Wirral 24 - Vale of Lune 33
IT would be fair to say that the Vale of Lune’s two recent performances which ended in defeats have been a cause of concern.
In both games the Vale went into the closing minutes in the lead but were unable to protect it. Against Wirral, however, a repeat never looked likely.
The forwards were magnificent. Wing forward Danny Lin, whose standards are consistently high, produced a stratospheric performance,
Gareth Tudor was all muscle and drive while Joe Clarkson quietly but effectively went about his business. With the talented Alex Baines on the replacements bench there was no way the coaching staff were going to change this trio unless injury intervened.
In front of two hard working locks, Dan Perry and Lee Acton, hooker Phil Berry was making his debut and displayed a swashbuckling attitude and was in the thick of the action throughout.
After only 17 minutes prop Jay Ashton-Yamnikar had to leave the action with a rib injury, which meant that Dan Woodward, after a week of night shifts and an early morning drive from Northampton, came on.
He crowned an energetic display by scoring Vale’s third try, although he did end the game on the naughty step after an incident in injury time.
In the threequarters, Ian Bird was recalled to the colours in the centre after “retiring” at the end of last season. Straight from the kick-off he made his presence felt making sure everyone remained tuned in until the final whistle.
Bird’s never say die attitude was reflected throughout the back division, and when Jimmy Moore was laid low at the beginning of the second half the subsequent reshuffle did not diminish the tenacity of a team that was more than determined to make sure the disappointments of previous weeks were not repeated.
On a wet soggy afternoon at the Memorial Ground, the Vale went behind to an early penalty goal kicked by centre Craig Harvey as a lively Wirral side made most of the running.
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