Colne suffered a narrow defeat against Chorley at a cold and windy Holt House on Saturday.
The All Blacks, sporting a brand new kit bought and sponsored by the Cheeky Northern Monkeys Scooter Club, were under pressure from the kick-off, and only minutes into the game a penalty was conceded which could have gave Chorley the edge, but was missed to give the locals a reprieve.
But more pressure from the Chorley pack gave them another penalty, and, using the wind, they gained a line out just five metres from the home try line, and the resulting lineout saw the visitors set up a good rolling maul and trundle the ball over the line to score, which was converted.
This seemed to fire Colne up from the restart, and the pack gained good ground and forced Chorley onto the back foot. The pressure gave Colne a penalty, which fell just short, but quick thinking from the Colne pack regained possession, and Callum Kinnane breezed over to score before the Chorley defence had reset, the conversion tieing the game at 7-7 at half-time.
The second half saw both sides came out firing and some good battles for possession were in full flow. A break from Chorley down the touchline and a last-ditch tackle from Gary Kenyon was enough to put the Chorley runner into touch. But Colne couldn’t quite get it together as they lost the resulting line out, which gave the visitors chance to break quickly. Much to Colne’s dismay, the Chorley prop trundled over to score under the posts, with the conversion added to make it 14-7.
Again Colne never gave up, and from the restart the pack created pressure, hoping the Chorley defence would crumble, and good running from Mark Stevenson and Mark Britcliffe ensured Colne remained in the Chorley 22. Excellent play by Jordan Sunderland at the breakdown forced a total of three penalties, but the wind was a major factor and Colne failed to capitalise on the points up for grabs.
The clock was running down fast for Colne, and the All Blacks gained another penalty at close range which was duly slotted over by Matty Tindall.
A try would see Colne victorious, but the All Blacks just couldn’t find the finishing touch as Chorley held on for a hard-earned victory.