THE ecstasy and the agony of top-end sport was there for all to see at the climax of Wednesday night's big-match encounter in Colne.

But enough about the cut-throat world of ladies’ darts at The Crown, how about a consolation round of applause for Neymar, David Luis and pals eh?

Just like Deutschland’s Andre Schurrle, I was yanked off the bench for a taste of glory when our Cheers guru, Dan Clough, let slip that he needed a late substitute for our weekly gander at East Lancashire's leading watering holes.

And even though life at Telegraph Towers doesn't automatically lend itself to having a ‘local’, The Crown in Albert Road immediately sprang to mind.

The redoubtable domain of Noel Buckley and bar manager extraordinaire Steve for all my time in the Bonnie Town on the Hill, it has offered a traditional welcome for drinkers, diners and guests since 1852.

Not many can still offer the cosiness of your favourite pub, wholesome fare in historic surroundings and lodgings in this day and age.

And as a roadhouse venue (and digs) for the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, and its daily round of specials for weary travellers stepping off the East Lancs line, it ticks all the above boxes.

I’m sure more seasoned drinkers may be disappointed by the relative lack of cask ales currently on show at The Crown but all the big hitters are available, with a tidy choice of bottles, including Newcastle Brown, always a winner.

That good old standby Pride of Pendle was still on tap, though, and any hostelry which can rustle up a dose of Chestnut Mild isn't going to go too far wrong in my book.

Rounding off the night, I was all prepared to twist the knife over an Irishman's domain being light on a drop of the good stuff.

The usual trio — Jamesons, Famous Grouse and Bells — were in evidence. While I've no qualms about the first two, I wouldn't wash the dog with the latter.

But the Bushmills, Glen Morangie, Highland Park and Grants were hiding around the corner, on the good side, so bang went that theory.

And again, I know this might get me hung with the nearest beer towel in some quarters but the bar snacks raised The Crown above the chasing pack.

Long since renowned as a dry roasted peanuts aficionado (Planters with KP a close second), the usual selection behind the bar was burnished with a range of Snyders of Hanover pretzels, surely the Rolls-Royce of unnecessary calories for bachelor boys who can't be fussed going to the chippy on the way home.

In time-honoured Colne fashion, The Crown is usually the start of a fair few people’s Saturday nights, as they wind their way up the hill. Reverse the trend and you’re laughing, for me.