Vale of Lune were unable to recapture the intensity and sense of purpose of previous games against Altrincham Kersal and Birkenhead Park on Saturday as they fell to defeat at the hands of Wilsmlow.
In perfect conditions the visitors took the lead with a sixth minute penalty goal from prodigious and reliable goal kicker for many seasons, stand off Bob McCallum.
The Vale’s riposte was a splendid try seven minutes later. Fergus Owens picked up where he had left off on the other side of the Mersey with a break and a sprint for the line before directing a perfect pass to full back Chris Ramwell, who had come into the line at speed, to touch down wide on the left, Ben Dorrington converted with a most assured thump.
Both sides were prepared to move the ball around with forwards and backs fully prepared to share the burden and take responsibility, but it was Wilmslow who looked the more dangerous in all areas.
This was highlighted in the 20th minute when flanker, Max Harvey, burst through some half hearted tackling with his straight no-nonsense running at anything in a cherry and white jersey, McCallum converted.
There was little time for Wilmslow to celebrate their score because five minutes later the Vale retook the high ground.
The hard working Tom Cvijanovic claimed the ball at the line and before anyone on the opposition ranks could react the second row slipped through unmolested for an unconverted try.
Suddenly there was a noticeable bounce and skip flirting through Vale’s game, their passing was at the highest level, the runners were here there and everywhere and all Wilmslow were able to do was monitor the opposition’s movements.
But as the half drew to a close Vale’s ideas dried up and the closing minutes belonged to Wilmslow.
The half ended with the metronomic boot of McCallum kicking a penalty goal but what the Vale did not know was that the storm clouds were gathering and the Wolves were licking their chops.
All the opening exchanges suggested that Wilmslow had a whiff of victory in their nostrils and straight from the restart they had the Vale exactly where they wanted them.
In the build up to their second try of the game centre James Colhurst ripped through the Vale’s ranks to take play deep into Vale’s twenty two.
A couple of scrums, a ten metre line out, interrupted by a brace of penalties ensured the Vale had nowhere to turn.
Eventually it became a case of a scrum too far for the home side as they were heaved over their goal line, hooker Alex Donaldson claiming the try which was unconverted in the 46th minute, although the Wilmslow touch judge raised his flag ever so slightly.
Vale were given no respite, they hardly left their own half while Wilmslow’s twenty two was but a distant dream.
McCallum kicked a penalty goal in the 53rd minute after full back Ben Day had exposed the threadbare nature of the Vale’s tackling.
There was no let up for the Vale and in the 57th minute they fell further behind as impassable breach began to occur.
James Colhurst plunged over in the corner, the conversion to his try being swept over McCallum from out on the left flank in the 57th minute.
Wilmslow grew in stature the longer the game progressed as the Vale wilted.
In the 66th minute an orthodox passing movement crossfield ended with long limbed, highly talented lock, Tom Williams, cantering over in the corner for an unconverted try to bring up the try bonus point.
With five minutes remaining Tom Williams set up a try for Hone Karacu, the replacement diving over unopposed for his score, which was converted by McCallum from yet another difficult angle.
There was still just enough time left for Jack Turton to grab a consolation try for the Vale which he converted with a drop kick but it failed to halt the drift to the clubhouse by some sombre faced Vale supporters who had endured 40 minutes plus of pretty one sided rugby.
*An Extraordinary General Meeting will beheld in Vale’s clubhouse on Wednesday, November 2, promptly at 19.30.
All members are encouraged to attend this important meeting to discuss and vote upon proposed changes.