Leigh 12-70 Vale of Lune
Round Ash Park has not been a happy hunting ground for the Vale of Lune, but on Satuday not only did the Vale score ten tries but they secured fifth place in the league.
Within two minutes of the kick the Vale opened their account when England Counties under 18’s player, Sam Stott, cruised effortlessly through for a try behind the posts.
On a firm pitch the Vale extended their lead in the tenth minute when scrum half Billy Swarbrick and number eight Sam Wallbank worked in harmony to set up a try for Sam’s brother Joe.
It was obvious from the opening exchanges that the Vale were as sharp as needles and without any over indulgence they were fully prepared to move the ball around and drain Leigh’s stamina.
Leigh did pose a threat which was underlined when Damon Hall had to pull off an important tackle.
However, Leigh spent long periods on the back foot and they fell further behind when winger Kyel Dempsey posted the third try in the 23rd minute after a dust raising charge from Joe Stevens in the early stages of the attack.
Four minutes later the try bonus point was claimed when Damon Hall serenely raced 50 metres for his try after Sam Wallbank had nonchalantly slipped him the ball.
On the half hour mark Leigh began to apply pressure in Vale’s twenty two to score a converted try as the Vale’s concentration appeared to have drifted from the task in hand, but normal service was resumed in the 48th minute when stand-off Ben Dorrinton, who was full of trickery all afternoon, burst through tackles, he stayed above ground prior to flipping a try scoring pass to Sam Stott.
Wing forward Jack Ayrton, who was making his 50th start, celebrated in style with a try in the 53rd minute after Sam Stott had made a decisive break.
Ben Dorrington instigated Hall’s try in the 57th minute when the number ten delivered a sublime pass into the hands of the already accelerating centre.
A minute later Leigh scored an unconverted try but the Vale were in no mood to let this one slip and in the 68th minute Sam Stott collected his hat-trick with once again Dorrington weaving his magic.
There was something rather special about Vale’s two final tries both of them from long range.
In the 70th minute Dempsey raced 80 metres with a graceful run that was urged on by players and supporters alike.
With four minutes remaining Sam Wallbank intercepted the ball and set off on a 75 metre sprint with each and every stride pumping up the volume of the cheering from the sidelines as he got closer and closer to the line.
For many Vale players the ghost of Leigh was well and truly laid, the heartaches and agonies of recent visits to Round Ash had been replaced by a sparkling whole hearted team performance to bring the curtain down on a campaign that had begun so disastrously with only two wins from eight games.