Vale of Lune 2nds 32-27 Lymm 2nds

Vale 2nd's Scott Manning on a charge.
Vale 2nd's Scott Manning on a charge.

The top of the table clash between Vale of Lune 2nds and Lymm 2nds lived up to its pre match billing as the two leading clubs in the Cotton Traders Championship went head to head, with the Vale eventually coming out 32-27 winners.

Vale’s hard earned victory, against the only club to have beaten them this season, took them to the top of the table and extended their winning sequence to eight games.

However, it was Lymm who took centre stage early on, rattling up twelve points in equal time as the Vale struggled to contain a lively back division and a well organised, mobile pack.

Under the leadership of lock Rhys Randall, more structure was established in Vale’s forwards, the net result being that in the 15th minute the pack engineered a score.

From a line out a coordinated drive ended with flanker, James Mawdsley, burrowing his way over for a try converted with a superb kick from stand-off Alex Briggs.

Four minutes later Lymm extended their lead with a well worked move crossfield that resulted in an unconverted try.

However, in the 27th minute Jordan Fern found himself in space on the right flank, outpaced his opposite number and although the covering defence swarmed all round him in the dead ball area he managed to squirm out of tackles to touch down behind the posts, his try being converted by Briggs.

A Briggs penalty goal in the 33rd minute brought the Vale level to complete the first half scoring in a half that had seen the home side dig deep and stake their claim in a game that initially had started so badly.

A penalty, which Briggs drilled over two minutes into the second half, was answered immediately when Lymm’s stand-off kicked a 35 metre penalty.

In the 50th minute the Vale nudged their way into the lead with a quality try – following a thrust from lock Al Crookall the ball was moved with speed crossfield, the pack smuggled the ball down the right hand touchline before prop, Owen Branford, charged over for an unconverted try.

From a tap penalty in Vale’s twenty two Lymm’s forwards then rumbled ominously towards Vale’s line and although the Vale clung on like limpets, power and strength told in the end as the Lymm eight paved the way for a converted try in the 65th minute.

As the game passed the hour mark Lymm made all the running, but gradually Vale’s momentum increased and in the 75th minute victory was secured.

From a solid scrum a razor sharp attack was launched – skipper Scott Manning spotted a gap in Lymm’s defence and went over the line, bouncing off tackles, Briggs slotting over the conversion for a score of dramatic proportions.