WIRRAL achieved their first ever victory – 17-12 – over a powerful Vale team aided by their forwards following the loss through injury of three influential backs.
The home team took the lead in the second minute when a maul on the Vale line saw the ball come out to Sam Broadbent who from 8m out crashed over in the corner. However Vale were soon back on level terms after a poor clearance by Wirral saw Nick Royle advance some 50m before putting Robert Ward in at the corner, none of the tries were converted.
Just before half-time, Wirral took the lead when a kick-through by Craig Harvey was followed up by his brother Danny to score under the posts with Craig converting. At this stage Wirral had lost two backs through injury.
After five minutes of the second half Wirral lost their captain, Craig Harvey. This gave Vale the incentive to use their backs with their greater pace but the Wirral defence played their part.
Thereafter a rearguard action by the Wirral team continued to keep out Vale and it took until the 78th minute for the defence to be breached when Vale forward Wallbank managed to squeeze over the line with Hodder converting. With five minutes of injury time to play, the Wirral team held out for a memorable victory.