Date: 19 January 2018



Report by Chris “The News” Nuttall

On a chilly day at Lightfoot Lane the Hoppers 5ths were hosts to Colne & Nelson. After the spirited defeat against promotion candidates Blackpool the previous week, the home side welcomed back several players which included returning skipper Mick Mortimer.

Colne kicked off in what was to be a scrappy opening passage of play. Neither side wanted to take control of the game which resulted in a scrum-fest. It was from a scrum where the home side finally took the lead. A scrappy scrum was won deep in the Colne 22, DJ at fly half received the ball and passed to Eddie in the centres. Eddie drew the defenders and passed to the prolific Martin ‘Tinny’ Taylor who scored in the corner, with the conversion missed.

Within a few of minutes the 5ths had some major injury problems to overcome. Second row Daniel John ‘Kiwi’ had to go off with a hyper extended elbow after a collapsed scrum and hooker ‘Chorley’ James Robert soon followed due to a bang to the nose, which was massively misshaped afterwards. The scrums went to uncontested after the later incident. Tinny thought he was in for his second try of the match but the returning Danny Whalley tried to take powerful pass from DJ which was meant for Tinny on the wing he was judged to have knocked on when trying to catch and pass the ball instantly. Tinny and Danny were involved again, this time Danny thought he was through, this time after a break from Tinny. He offloaded the ball in the tackle to the inside to the oncoming centre which the young referee said was forward.

The home side soon doubled their points. Ben ‘Trigger’ Rigg, won a Colne line out deep in their 22. He leapt into the air like the proverbial salmon and stole the ball, went through the would-be space where the jumper was and scored in the corner. Again, the conversion was missed from a tight angle.

Before the break the Hoppers managed to get their third try of the match, number 8 Lee Carruthers from the base of the scrum picked and in typical bullocking fashion bulldozed his way through the would-be tacklers and scored. DJ scored with the conversion to give the home side a 17-0 lead at half time.

Five minutes into the second half Lee Carruthers got his second try of the match. From a jinking run by fullback Ben “10” Markland, he made his way down field. From the ensuing ruck the ball got to Lee who scored the try untouched. The conversion was successful. Colne hit back soon after, a penalty for a high shot by Luke Jackson in the Hoppers 22 allowed the Colne scrum half to wriggle his way through to score, the conversion scored made it 24-7.

Lee scored his hattrick try, Bruce Henderson drove the ball in and almost got over himself from a quick tap penalty. Eddie now at scrum half passed the ball on to Lee and he again went over to score. This time the conversion hit the post and bounced out to make it 29-7. The spirited Colne side were not to be out done and scored two tries in double quick time to make it 29-21, with 10 minutes left.

Hoppers had two excellent opportunities to score tries. Firstly, DJ in the Colne half put a kick into the corner for the winger Eric ‘Bruiser’ Wade to chase but unfortunately, he didn’t have the legs to get there before the Colne winger. Then centre Danny Whalley thought he was through after a superb break down the left. He by passed three would be defenders to find himself in open space and with the whole width of the pitch to aim at, he aimed for the sticks to make the conversion as easy as possible. Unfortunately, he didn’t see the Colne fullback who smothered him and the ball to earn a penalty for the away side. The home side extended the lead through a penalty after Will Davies burst through a gap and made some excellent yardage. The penalty was given for lying on the ruck and DJ put the ball through the sticks.

The match finished 32-21 to the home side keeping the nerve towards the end. A special mention to Ollie Mason and Jonathan Amor (Fleetwood Colts coach) who played for Colne for the full match to give them the full compliment. Along with Joe Crompton and Ryan Hargreaves from Fleetwood who played half a match each as their match against Burnley was cancelled at the last minute.

MoM – Will Davies for his constant work in the back row

DoD – Danny Whalley for choosing to be tackled when it was easier to score.

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