Colne and Nelson 3, Clitheroe 0
It was Clitheroe’s turn to visited Holt House at the weekend, hoping to gain a much-needed win in what can only be described as a solid game of rugby which was by no means as dull as the scoreline says.
A last-minute pitch inspection had the game moved to a drier but softer pitch, and with Colne fielding a fast set of backs, this didn’t play into the All Blacks hands.
Clitheroe won the toss and opted to play with the wind in the first half, hoping to get an advantage early on, but Colne pressure from the start had Clitheroe using the boot to clear their lines and relieve the pressure.
With both side battling for territory, Colne gave away a couple of penalties in kicking distance, but the visitors kicked for touch, and great defence from the All Blacks cleared the lines, with some excellent play from Matty Tindall and Jordan Sunderland.
The Colne scrum was dominant from the outset, and with new pairing of Adam Davies packing down with captain Mark Britcliffe at second row, the scrum drove the Clitheroe pack back at every oppportunity, but solid defence from Clitheroe held the score at 0-0 at half-time.
Colne now had the wind at their backs in the second half and were able to use the wind to gain ground.
The ensuing pressure saw Clitheroe give away three penalties within kicking distance, but the wind played it’s part and dragged all three inches wide of the upright, to Tindall’s dismay.
Colne maintained pressure and Clitheroe reppelled well, but another penalty saw Tindall slot over for the only score of the game.
Colne started to turn the screws but again a resilient effort kept the All Blacks hunting for gaps.
A final flurry from Clitheroe was ended by a strong tackle from Dean Sykes, and a dropped ball for Clitheroe, as Colne took four points and Clitheroe a well-deserved losing bonus point.
Colne face third place Carnforth tomorrow in the Chris Riley memorial match.
The seconds made the trip to Carnforth with a team mixed with youth and experience, with new boys Lewis Hesketh and Connor Kinanne playing their first senior games at second row, and they didn’t disappoint as the All Black pack completely dominated.
Kinanne won all his own lineout ball but the All Blacks unfortunately couldn’t pull off the win they deserved, with their only score coming through number eight, and man of the match, Steve Edwards.