It was touch and go whether the Vale second team’s top of the table clash against Lymm at Powderhouse Lane would go ahead on the main pitch, but it was given the all clear as Vale suffered a 22-7 defeat.
It was heavy going for both sides but the visitors, who had lost to the Vale on their last visit in November, were a well organised, balanced outfit and definitely determined to erase the memory of their 32-27 defeat.
In contrast the Vale struggled, despite the efforts of their hard-working forwards, to put any structure to their game and paid the penalty for not being able to select a recognised stand off or have regular kicker in their ranks.
Lymm set their stall out from the beginning, rattling in a try after three minutes.
A simple kick through caused confusion within the defensive network and before the Vale could react they conceded an unconverted try.
Gradually the Vale brought some order to their game but they were unable to put enough width on their attacks to seriously trouble Lymm and quite a number of passes were coughed up in promising situations.
The Vale fell further behind in the 28th minute.
Lymm launched an orthodox threequarter move which ended with the winger blasting between two would be tacklers for an easy looking try which was converted.
For the remainder of the half the Vale worked hard to fashion a score but the efficiency and polish to their game which had been much in evidence in their recent run of unbeaten games was missing.
Vale rang the changes at half-time but after seven minutes Lymm posted another easy looking try when an accurate kick by the number 10 was collected by the left winger for an unconverted try.
There were patches of determined rugby from the Vale but they were unable to consolidate the ground made to seriously put Lymm under pressure and on the hour mark Lymm added their final score when following a move going left the ball was hacked through for an unconverted try.
There was some consolation for the Vale when their forwards forced Lymm to concede a penalty try.
This was some comfort for Jason Robinson, who had an outstanding game and was at the hub of all the Vale’s efforts.
He received valuable support from Sam Hoare but it was a game that never came onto Vale’s compass to win.