of his languid breaks, Bird was held up short and both James Curran and James Hodder used their pace to good effect.

Prop Phil Jackson pulled off an important tackle at the end of the first quarter as Wirral started to threaten.

Vale’s inability to close down runners at source cost them dear when they allowed stand-off James Annetts the freedom of the park, winger Matt Slater touched down for a try converted by centre Danny Harvey in the 21st minute.

See The Visitor (06-04-11) for full story.