THE All Blacks second team played host to Fleewood on Saturday, hoping to reverse the loss suffered at the start of the season and get back to wining ways after a couple of tough defeats.
From the kick-off Colne attacked, and with in a minute they were 5-0 up when a Fleetwood player was caught and stripped of the ball by inside centre Conor Kinnane, who scored the try, though the conversion was missed.
Great defence kept Fleetwood at bay for a while, but the pressure soon told and Fleetwood were awarded a penalty, which was scored.
The penalty seemed to waken Fleetwood up, and attack after attack followed, only to be stemmed by a resolute Colne defence.
As half-time approached, Colne responded and got more into the game, but at the break, they were lucky to be 5-3 ahead.
Fleetwood kicked off the second half, and immediately Colne were on the attack. Strong running from the entire back line saw Colne go close on several occasions, and only a strong Fleetwood defence kept them at bay.
Gaps started to appear in Fleetwood’s defence for Kinnane to score another three well-worked tries, with only one of the conversions was kicked for a 22-3 lead.
Fleetwood, now completely demoralised, were giving away penalties, and Colne, in no mood to kick, ran the ball in the 22, and this saw Howard Howarth crash through under the posts for the first of his two tries, though the simple kick went wide.
Howarth’s second try came after another penalty was given away, and he scored in the corner.
Despite a more difficult angle, the kick was good, and shortly after the referee blew his whistle to mark the end of a very good day’s work.
FINAL SCORE: Colne and Nelson 2nds 34, Fleetwood 3
Next year the All Blacks have entered a team into the Blacksticks Colts League, and, in preparation, played a friendly game over the border.
Colne started off in top gear and after great work from the pack, Tom Davies darted over for a try from scrum half, with Ash Grant converting.
The Yorkshiremen didn’t have an answer to Colne’s forward power, with Jake Butterworth, Lewis Hesketh and Anthony Mitchell making inroads into Skipton’s defence.
After a slick move, Ash Grant found space and powered over in the corner.
Skipton responded well and a quick tap caught Colne napping, resulting in Skipton scoring just before half-time.
With the luxury of seven substitutes, Colne made wholesale changes, which seemed to break the locals’ rhythm.
Skipton capitalised and scored under the posts to make the scores level.
The next score was going to be crucial and the luck of the bounce went to Skipton after a kick and chase by the excellent 10 bounced up for them to take the lead.
With time running out, a quick tap by Kyle Hargreaves found space for Jake Stead to dive in at the corner.
A late penalty by Skipton game them the spoils.
FINAL SCORE: Skipton Junior Colts 24, Colne Junior Colts 19
Anyone interested in playing Colts rugby, for over 16s, please contact Ian Cockcroft on 07590818341.