Douglas 8-15 Vale of Lune
Vale of Lune produced another resolute team performance in atrocious conditions on their first visit to Douglas to record a deserved victory.
With heavy rain falling and puddles appearing on the pitch, Vale made the perfect start with two early tries.
A swift counter attack had the hosts retreating in a sweeping move that ended with skipper Sam Wallbank racing over from close range for a try converted by Damon Hall in the second minute.
Seven minutes later, Vale’s slick handling again opened up Douglas’s defence to allow Jordan Dorrington to dash over for an unconverted try.
As the pitch began to churn up a well drilled Douglas pack began to influence the game but the much lighter Vale pack refused to buckle and the home side’s only points of the half came from a 29th minute penalty.
The second half quickly developed into a carbon copy of the first, but with Vale’s tackling and game management being of the highest order, Douglas were unable to plot their way to the line.
However, the inevitable happened in the 66th minute when the Douglas eight produced a huge drive to claim an unconverted try to ensure a nervous end to the game.
Dogged, determined rugby from the Vale piled on the frustration for Douglas and although the Vale were forced to scramble their discipline was of the highest order.
With three minutes remaining Hall calmly kicked a penalty goal to ensure that Vale and their large group of travelling supporters left the island on a high note; an historic day to remember for many including lock forward Harry Fellows, who was making his 50th appearance.
A humdinger of a local derby is brewing up because on Saturday, Vale play second in the table, in form Blackburn, who have not lost since the beginning of December, at Powderhouse Lane in a fixture rearranged from December 16 when the game was abandoned due to an injury to a Blackburn player.