Leigh 2nds 22

Colne and Nelson 1sts 25

COLNE and Nelson capped an impressive first half of the season by ending the year on top of the table thanks to James Finucane’s late try.

The All Blacks, who have lost just one of their 11 games since gaining promotion to Division Two North in the Halbro North West League, trailed 22-18 going in to the closing stages when Finucane rounded off a fine team move to score the winning try.

Leigh came straight out of the blocks and looked strong in the opening 10 minutes, scoring the first try of the match.

Colne eventually woke up and Jamie Gane used the bitterly cold driving wind to his advantage as he pinned the home side back with a few well placed kicks.

Eventually, an infringement up front allowed Matt Tindall to slot a penalty to narrow the gap.

Leigh hit back with another try while Colne were down to 14 men following Kyle Hargreaves’ sin-binning but when they were back to their full contingent the visitors began to gain control of the game.

Following good work from Adam Padgett and Lewis Hesketh, Kyle Hargreaves put Tindall through the gap. The outside half kicked on and won the chase to dot down under the sticks before adding the conversion.

Playing against the wind in the second half, Colne were up against it and Leigh scored a third try in the 55th minute.

But Colne’s defence stood firm and Jamie Gane and Connor Kinnane both had an excellent defensive day in midfield

The drift defence and communication soon put a stop to any potential Leigh attack. A tackle in the midfield by Kinnane allowed Gane to retrieve the ball and he fed Tindall in space, the playmaker went over for his second of the match.

However, in a see-saw battle, the home side regained the lead with 15 minutes remaining.

But with the dark drawing in, Colne had the final say in the match.

The hard-working Ant Minshull turned the ball over and, supported by Zack Bullock, helped Colne march up the field.

Hargreaves then dug the ball out of the bottom of a ruck to allow Gary Kenyon to hit an exquisite line to draw two defenders.

Then it was simple hands through Gane and Tindall for Finucane to touchdown and seal victory.