Late penalty seals victory for Colne and Nelson over Clitheroe

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Colne and Nelson travelled the short distance over Pendle Hill to earn their first win of the New Year against a resilient Clitheroe side.

Colne won the toss, and skipper Matt Tindall elected to play against the wind in the first half.

The scrum was dominated by the away side, although some bizarre refereeing decisions meant scrappy ball for Kyle Hargreaves at the back.

Clitheroe took advantage of the wind, and after some strong running from their pack, two unanswered penalties gave them a six-point lead.

Quick ball from Hargreaves allowed Tom Handforth to dummy the opposition 10 and set off on a run just inside the Colne half. An offload to Lewis Hesketh set up an attack outside the Clitheroe 22.

Colne’s pick and drive was working well, with Lance Jones and Luke Edwards making hard ground. A pop to Alex Wood set up a driving maul, and the ball found Dem Cantrill, who powered through two defenders and over the line, only for the ball to be deemed held up.

However, more hard work from the forwards allowed Luke Edwards to crash over just before half-time, with the conversion missed.

In the second half, the thought of using the wind to play in Ciltheroe’s half soon went out the window, as Clitheroe camped on Colne’s 22 for a lengthy period, with only strong defending keeping the hosts from adding to the score.

Finally a turn over from Ant Minshull allowed Colne to gradually gain some territory. A pass from Handforth found Tindall, who kicked in behind the Clitheroe winger. A foot race between him and Skye Bullen was won by the young Colne winger, who touched down in the corner.

Bizarrely, the referee deemed the Clitheroe player had touched the ball down first, with the try disallowed.

With the clock ticking away, excellent defending from the home side looked certain to be enough to secure victory, but numerous reset scrums led to a Colne penalty on the stroke of time, and Tindall slotted over.