HAVING soared against Eagle last weekend, Colne entertained third placed Birchfield this weekend looking to keep their winning run going, and they emerged with a 21-10 victory.
The match was also the Chris Riley memorial game, and along with Chris’ family coming to watch, there was a capacity crowd.
Colne kicked off and straight away tore into the opposition, not giving them any time on the ball and forcing them to kick possession away.
After a few phases of play, Colne were in Birchfield’s half and after a powerful run from Luke Edwards, quick ball and fast hands from the backs put Callum Kinnane in space, and his well timed pass released Matthew Tindall to score in the corner, though he missed the conversion.
Straight from the restart Colne went back on the attack, and some excellent continuity in the forwards saw them move into the opposition 22, and a well-rehearsed backs move saw Andrew Grindrod power his way over the line, though great defence stopped him grounding the ball. The resulting scrum allowed Colne to keep the pressure on, but once again great defence stopped them from scoring.
Colne were now starting to dominate in the scrum with Adam Padgett and Lance Jones destroying their opposite props and making it hard for Birchfield to get any good ball, but when they did they showed why they are third in the league.
Powerful running from their forwards and good lines of attack from the backs saw them almost cross the line. They didn’t score but were awarded a penalty which they converted to make it 5-3.
This gave Colne a wake up call and they had to realize the game was not all about scrummages and line outs. A huge boot down field so the opposition full back knock on, and the resulting scrum was driven forward 20 metres, and when it eventually crossed the try line, Luke Edwards touched it down. With the conversion missedm Colne led 10-3.
Again Birchfield came back at Colne and missed tackles allowed them to make their way up the pitch into a scoring position, with the centre going in for the try which was converted.
Straight from the restart, a huge tackle from captain Adam Davies forced Birchfield into a mistake and when Colne went to move the ball out wide, they were stopped illegally and the resulting penalty was converted by Tindall.
Colne kept hammering away at Birchfield’s try line but were kept out by a well organised defence when the half-time whistle went.
From the restart, winger Andrew Grindrod was bundled into touch five yards from the try line. All the pressure was now on Birchfield as Colne were camped in their 22, but they managed to hold out.
Now it was Colne’s turn to defend with wave after wave of Birchfield attacks, but the All Blacks withstood the pressure they managed to regroup.
A huge clearance kick downfield by Aaron Denton and a great chase from Gary Kenyon forced the Birchfield winger to hold onto the ball on the floor. The consequent penalty was tapped quickly by scrum half Kyle Hargreaves and spun out to the backs, and a clever chip saw Gary Kenyon touch the ball down for a try. Once again the conversion was missed.
The kick-off was caught by Luke Edwards who powered past several would-be tacklers and passed to second row Connor Kinnane, who sold a beautiful dummy and set off on a barn storming run. His final pass to Grindrod was almost perfect but the opposition just managed to get a hand to the ball and knock it down.
The scrum was awarded to Colne and after several resets for collapsing, the referee awarded Colne a penalty which was converted by Tindall for a 21-10 lead.
Colne went in search of a bonus point try, but Birchfield held firm.