Vale of Lune 38-45 Harrogate
Vale of Lune were left disappointment at the final whistle on Saturday after failing to secure or even build on their half time lead of 35-17 at home to Harrogate.
With the wind at their backs the Vale quickly had the scoreboard rattling with Chris Ramwell bagging the first of his side’s five tries.
Flanker Jack Ayrton carved his way through, the ball was quickly transferred cross field, Ramwell darted over the line for the swiftest of tries converted by Damon Hall.
Two minutes later the Vale were at it again when centre Hall intercepted a pass to sprint 55 metres for a solo try which he converted from in front.
Harrogate recovered from this opening barrage with a converted try in the ninth minute.
Skipper, Danny Matthews, a hugely influential player, helped to ambush the Vale just outside their twenty two before completing the attack, and centre Nathan Wyman put over the conversion.
This set back did not affect the Vale who went further ahead in the 14th minute with another well constructed move.
Hall broke clear but lock James Robinson was in close attendance to take his pass for a try which Hall converted.
In the 23rd minute Harrogate’s forwards had the Vale on the rack from a line out which allowed prop Steve Maycock to tunnel his way over for an unconverted try.
As an exhilarating contest moved into the final ten minutes three more colourful globes shot out of the Roman Candle.
Vale forward pressure increased after Ruan Fourie had spearheaded an attack that brought in its wake a first try for prop Mike Bradshaw which Hall converted.
Harrogate responded two minutes later with try from prop Andy Boyle wide out on the left, Wyman’s conversion attempt shaved an upright but failed to go over.
Vale came back strongly, Hall hoofed the ball downfield, Olly Jacques caught a Harrogate player by surprise and forced him to carry over.
With the Vale in the ascendancy Alex Briggs lit the blue touch paper with a flicked pass to Hall who dotted the ball down for his brace and put over the conversion in the thirty seventh minute.
In the fifty seventh minute referee Hurdley awarded Harrogate a penalty try after the Vale had unsuccessfully tried to dampen down the fires.
Straight from the restart the Vale were caught napping when winger Andrew Lawson collected the ball to pelt through Vale’s flimsy cover for a try converted by Wyman.
Vale responded in the 63rd minute when Hall drilled a forty metre penalty goal through the wind before the game became rather messy but Harrogate always looked the more comfortable.
In the 78th minute teh visitors drew level with a try from Wyman wide on the left which he converted.
Vale struggled to find any relief or composure but any thoughts of the clock coming to their rescue disappeared in the seventy ninth minute when Andrew Lawson scored his second try against a tired looking Vale defence and with the first fireworks echoing in the distance Wyman kicked the conversion.