All Blacks clinch promotion in last game of the season
Saturday saw Colne and Nelson win their last game of the season at fortress Holt House to claim promotion, beating Chorley 46-22.
With Chorley just three points behind Colne, but with another game to play, it was quite simple, the winner would be promoted.
The game was sponsored by the Tindall family in dedication to Mavis, who sadly died last week. Many family members and friends came to show their respects, and provide the biggest crowd of the season.
Chorley kicked off and although Colne took the ball well, the return was met with a good solid defence.
Matty Tindall took the option to kick deep into the Chorley half, with an early test of the visitors’ back three. The next few minutes were an exchange of kick tennis, with both teams waiting to see where the break would come from.
The All Blacks launched their first attack with a good break by Tindall and excellent support fromAlex Bullock, Gary Kenyon and Adam Hartley, the latter chipping over the defence, only for the Chorley full back to knock the ball on.
Colne took the first scrum and fed the ball out to the backs, and were awarded a penalty for a Chorley off-side.
Fly-half Dean Edwards kicked the ball down field and into touch 15 metres from the Chorley try line.
From the resulting line-out, the ball was spun out to the backs for winger Gary Kenyon to score in the corner, conversion scored by Tindall.
A few minutes later, the Colne attack broke through the Chorley defence from an initial lineout, and the ball was fed out to Kenyon, who crossed the whitewash but was held up by the defence.
However from the resulting scrum, Kyle Hargreaves saw space around the blindside and squeezed through the smallest of gaps to score in the corner, conversion missed.
Chorley kicked off again, and this time a break by Colne winger Alex Bullock took the ball into the Chorley half, only for the away linesman to deem Bullock had placed a foot into touch. From the lineout, Chorley made a break, and three phases later crossed for their first score, conversion missed.
A few minutes later Chorley were awarded a penalty, and from a good break were able to cross again. However, outstanding defence from Colne saw the ball held up. From the scrum, Chorley attacked the blindside and scored in the corner.
Due to a superb charge-down by Tindall, no extra points were added.
Colne kicked off again, and although this time Chorley caught the ball, an enormous hit from Minshull forced a knock-on.
Colne were awarded the scrum on the Chorley 22, and slick handling from the backs saw Kenyon break again but be stopped illegally. Colne kicked the resulting penalty into touch, and from the line-out, Minshull was able to score, conversion scored by Tindall.
Chorley were the next to score, again from a scrum, and again at the second attempt in crossing the line, due to the first attempt being held-up by a resolute Colne defence, conversion missed.
As half-time approached, Chorley were awarded another scrum just 15 metres out from the Colne try line, and with the final play of the first half, scored under the posts to put them into the lead for the first time, conversion scored.
In the second half, a break by Colne winger Alex Bullock took the home side deep into the Chorley half. Some good ball retention and a few phases later saw the ball fed out wide for Kenyon to score in the corner again, conversion scored by Tindall.
The next score came from a Chorley lineout. A fantastic steal by Minshull led to a break by Jamie Gane, who despite being tackled, had to awareness to pop the ball up to Tindall and allow the Colne playmaker to score in the corner, conversion missed.
Captain Adam Padgett then broke through the Chorley defence, and with the most audacious dummy pass on the outside, sent Tindall away with an inside pass beat two defenders and score, conversion missed.
Colne took the game away from Chorley with another three points. Another break by centre Gane, and a quick thinking pick and go by Rob Davy, left Chorley no option but to try and stem the attack with a high tackle, resulting in a yellow card for the offender.
Dean Edwards slotted the ball between the sticks.
Chorley eventually won a lineout in the Colne half, but another steal, this time by James Finucane, saw a 40-metre break by Kenyon, and with only the full back to beat, a perfect chip saw Tindall to race in to score his hat-trick, conversion scored.