Penrith's young, much-changed side battled hard and showed great spirit in atrocious conditions but went down 12-0 at home to Vale of Lune. They were unfortunate not to get something out of the North One West clash.

Weather conditions at Winters Park deteriorated rapidly on Saturday as Storm Dennis blew in. The rain was torrential and the wind, forecast to be at least 50mph gusted at much more than that, with the posts waving wildly in the gale.

The quality of play was a credit to the players on both sides as the game unfolded and although it was massively affected by the weather when the ball was in the air the handling was generally sound.

Vale had first use of the strong wind and although it was to their advantage it did turn the game into a lottery and didn't have that great an influence on the game.

It was Penrith who started the better but could not take advantage of a couple of attacking line-outs deep in the Vale 22.

There was little between the two sides as the match developed with both defences holding firm. There were few line breaks but the Vale number eight did get clean away on halfway but was caught in the 22 and the danger was averted.

The home side, since, the turn of the year, has struggled with availability for a number of reasons. Injuries have taken their toll along with holidays, work and family commitments and they blooded two new players on the day.

Dalton Frith at scrum half and Kyle Adams on the wing made their debuts and were the 46th and 47th players to pull on the Penrith first team shirt this season and both performed admirably. Frith, in particular, was outstanding in the conditions and was a threat throughout the game.

Neither side threatened much initially but the visitors opened the scoring after half an hour when a Penrith pass went astray as they attempted to clear their line. It went dead for an attacking five metre scrum.

The visitors had much the better of the set scrums at this stage, although the home eight got the upper hand as the game progressed, but Vale would have fancied their chances of a pushover.

Penrith set themselves and held the scrum but the scrum-half picked up and sharply went and made the line easily for an unconverted try.

In the final minutes of the first half Penrith had their best attacking period of the game, with Dan Richardson to the fore, and they got themselves over the line twice but were held up on both occasions.

They had two penalties deep in the visitors 22 but couldn't force their way over as Vale desperately defended. Penrith have now lost their last two home games conceding 12 and 15 points.

This never used to be a problem as in the 13 games before Christmas they had picked up 11 four-try bonus points but the loss of players, especially behind the scrum, has made them a much blunter instrument.

They turned round only five points down with the wind at their backs but failed to take any real advantage and it was the visitors who were in the ascendancy for most of the second period.

The nearest Penrith came to breaking the deadlock was midway through the half when Will Morgan made two charges on the Vale 22, and looked to have broken through on both occasions but was just clung on to.

Play was deep into stoppage time and the home side were gamely still looking for the score to get them back into the game as they ran the ball out of their own 22 and got to half way.

A floated pass was then held up by the wind and fell to the visitor's winger who had the pace to make the line and the losing bonus point the young home side richly deserved slipped from their grasp.