Sunny and Bright on the Coast
By Matty Tindall
Soutport 29- Colne 36
Colne 1s took a trip to the coast last weekend to face a Southport team who sat top of the table after the first 2 games of the season. Recording a run away win to Fleetwood in the opening game, followed by a convincing win away at Tarleton, Colne knew they were in for a tough afternoon against a team who will surely be scoring plenty of points this season.
Colne named only one change from last weeks win at home to Leigh, with Ant Minshull returning from injury to replace Nick Martin who was unavailable. A couple of position adjustments from Colne saw Jamie Gane and Matt Tindall exchange places to 10 and 12 respectively.
With the coastal sun showing its face, the pitch was firm and dry, giving no excuses for the players and a guaranteed fast flowing game of rugby for the spectators.
The early exchanges just after kick off looked promising for an entertaining game of rugby. Southport quickly opened up and showed why they had put 90 past Fleetwood in the opening game. With the base set, the 9 set the backs loose. Quick, young and talented, the ball was put through the hands at pace ending up in the 15’s hands. Without a cover tackle from Tom Davies and Andy Bullock, Colne could have quite easily been down 2 tries in the opening 10 minutes. Southport soon broke the deadlock as Colne struggled with the pace of the young Southport back line. Conversion good, Southport 7-0 Colne.
Southport continued to utilise the back line at every opportunity. With Colne camped on their 22 for a period of time, it was long before the defence was again broken with a Southport try on the 15 minute mark. Southport 14- Colne 0.
Colne began to rally together. With the forwards now working their way around the fringe defence and gaining some hard yards, Matt Tindall took the option to kick territory. The lineouts worked well, with Adam Padgett calling the shots and James Finucane and Ant Minshull jumping well, Colne finally started to gain a foothold in the game only for some stray passes from the new Colne backline thwarting the attacks. As the Southport defence rushed to meet the oncoming Colne attack on the half way line, Tindall produced a stroke of magic as he chipped over, gathered his own chip and ran to dot the ball under the posts. Southport 14- Colne 7.
Colne played the final 10 minutes of the first half on 14 men, as a cover tackle from Matt Tindall was then rucked over by James Finucane. The referee deemed a ruck to have formed and with Finucane entering from the side, the man in the middle sent the Colne Number 8 for 10 minutes on the sideline. The resulting penalty was superbly defended by Colne. Southport took a quick tap but with Brad Collins and Alex Wood quick to face up to the attack, the ball was knocked forward by the Southport attacker.
The final 5 minutes of the half was very much a 50/50 affair. Colne did well the stem the Southport attacks, but made hard yards when the Colne forwards hit the spaces. Half Time, Southport 14-7 Colne.
Colne made 2 changes at half time, with Adam Hartley replacing Tom Davies at Full Back and Dem Cantrill replacing Gary Kenyon at Wing Forward.
The second half started with some intent from Colne. Determined not to let the Home Side dictate the pace, Colne upped the gears. Kyle Hargreaves and Jamie Gane soon started to gel, with both half backs putting the All Blacks on the front foot. Connor Kinnane carried hard with support from Ersnt Tino and Andy Bullock. With Ersnt starting to cause problems on the wing. Jamie Gane looped Connor Kinnane and fed Ersnt Tino. 1v1 with his opposite number, he had the strength to shrug off the tackle and score. Scoreline level at 14-14.
Colne were caught napping for the next 10 minutes, as Southport pressed up. A quick tap penalty allowed their winger to score in the corner, followed by a penalty. The home side crossed the white wash again with 15 minutes to play extending their lead to 29-14.
Colne responded, good carries from Zack Bullock, James Finucane and Adam Padgett set Colne on the attack. Kyle Hargreaves fed Jamie Gane, quick hands through Tindall and Kinnane fed Adam Hartley to cross the 22. The covering defenders managed to tackle Hartley but an exquisite offload to Ersnt Tino put the winger over for his second.
10 minutes left to play, Colne 22-29 down.
It was the big second row of Brad Collins who was next on the score sheet to bring the scores level for Colne. A series of scrums for Colne on the Southport 5 metre should have yielded some points, but a change in the Southport front row stemmed the Colne onslaught. A quick tap penalty after the ref had produced a yellow for the home sides Number 9, saw Collins bundled his way through a couple of defenders and dot the ball down. Converstion by Tindall good, Colne were level.
The final minute of the game, Colne pushed for a winner. Kyle Hargreaves rallied the forwards and pushed them on for one final attack. Working their way up the field, it was left to Hargreaves and his trusty Skipper Adam Padgett to execute their favourite move for Colne to go ahead.
Conversion good, Colne came away from the game with a well ground out win, against a side that has a very, very promising future.
Full Time Southport 29- Colne 36.