Five games left as Vale's season nears end
Vale of Lune enter the final month of their North One West season with five fixtures to complete, beginning with a home game against Rochdale on Saturday.
Then a trip to Widnes is followed by a home game against Carlisle, both these clubs currently find themselves involved in a fight against relegation.
A visit to Penrith on April 23 is bound to be a challenge, with Vale’s last league victory at Winters Park being in January 2001, although they do have the satisfaction of recalling a victory, 41-31, against Penrith on the opening game of the current season.
The curtain rings down on the final act of the season when the Vale visit Leigh in a fixture rearranged from March 5.
Vale’s position suggests that they are in something of a comfort zone but such a concept finds little credence amongst the coaching staff and players because there is a collective desire to finish as high as possible in the table, and in doing so improve on the disappointing eighth position of the last two seasons.
Five victories, excluding try bonus points, should yield 20 points but of course this is a big ask and to embark on such a lengthy unbeaten run.
The season is also building towards a tasty climax for Vales other senior sides.
A brace of defeats, plus the removal of Birkenhead Park’s playing records after they were ejected from Conference B, has thrown an uncomfortable spotlight on the seconds in their remaining three games.
High flying Chester will be the visitors in the final fixture, which depending on which way the dice has fallen, could well determine Vale’s status in the Cotton Traders Premier League.
The thirds have an outside chance of moving on from Division Three North. Some results might have to go in their favour but with two of their last four games on home soil they should be able to set their own agenda and with it a possible tilt at the title.
The fourths have five more fixtures as the season draws to an interesting close with the answers to a number of questions still hanging in the air.