Vale of Lune returned battered and bruised from a leafy Walton Lea Road, the home of Warrington and their aptly named ground called the “The Fortress,” after suffering the heaviest points defeat of the season and the highest in all meetings against Warrington.
The Vale started brightly down the slope, taking a scrum against the head and going into the lead with a Ben Dorrington penalty after three minutes.
Five minutes later a Vale scrum sent the Warrington eight back towards their goal line. The balance swung in the Vale’s favour and there was no sign of panic, Sam Wallbank pounced at the right moment to collect his try which was not converted.
Warrington countered swiftly to take the lead with tries in the 13thth and 16th minutes respectively from centre Kieron Hughes, who chased down a grubber kick through a stretched Vale defence, followed by one from a line out, flanker Sam Nichols touching down, winger Darren Norman put over the conversion.
A determined, twisting run from Sam Wallbank led to a successful penalty from Dorrington in the 23rd minute. Showing great character and playing on the front foot, the Vale were not overawed by taking on the league’s top side in their own back yard and they extended their lead in the 30th minute.
The ball was transferred quickly and smoothly crossfield and space was created for Jonty Higgin to accelerate into and through for an unconverted try.
However, the Vale’s six point lead quickly disappeared before half time when Hughes collected his second in the 34th minute and in the first minute of injury time captain Tom Wood broke clear, both tries were converted by Norman. Matters did not improve for the Vale at the start of the second half when a mix up in their defence allowed Nathan Beesley to scoot over for an opportunist try converted by Norman.
In the 48th minute Dorrington finished off a well worked attack with a converted try but Warrington pinned the Vale down for long periods but some resolute defending denied Warrington until the sixty first minute.
Three minutes before Warrington’s score Tom Crookall was shown a red card for violent play, and Warrington took full advantage with Norman scoring wide out the left.
Warrington’s final try in the 71st minute, from a swift counter attack was scored by Beesley and converted by Norman as the hosts free wheeled their way to victory.
nCatalan Samuel Velasce Hoare made his debut for Vale A in their 64-5 defeat to Preston Grasshoppers 2.
The 19-year-old has arrived as a result of the Vale’s links with clubs from the Barcelona region due to previous tour visits, and despite losing the game Samuel made an impressive start to life at the Vale.
Vale’s try scorer on the day was Adam Foxcroft.
Vale Vikings lost away against Clitheroe 1st’s, 36-15 while the fourth team won 75-0 against Rossendale 3.