Vale 45-12 Leigh

Alex Baines in the middle of the action.
Alex Baines in the middle of the action.

Leigh might have arrived at Powder House Lane adrift at the bottom of North One West without a win and within forty seven seconds of referee Neil Chivers whistle blowing, Nick Royle was racing behind the posts for the first of his four tries and the Vale’ s total of seven.

Oli Carter added the conversion and in the eleventh minute the fly half dummied his way over after James Curran had high stepped inside off his wing, Carter converted.

However, in the 17th minute, from their first real deep invasion of Vale territory Leigh scored when Carter had a kicked charged down, scrum half Dave Wood pounced to go over for a try that was converted by Ellis Grimes.

However, the Vale remained composed and in the 24th and 26th minutes Royle completed his hat-trick and the Vale were well on their way to victory.

Royle broke away in typical style after exchanging passes with flanker Andy Powers, another of those exemplarily Vale players who give their all for the cause, for an unconverted try wide out on the left.

Two minutes later Royle’s third brought up the try bonus point, in rather unusual fashion after a hack through by Curran bounced off a post protector into the waiting hands of Royle, Carter converted to end the first half scoring.

Vale made some changes in the pack early in the second half and the reformed eight responded by putting Leigh under pressure with a series energy sapping scrums.

In the 48th minute the expected score arrived when Curran, who is currently in a rich vein of form, majestically swept through for an unconverted try.

A heavy hail shower sent the spectators scurrying momentarily to seek shelter under the trees, still in full leaf on the East Terrace, but the pace did not slacken off and in the 62nd minute the Vale extended their lead. The ball was moved precisely crossfield, Royle assessed the situation, he chipped over a flat defence to win the race for the touchdown.

As the game moved into the closing ten minutes, Leigh’s winger Ryan McKinstry forced his way over for an unconverted try but with three minutes remaining the Vale roared into the forties.

Carter unleashed a long range drop goal attempt that ricocheted back off an upright into the hands of Matt Rogerson. Carter converted Rogerson’s try to complete a Vale performance that again underscored the esprit de corps that is currently flowing through the side.

Vale of Lune: N Royle; A Macluskie, R Ward, J Higgin, J Curran; Carter, D Wilson (Capt); A Cowey, J Hesketh, R Pillow; B Charnley, G Tudor; A Powers, D Lin, A Baines. Replacements: D Rainford, M Rogerson.