COLNE and Nelson Colts came mightily close to avenging their 62-0 defeat to Oldershaw on Merseyside at the beginning of the season, losing 24-21 at Holt House.
The opening exchanges were a cagey affair before Oldershaw broke through to score a well-worked try in the corner.
In weeks gone by, this early blow would have spelled disaster for Colne, however they showed their new resilience and steel to claw their way back into the match. A well- worked team move using both forwards and backs led to Oldershaw conceding a penalty within range for Jake Hargreaves to slot over the bar for three points.
This seemed to inspire Colne, and led by captain, and man of the match Kyle Hargreaves, they pounced on a loose ball and Ash Grant sprinted down the wing to the cheers of the crowd to score under the posts. The sure boot of Jake Hargreaves added the extras and Colne led 10-5.
Further work from Colne resulted in numerous mistakes from Oldershaw, and Tom Davies and Danny Ellis combined with some excellent wing play to clear the path for Tom Duerden to sprint clear with one defender to beat, however his efforts were cut short by the referee who called a dubious forward pass.
Oldershaw seemed to rally after this and some good play and sloppy defence allowed them to score in the corner.
The kick for the conversion was applauded by all present as the ball curled in from outside the post for Oldershaw to take the lead in to half-time.
After the break Colne tried to regain the lead, however, some poor tackling proved their undoing as the Oldershaw backs waltzed past the defence to score and convert to extend their lead.
The Colne pack upped their game and the front row of Howard, Hesketh and Pratt showed their dominance to end the game of the Oldershaw hooker, only for the scrums to become uncontested.
This seemed to spur on Colne as the pack took heed of their training to rolling maul their way up the pitch, then with some slick passing form Kyle Hargreaves, Conor Kinnane smashed his way through the defence to score.
However, Jake Hargreaves on this occasion missed his kick.
With some solid defensive work from the backs, Sumner, Blackburn and full back Amos, Colne steadied the ship, however poor discipline resulted in Colne being pushed back 20 yards by the referee, and Oldershaw quickly took the resulting penalty to score.
Head coach Dan Frazer rang the changes and Howard, Harrison and Minshull were replaced by Foster, Yates and O’Conner. These fresh legs turned the tide and with some good forward play, Kyle Hargreaves dummied a pass to the backs to score under the posts, and again the conversion was placed to take the match to within three points.
Duerden was then denied the winning score when the referee called play back for a forward pass, and Oldershaw cleared their lines.
Colne went down 21 – 24 but the effort given by the local youngsters left all wondering what might have been.
Anybody wishing to play or try rugby out can contact Callum Kinnane on 07590818341.