Vale of Lune got their new year off to a winning start on Saturday, beating Eccles in a game that was affected by the fog in the second half.
The Vale appeared to show few signs of being affected by the mini Christmas break and quickly had points on the board.
From a neatly worked line-out Sam Wallbank went wheeling over unopposed in the sixth minute, but Tom Slater’s howitzer conversion thudded against the crossbar.
Slater kicked a penalty goal in the 13th minute and straight from the restart the Vale added a second try in a thrilling move.
Dan Baines made light work of picking up a difficult ball, Jonty Higgin carried the move on, Chris Ramwell came roaring into the line and Jimmy Birchall ran with purpose before linking with Billy Swarbrick who skipped away for an unconverted try.
Vale’s composure and authority was challenged in the 25th minute when they failed to be alert to the danger of an innocuous punt into their own half. While players dithered, Eccles scrum half Tom Waring tracked the ball’s flight path and won the dash for the touchdown for an unconverted try.
Vale scored again in the 33rd minute when Slater kicked a penalty after the pack had put a demolition charge under their opponents.
Visibility decreased at the start of the second half but the Vale had their radar switched on and within three minutes of the restart they had plotted a away through Eccles’s defence courtesy of Ben Dorrington, who sold a huge dummy that was brought hook line and sinker.
Jimmy Birchall plotted his way to the safety of a five point harbour, Slater adding the conversion.
In the 48th minute the ball was moved quickly crossfield without any spillage and on cue Ramwell popped up for his try bonus tot, which was converted by Slater.
There was a further haul of points from a Slater penalty in the 57th minute and Vale’s pack rumbled their way to the line to set up an unconverted try for replacement, Joe Wallbank in the 65th minute.
In the closing minute Eccles grabbed a consolation try scored by Gavin Ackers-Johnson, who took full advantage of an overlap to leave Vale’s defenders trailing in his wake, his try being converted by George Oakey.
Dan Williams’ side travel to Altrincham Kersal this Saturday, January 14.