Rossendale Colts 57 Marple Colts 7

First published in Rossendale RUFC Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

If ever there was a game of two halves then this was it.

Despite the emphatic scoreline, it was visitors Marple who started stronger than Rossendale and enjoyed the better of the play in the opening 20 minutes.

And Marple were to capitalise by scoring a try in the right-hand corner – but the conversion was missed.

The game was in the balance in the morning but by the afternoon the frost had cleared and the majority of spectators were hoping for a Rossen-dale win.

But those hopes looked a long way of as the Valley side decided to kick away promising ball and failed to make the most of their pocession.

The turning point of the game came late in the first half when fly-half Will Sharrate made a telling inception to raced 70 meters to score.

Shortly after, Marple’s discipline deserted them and their number eight took a wild swing in the direction of Rossendale’s Nicholas Street – and the resulting 10 minutes in the sin bin allowed Rossendale to take the lead.

Half time words from their coach coupled with a change of tactics saw Rossendale prod-uce some excellent rugby after the break and they ran away with the contest in the second period.

It became one-sided as a forward drive pinned the visitors deep into their own 22 and when the ball was released to the three-quarters they did the rest with the full back Jack Crowder hitting the line to go over in the corner.

From that moment on, Marple’s heads dropped and Rossendale’s men gained in confidence.

Further trys came from Crowder, Street (two), Paul Hughes, Tom Bedlow and Jack Bibby sealed the win with Bedlow and Sharret sharing the conversions on what had become one-way traffic.

In the end it was a thoroughly convincing win but Rossendale will have to be on there guard that they don’t repeat their first half display on Sunday when they entertain Ashton-on-Mersey at Marl Pits.

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