ACCRINGTON Amateur Rugby League team started the New Year with a close fought loss to near neighbours Chorley.
The winter break clearly affected both teams in a scrappy game dominated by both defences.
Chorley opened the scoring with a try midway through the first half after a long period camped in the Accrington half. The Accrington side's defence, strong as always, simply tired and the Chorley number six crossed for the first try.
Accrington rarely ventured into the Chorley half during the first period but on the odd occasion they did they troubled the home club. A drop goal and an unconverted try from Nick Cook brought the score to 6-5 at the break.
Accrington started the second half with more urgency and looked to have had shaken off the Christmas torpor but unforced errors and needless penalties in their own half cost them dearly and Chorley ran in two converted tries and a drop goal to take their lead to 14 points.
Accrington battled on and scored the try of the game, Cook again crossing the line and Steve Ellis converting.
What looked a fine third try by Martin Taylor was controversially disallowed by the referee for offside but this only added fuel to Accrington's fire to win the game.
Accrington dominated much of the second half but could not find the final pass with too many going to ground.
The game finished with Accrington pushing for the winning tries but it wasn't to be, Chorley running out deserved winners if only because of their ability to keep control of the ball in difficult conditions.
Accrington entertain Rylands tomorrow, kick off 2pm.