Saturday saw Colne and Nelson continue their unbeaten start to 2018 with an excellent win over a very strong Oldham side, as they moved into second place in the Sale Sharks Division 3 North table.
Colne, led by stand in skipper Kyle Hargreaves, made a very poor start to the game, and within 15 minutes Oldham had put 17 points on the board without response.
It was at this point that Colne finally stepped up a gear and made some advances into the Oldham half.
One such foray saw a very hotly contested ruck result in a bit of poor discipline from the Oldham players, which saw the referee brandish both a red and a yellow card.
Shortly afterwards, a Colne lineout saw the ball collected by Anthony Minshull and shipped out to Adam Hartley, who made some excellent ground, and a further quick ball saw Gary Kenyon go over the try line for the first score of the day for Colne.
The kick was converted by Jordan Cardwell, leaving the score 17-7 in Oldham’s favour, and that was how the score remained at half-time.
The second half started in much the same way as the first, with Oldham scoring a converted try quite early on, and taking a 24-7 lead.
In previous times, Colne would have crumpled at this point, but that is no longer the case, and the next 30 minutes showed just what this team – with new-found confidence and desire – is capable of.
In the 60th minute, a break by Dean Edwards saw him brush off several Oldham defenders and pass the ball to Kenyon.
For the second time in the game, Kenyon was able to keep hold of the ball and put it down over the try line.
The kick was again converted by Cardwell.
Shortly afterwards, Colne added to their tally when the experienced John Hargreaves managed to beat the last defender and score for the second game running.
The kick was once again converted by the very consistent Cardwell to make it 24-21.
Five minutes later, Hargreaves senior crossed the try line yet again, as he picked the ball up from the back of the scrum, and after some great pressure by the Colne pack, he was able to put the ball down over the try line.
The kick was once moreconverted by Cardwell, and this left Colne ahead for the first time in the match, 28-24.
Colne’s final score was probably the most pleasing of the game, as it was scored by Matty Tindall, returning after a long-term lay-off through injury.
In fact, he was so pleased, his celebration resembled a scene out of Forest Gump as he just kept on running!
The kick was once again converted by Cardwell, giving him five out of five for the game.
This was an excellent result for Colne, earned by some strong play and, in particular, a determination that they could turn this game round, despite the poor start.
The All Blacks are without a league game tomorrow, but return a week tomorrow, March 10th, when they host Broughton firsts, with kick-off at 3 p.m.
That game is followed by back to back derbies with Rossendale thirds.