Vale of Lune 27-6 Kendal

Ben Charnley and the Vale pack moving forward against Kendal. Picture: Tony North
Ben Charnley and the Vale pack moving forward against Kendal. Picture: Tony North
Share this article

This was a victory to savour for the Vale of Lune.

Words like sensational, uplifting, stupendous, breathtaking, audacious, astonishing, thrilling, stirring and amazing were on the lips of the home side’s supporters as they came to terms with a victory against second-placed Kendal that ended a run of nine straight defeats.

It was obvious that during the two-week break since the wretched performance at New Brighton some serious discussions had taken place behind the scenes.

It was a splendid team performance, all 18 fully deserved the plaudits that rightly came their way at the final whistle.

Kendal, unbeaten in eight, were urged on by a large group of travelling supporters as they began in a manner suggesting they were going to inflict more pain on the Vale.

After two minutes Chris Park kicked a penalty goal and flying winger Dino Noyo took off on a dangerous run but in the ninth minute the Vale went into the lead.

Oliver Carter slammed a penalty into touch for a five metre lineout. Alex Baines soared like an eagle to snaffle the ball and the forwards marched him towards the Kendal line in a well choreographed move that ended in Sam Wallbank grounding the ball for an unconverted try.

The Vale continued to impress with their ability to rotate their angles of attack as the traffic flowed in a one-way direction in Kendal territory.

On the half-hour mark the Vale increased their lead with a smartly taken try.

Wallbank drove deep into Kendal’s twenty two, using his many years of experience Ian Bird tracked the move and when he latched onto the ball a couple of metres out his momentum and strength allowed him to twist and tumble his way over for an unconverted try.

Carter had the last word in an opening half dominated by the Vale when carved his way through a static Kendal defence with a deceptively swift change of pace, racing behind the posts to touch down and add the conversion from in front.

As expected Kendal came out for the second half in a determined mood and they quickly doubled their score with an early penalty from Park.

Kendal then made all the running but the Vale held firm.

Eventually the Hornets’ sting was drawn and the Vale began to probe for an opening. Carter’s low flapping penalty failed to reach the target and Ben Charnley was helped off well before the hour mark.

Full back Rob Lamberton set off on a 40-metre dancing run in the build-up that was to lead to Vale’s bonus-point try.

Kendal were penalised in their twenty two, the Vale requested a scrum 10 metres out and a solid platform was established with Charlie Lomas breaking from the base on the open side before popping a perfect pass to Bird who dived over, his try being converted by Carter as the game moved into the final quarter.

Coach Fergus Owens made one of his shimmering breaks in a move that led to a penalty, Carter added the extras in the 68th-minute to underline what turned out to be a pretty emphatic victory.

On Saturday, the Vale face more Cumbrian opposition when they visit Carlisle.