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Burnley show they are a top 10 club
BURNLEY put in a 10 out of 10 performance to win an annual pre-season rugby tournament at near neighbours Colne and Nelson.
Not even the appalling conditions could deny a young Burnley side from taking the honours at the 10-a-side event at a wind and rain swept Holt House.
And it was the first time in six attempts that a local club has denied one of their Yorkshire rivals walking off with the spoils.
It was touch and go whether the tournament would even go ahead such were the severe conditions but it did and it was Burnley who adapted the best, winning all their matches before running out impressive 17-0 winners against Preston Grasshoppers in the final.
The round robin competition attracted clubs from across the North West including Skipton, Metrovik, Burnage, Preston Grasshoppers, West Craven Warriors while host club Colne and Nelson fielded two teams.
The tournament kicked off with Colne and Nelson ‘A’ winning a fiercely contested derby against West Craven warriors, clinching a thrilling game 7-5 victory.
However, the host club’s ‘B’ team found the physically bigger Grasshoppers team too much to handle with Preston running out winners 25-0.
The Grasshoppers then edged out West Craven in the next round of matches with a single try in a 5-0 victory.
Burnley showed early on that they would be the team to beat with a comprehensive 36-0 victory over Colne and Nelson ‘B’.
Colne and Nelson’s second string faired better in their next outing but narrowly lost 12-0 to West Craven. Burnley then overcame the host’s ‘A’ team by the same score after scoring two early tries in another exciting game.
West Craven and Burnley played out one of the toughest games of the tournament, played at a fast and furious pace with Burnley eventually overcoming their dogged opponents by 12-0.
Colne and Nelson ‘A’ played out a 0-0 draw against Preston which was marred by an injury to home player Alan Davis. But fears of a broken ankle was later ruled out as a bad twist and bruising.
Burnley then met Preston in what was to be a dress rehearsal for the final. Neither team gave little away but Burnley put down an early marker as they secured a 5-0 win.
In one of the most eagerly awaited matches of the day, Colne and Nelson ‘A’ beat their rival ‘B’ team 29-0. It was a spirited display from the ‘B’ team especially as the ‘A’ team needed to rack up the points to reach the final.
After holding them at 0-0 for most of the first half, the ‘A’ team’s pace proved too much but they fell one try short of reaching the final.
Colne and Nelson ‘A’ then missed out on winning the Plate final as West Craven gained sweet revenge after losing to the hosts in the opening match of the day.
In the final, Burnley took an early lead against the Grasshoppers but only led 5-0 at the break.
They had the tough task of playing in to the wind in the second half but an interception try for Burnley proved to be the turning point. Shortly afterwards, a defensive error at a Preston lineout gifted Burnley a third try to run out deserved 17-0 winners.