Rochdale 28 Vale of Lune 5
On a sunny afternoon at Moorgate Avenue Dale welcomed visitors Vale of Lune who had a good win over Birkenhead Park last week despite playing with 14 men.
Dale squandered several good chances early on and it was clear that Vale were all pack and not much else, however with 5 minutes gone after a rare attack into the home 22 they charged down an ill judged clearance kick and in a chase for the line almost scored. This was a wake up call to Dale and the backs led by Dick West and Jimmy Flitcroft started to put together some nice moves testing the visitors defence and on 20 mins had a golden chance to score when Tom Hindle was put through in the corner only to see the ball slip from his grasp as the line beckoned. Dale continued to dominate the offensive play and on 25 mins were awarded a penalty on the Vale 22 Oli Coldman slotted the ball home for a 3-0 lead.
Five minutes later Dale again got an overlap and Dom Serridge rounded the winger to score a nice try converted by Coldman 10-0.
Despite renewed pressure from the big Vale pack the home side held on to half time.
The second half started with Dale on the defence and after stopping a Vale attack on the 22 metre line a good rolling maul led to Captain Tom Callaghan scoring a rare but well deserved try the conversion going just wide 15-0.
On 50 mins Dale hooker Rob Ward was given a yellow card the Vale penalty saw them win a line out on the Dale 10 metre line despite heroic Dale defence the big Vale prop finally went over to score the conversion was missed 15-5.
Determined to go for bonus points Dale went all out for another try and on 70 mins the dale No. 10 James Duffy broke through to score a nice try 20-5.
The visitors made Dale fight for every ball and after a breakaway by Chris Hodgkinson from his own 22 the visitors were penalized and the tackle and up stepped Coldman to punish them 23-5.
Dale left the best till last when a lovely flowing passing move came to ever eager centre West who scampered in the corner to round off a great team performance with a 4th bonus point try in the dying minutes of the game 28-5 was the final score a well deserved win against good opposition.
Next week Dale travel to The Wirral to take on 2nd place Birkenhead Park a tall order but playing like this all things are possible.