POWER and experience proved to be a devastating combination for Colne as they lost their first game of 2011.
The first team travelled to Chorley and dominated the early exchanges, despite fighting against a strong wind and a wall of rain. The centre pairing of Luke Edwards and Andrew Grindrod were causing all sorts of problems for Chorley’s back line but they failed to turn possession in to points.
Colne’s final pass was lacking at times due to the slippery conditions but the scrummage was doing exceptionally well against its heavier opposition with Howard Howarth and Mark Britcliffe putting in tremendous graft in the engine room.
However, the away side were given a wake-up call when a penalty awarded to Chorley struck the post. But Colne then missed two penalties of their own in as many minutes and were made to pay.
After losing second row Howard Howarth to injury Chorley were awarded a scrum after another Colne knock on. Although Colne had got the drive on against Chorley forcing their opponents back, the hosts’ scrum half saw that Colne’s back row was concentrating on pushing and he picked up the ball and made a break down the blind side before offloading the ball to his winger who did the rest by scoring under the posts. With a successful conversion Colne were 7-0 down.
This score against the run of play seemed to typify Colne’s season so far and a few players seemed to lose confidence and self belief. Not long after Colne had Adam Padgett sin binned for a decision only the referee will understand and from the resulting penalty Chorley extended their lead by another three points.
Colne were now trying hard to get a score before half time put they tried a little too hard and succeeded in giving away another penalty which was converted to put Chorley 13-0 up. With the half drawing to a close the visitors wasted the perfect opportunity to pull themselves back in to the fixture. Fine build-up play from Grindrod and Shaun Grant worked space for winger Gary Kenyon who only had to catch the ball and he would have had a walk in under the posts; but it was not to be as he dropped the ball.
A resilient second half defensive showing from Chorley coupled with the muddy conditions thwarted any attempts of a Colne comeback. Both sides cancelled each other out as the second half finished pointless though Colne deserved more for their efforts in a close encounter.
Colne and Nelson seconds lost 49-3 at table-topping Blackpool.
The All Blacks surprised the hosts when they took the lead through a cooly-struck Dean Edwards penalty.
Blackpool exerted a lot of pressure, but it took a disputed penalty given against Colne which lead to a quick tap and score in the corner, which was soon followed by another try.
Colne seemed to have weathered the storm, but in injury time Blackpool ran in three more tries to make it 32-3 at half-time.
In the second half, Blackpool brought on multiple replacements, but Colne did not buckle, denying Blackpool posession, and taking the play to their hosts.
Blackpool reintroduced their ‘heavy brigade’ and ran in three more tries against a tiring defence, but Colne could be proud of their commitment and resolve.