Vale 4ths 7- 5 Rossendale 3rds
Both these sides are battling for points to avoid relegation and in an intense encounter at The Lane the Vale's victory brought much-needed breathing space in what has been a demanding season.
Making light of the conditions Vale began brightly with a series of probing attacks, moving the ball away from the areas where Rossendale could inflict the most damage but the early exchanges suggested it was always going to be a tight game.
Vale’s endeavours were rewarded in the 15th minute with a well constructed try.
Joe Stewart kicked ahead, his fellows players swarmed on the ball which was quickly secured and moved wide.
The evergreen Paul McAllister collected a pass and in one movement put in a deft kick.
Mark Bowen, who had spotted the possibilities, picked up the ball for a try converted by Ryan Busby.
Rossendale’s physicality came to the fore in the build up to their unconverted try in the 20th minute when a powerful forward surge had the Vale back pedalling towards their goal line.
The intensity of the first half continued in a tense second half with both sides having to dig deep and fully aware that another score could well prove to the decider.
Deteriorating conditions made handling something of a lottery but the Vale showed great resilience and splendid teamwork to thwart their opponents, both teams are due to face each other again next week at Marl Pits.