Vale of Lune 24 Douglas 20: Happy anniversary thanks to a last-gasp victory
Vale of Lune celebrated 75 years of rugby at Powder House Lane with an injury-time try giving them victory in their opening North One West match of the season.
With Douglas leading 20-19 and comfortably running the clock down, winger Max Cross was confronted with a loose ball 10 metres inside his own half and had no hesitation in volleying it downfield.
Suddenly, the chase was on, led by Scott Manning who turned on the afterburners and shrugged opponents to one side as he dived on the ball for an unconverted try and a storybook ending.
The game began with Douglas winning the majority of the breakdowns and opening the scoring with a ninth minute penalty from Luke Hyland.
Five minutes later, and with Vale still looking ill at ease, Douglas went further ahead when Bryn Snellgrove popped a kick into the corner and Kyle Martin was first to react for an unconverted try.
Vale opened their account in the 17th minute as Chris Ramwell, Jack Turton and Jack Ayrton all played their part before Cross touched down and Ramwell converted.
Seven minutes later and a sequence of crisp passing involving Jacob Thomas and Harry Finan set Ramwell on a 45-metre run for an unconverted try.
However, Vale’s four-point lead disappeared in the 35th minute when they messed up a drop out on their line and Blake Snell pounced.
Vale began the second half confidently and, under pressure, the Douglas penalty count began to rise.
Declining a kick at goal in favour of scrums, Vale’s tactics paid off in the 46th minute when Matthew Humpage collected Turton’s kick to score, Ramwell converting.
Vale, nevertheless, let their guard drop and conceded again on 66 minutes when Craig McGee collected a bobbling ball to score for Douglas.
Time was still on Vale’s side but Douglas appeared to be edging towards victory until Vale’s piece de resistance.
Vale of Lune: Branford, Powers, O’Heihir, Tagg, Fellows, Crookall, Ayrton, Robinson, Thomas, Finan, Humpage, Turton, Manning, Cross, Ramwell. Replacements: Bowley, Fern, Kettlewell.
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 per month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here