Vale of Lune: A look back at 2015

Dan Williams.
Dan Williams.
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Vale of Lune ended the calendar year 2015 with a playing record of won 10, drawn one and lost 14, and they began the year of sheep in the same manner they had concluded the year of the horse, with another slew of defeats beginning with a 52-14 thumping at Birkenhead Park.

On a wild windy day at The Lane the Vale played with endeavour but were unable to prevent Wilmslow posting a 22-15 win before a 6-0 defeat at Bolton.

A brace of home defeats by Widnes,27-17, and Penrith, 20-0, did little to lift the dark clouds that were gathering and they changed to inky black after a 43-24 defeat at New Brighton following a muddled, fragmented performance at Reeds Lane.

With confidence shredded and at a low ebb the Vale, now glancing over their shoulder with some concern, tore into title chasing Kendal, winning 27-6.

This was followed up with a 7-6 win at Carlisle but part three of the Cumbrian trilogy ended with a nightmare performance against bottom of the table Wigton as Vale were beaten 19-12.

Despite this huge raspberry the Vale removed any relegation worries with a home win against Broughton Park, 31-14, a credible draw at Widnes 22-22, and a home win against Warrington, 34-14.

Their final game was away at Kirkby Lonsdale, and much to the delight of their passionate supporters, the home side completed their successful North One West season with a 39-26 win.

During the close season three warm up games were called off but any lingering doubts about of a lack of competitive action were dispelled in the opening home game which ended with a 41-31 win against Penrith.

The next three fixtures ended with defeats, away at Kendal, 34-3, home to Kirkby Lonsdale, 19-13, and over at Warrington, 45-23.

A home game against Eccles was far from a foregone conclusion but new coach Dan Williams marked the beginning of his reign with a 51-0 win.

Over at Altrincham Kersal the Vale won the second half 24-0, with some enterprising rugby, but went down, 38-24.

Wilmslow romped their way to a 45-22 victory the following week but the Vale quickly recovered by embarking on a four-match winning trot.

A win at Blackburn 30-21, was followed by two victories in back to back home games against Leigh 23-10, and Broughton Park, 24-7. A consummate, efficient performance resulted in a 14-0 win at Rochdale.

After four weeks without a game due to the weather the Vale returned to action against Kendal and produced their best of the season, but were beaten 5-0 in a dramatic conclusion to a year of stark contrasts.

They begin 2016 at Kirkby Lonsdale this Saturday.