Lymm 38-38 Vale of Lune
Vale of Lune recorded their first league draw since January 2017 at the weekend away at Lymm, and in doing so ended their seven game losing sequence in North Premier.
Vale made a confident opening with a number of probing attacks but their enterprise failed to bring any rewards and in the 13th minute they were undone by a Lymm forward thrust that resulted in a try for prop Matt Hand, converted by stand-off Tom Shard.
The Vale responded immediately with a powerful passage of rugby to carve out a try for Ruan Fourie, converted by Olly Jacques in the 15th minute.
On the half-hour mark, Lymm edged into the lead after their forwards had nudged Vale back towards their own line.
Number eight Andy Bray was ideally placed to dot the ball down, his try being converted by Shard.
As the half drew to a close, Vale’s defensive network unravelled, gaps began to appear and they were punished when winger Jake Ashall scampered through for a try converted by Shard in the 36th minute.
To their credit, Vale came back with renewed vigour and as the game moved into extra time they started to stretch Lymm.
Lock James Robinson, who is having a splendid season and growing in stature in every game, touched down between the uprights, his try being converted by Jacques in the 44th minute.
Vale began the second half as they had ended the first, going on the offensive.
Jack Ayrton made one of his high energy runs, the ball was moved quickly and with confidence and after two minutes of slick handling, winger Charlie Lomas bolted away for an unconverted try wide out on the right.
In the 48th minute, Vale entered the dizzy heights of establishing a lead when skipper Sam Wallbank, single handedly, took on any green and black who stood in his way to storm through for a try which Jacques converted.
The visitors now found themselves in unusual surroundings of being in the lead.
They might have gone further into the black but a well struck penalty from Jack Turton cannoned off an upright and away from danger in the 47th minute.
Lymm began to ease their way back into the game after the hour as Vale began to lose their shape which had been such a marked feature of their game in the opening 20 minutes.
While Vale hesitated, Lymm cranked up their forward machine and trundled Vale back towards their goal line.
One such ram raid ended with Adam Bray picking up at the base for a tidy try converted by Shard in the 64th minute.
Six minutes later, skipper Bray collected his hat-trick after the forwards had pummelled into Vale into submission, Shard kicked the conversion but despite being in a precarious position, Vale regrouped and following a dancing run from Chris Ramwell, Vale started to cut loose.
Fergus Owens cruised his way over for a try converted by Jacques in the 76th minute to bring Vale very much into contention.
A penalty goal from Shard in the 79th minute appeared to put the Cheshire side in the box seat but in a lengthy period of added time Fourie spearheaded an attack with a solo run into the heart of Lymm’s defence.
Suddenly the home side were scurrying around plugging gaps but the blotting paper had been exhausted when Owens launched himself for the try that could possibly go down as the one that signalled a change in Vale’s fortunes.