Vale of Lune 12 Wirral 13

WIRRAL, at last, overcame their hoodoo of not winning away from home in 2018 with a one-point victory at Vale of Lune (VOL).

They were helped on their way with a penalty try in the final-quarter of the game, which had been played in heavy conditions alongside persistent rain.

In the first quarter of the game it was VOL who were playing the rugby as Wirral defended stoutly, but it was no surprise that VOL took the lead after 13 minutes with a fine individual try from Jordan Dorrington, racing in from 60m after splitting the Wirral defence, the try was converted by Darren Hall.

Play was then contained between the 20m areas and although playing against a strong breeze it was Wirral who reduced the deficit to 7-3 with a penalty from Dan Harvey.

In the last play of the first half a VOL break gave winger, Olly Jacques an easy run in but the conversion a few metres wide of the post was to prove crucial in the outcome of the match as this left VOL leading 12-3 at half time.

The Wirral defence in the second half was much tighter as the Wirral pack were getting on top of their opposite numbers.

A series of penalties enabled Wirral to reduce the deficit to 12-6 with another Dan Harvey penalty.

Gradually Wirral were having more territorial advantage but with conditions getting heavier could not turn the half chances into points.

Around the 60th minute there was a flurry of yellow cards initially one to each side.

This was followed by a half break from Chris Crowley who then kicked ahead and although recovered by VOL under their posts there was an infringement and another yellow card to a VOL player.

Wirral opted for a 5m scrum and proceeded to push the VOL pack over the line where the referee awarded Wirral a penalty try, which gave the away side a 12-13 lead.

The final 15 minutes saw both teams looking for that elusive break in mid field in what was now heavy conditions, but the Wirral ploy of keeping the ball tight and advancing a metre at a time paid off as the clock ticked down to enable them to record their first away win of 2018.

This win moves Wirral up to sixth and next week, the last game of 2018, they face league leaders Hull at Clatterbridge.