Vale of Lune 25-20 Carlisle

Rob Lamberton touches down for the Vale of Lune against Carlisle. Picture: Tony North
Rob Lamberton touches down for the Vale of Lune against Carlisle. Picture: Tony North

Both sides took home a bonus point as the Vale of Lune saw off Carlisle in an enthralling contest at Powderhouse Lane on Saturday.

A contest in which both sides tried to play attacking rugby held the interest until the final whistle as the hosts held on to move up to fifth in North One West.

James Curran sprints down the wing for the Vale of Lune against Carlisle. Picture: Tony North

James Curran sprints down the wing for the Vale of Lune against Carlisle. Picture: Tony North

Straight from the kick off Rob Lamberton went hurtling 50 metres as a prelude to the Vale being awarded a penalty which Ben Dorrington converted.

But Carlisle, unbeaten in their previous three games which involved a victory over leaders Kendal, levelled the scores with a penalty goal via an upright from Damien Armstrong.

The Vale then rattled in a well-constructed try in the 16th minute.

The ball was moved from left to right at speed and when it reached James Birchall the winger had work to do but he took on the challenge, crashing through tackles on his way to an unconverted try, his first at this level and one to remember.

The Vale could not afford to rest on their laurels and towards the end of the first quarter Carlisle rolled ominously towards their line with Dorrington shown a yellow card.

The visitors called for a five-metre scrum and moved the ball wide with the extra man taking effect as Martin Brodie squeezed over for an unconverted try in the right-hand corner in the 23rd minute.

With the game finely balanced the tension increased but Vale broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time when Lamberton fluently completed a move with a try, his sixth in his last six games, converted by Dorrington after a thrust from Birchall and a well timed incursion from Chris Weeks.

Four minutes into the second half captain Sam Wallbank, leading from the front once again, and James Hesketh, clattered through Carlisle’s defence but it was Michael Barker who carried the move on with a well-balanced, determined run for an unconverted try as he became another player to register his first league try.

Carlisle quickly brought the Vale down to earth with an unconverted try four minutes later when Richard Sowerby went over from close range after his fellow forwards dragged the Vale into the mix.

With a score line standing at 20-13 there was still plenty to play for but on the hour mark it was the home side who collected their try bonus point to create another buffer.

Wallbank played a part in the initial stages, Weeks once more showed a deceptive turn of speed and as the Carlisle line approached the attack was momentarily halted, but Andrew Garnett was alert and positive to grab the ball and plunge over for the try.

Once more Carlisle caught the Vale napping after a score. A well organised rolling maul had the Vale retreating and before the barricades could be shored up Lee Brumpton was hustled over for a try converted by Armstrong in the 64th minute.

For the remainder of the game both sides played with a freedom that belied the tightness of the game.

With the game drawing to a close Carlisle caused the Vale supporters a few anxious moments with a late flurry but all danger passed when James Curran booted the ball unceremoniously into touch to ring the curtain down on what had been a praiseworthy contest.

Vale of Lune: C Weeks; J Birchall, B Dorrington, R Lamberton, J Curran; A Macluskie, B Swarbrick; J Hesketh, D Baines, P McLaren-Dorrington; B Charnley, M Barker; M Fowler, A Garnett, S Wallbank (Capt). Replacements used: R Pillow, J Aryton, S Manning.