Hartree Mill Sports Grounds, Biggar ML12 6JJCharity Number: SC 047700

Mirage win as 15’s defeat Ayr

Biggar 62 Ayr 21

 

U15 Girls put in another fab exhibition of Rugby today with their counterparts from Ayr. Some lovely plays of skill and teamwork.

 

Very well lead by Capt Emma Orr and Vice Mariana Finlayson with some promising future candidates also contributing to the direction of the match.

 

The team all played strongly, again with some players adopting new positions and adapting well. We would benefit from being a little fitter! But that will come!

 

This was a fast moving game with a lot of effort being put in from our girls. Mariana got Girl of the Game from Ayr, With Lana Bell nominated by Ayr.

 

62 - 21 Final score to Biggar. Well done girls we’re proud of you all.


Ladies host Annan in first match


Biggar Ladies first match.

A great start for the Ladies on Friday. Annan were clearly stronger in all aspects as befits a side who have played together for some 3 seasons. Biggar worked hard throughout and their determination paid off in the final quarter when Corrie Brewster ran the length of the pitch to score
a try - which got the biggest cheer of the evening!

Congratulations to all the Ladies who wore the red and black, several of whom were making their very first match appearance. There is plenty to suggest that they will learn quickly and develop well as a team.


Biggar Youth draw a blank against Boroughmuir


Boroughmuir recorded wins at Colts level on Saturday and their other youth sides also triumphed on Sunday at each age group. A tough day!
 

Biggar Under 14’s

Boroughmuir arrived confident that they would easily put Biggar to the sword but came away from Hartree knowing that although they had won 24 - 3 they had been in a very competitive game.

 

Boroughmuir were quick to praise the improvement in Biggar compared to the start of the season when Biggar could only field 9 players. Now they have a squad of 18 and each player is proud to be part of it. Each week they move on and it is so good to see.

 

Boroughmuir were not allowed to play early on with Biggar frustrating them and it was not until well through the half before they scored.

 

Half time 12 to 0 for Boroughmuir.

 

Biggar had chances and plenty procession but they were not matching the direct running that their opponents were.

 

However, they did score in the 2nd half through Calum McLemon but were not able to put any further tries on the score board.


Colts falter at Boroughmuir

Another Tough Shift for Biggar Colts:

Boroughmuir 45 Biggar 12

 

Biggar Colts kicked off the second half of their Shogun Conference fixtures with a trip to Meggetland to face Boroughmuir Colts. The home fixture, played in mid-August brought back memories of summer with short sleeves, flowing rugby and Biggar winning 25-8. Unfortunately the weather on Saturday was nothing like mid-August. With the wind gusting from left to right, tactics were always going to be key - kick well with the wind and stick it up the jumper when playing against it.

 

‘Muir did this superbly. First half they absorbed lots of Biggar pressure waited on a mistake and sent the ball 60 yards down the pitch forcing Biggar to start again. Second half they kept the ball in their pack tied up defenders than hit on the break with their pacey backs. This was to prove a winning combination.

 

Biggar tried to play a passing game throughout and sometimes the weather just isn’t right for that. Long looping miss passes seemed to be the order of the day with the result more often than not a knock-on, lost ball or forward pass being called. Having conceded an early try Biggar got themselves well into the ‘Muir 22. A penalty was taken popped to Josh JVR who was stopped just short. It looked primed for a rumble from the forwards but instead a 30 yard pass was the option taken. Result – lineout ‘Muir who kicked well clear.

 

Having conceded again, Biggar got back in the game. This time a penalty in the ‘Muir 22 was kept in the forwards and once space was created Matthew dived over for the score. Ali kicked the conversion well in a very strong wind.

 

14 - 7 at the half would, have been a good 35 minutes work but ‘Muir went over with the last play of the half so 21-7 it was.

 

Into the second half playing with the wind can sometimes be just as tricky. Biggar kicked well and had ‘Muir camped inside their own 22 almost permanently but a loose pass or knock on would result in ‘Muir snaffling the ball and hitting on the break. They scored 4 almost carbon copy try’s in the second half with only a Robbie score showing for Biggar following excellent work from the pack.

 

Full Time – ‘Muir 45 – Biggar 12

 

Biggar need to learn from these games as although ‘Muir were a good side, they were beatable. They were simply far more clinical in taking their chances than Biggar scoring almost every time they got a chance. Biggar scored 2 try’s but had 4 or 5 other really good chances that were not taken. Decision making is key in these situations and in a lot of cases this was where Biggar fell down.

 

To be fair to Biggar they kept going manfully and were unlucky not to keep the game much tighter but decision making let them down. It does sometimes look like players are looking for the right man to pass to rather than the right pass. Too often a long pass was picked as the option when a short pass would have kept the ball with Biggar rather than being turned over.


Biggar lose at home to Lasswade

Biggar 13 Lasswade 19

On the back of three, five point wins Biggar were in relatively confident mood going into this They were well aware however that the visitors, in the shape of Lasswade, had been going particularly well as well, their win over top of the table Kirkcaldy the previous week giving plenty indication of a side playing to their strengths, namely their pack.

 

Biggar welcomed back hooker Ewan Stewart for this match and were forced into a change in the back row, Euan Sanderson having been concussed last week at PL and replaced by Craig McDonald who had taken over from Sanderson. In the backs Ryan Moffat returned to replace Gregor Stewart who took his place on the bench where he was joined by Guy Kelly, Kev Robison and Conor Lavery, the last two having joined the fray from the 2nd XV match against Hawick Force which kicked off at 2pm.

 

In blustery conditions Lasswade were quickly on the attack, notching their first try within the first 5 minutes, This was scored by winger Matthew Smith who came onto a good line from some 5 metres out, wrong footing the Biggar defence. Converted by Andy Bell, Lasswade were 7-0 ahead.

 

Against the strong wind there were few opportunities and little point in kicking clear and so Biggar employed their pack and ball-carriers to take them upfield. This proved fairly successful and Biggar were able to work their way upfield with some good work from all. There were occasions however when Lasswade managed to either strip the ball carriers or contest the ball on the4 ground this slowing play up or ending in penalties which the visitors used to return play to the Biggar half.

 

On balance however Biggar did enjoy good territorial position, running ball back to Lasswade whenever they could.

 

With good ball provided by the pack, the backs all made good ground, Alistair Sinclair and Aird Jardine combining well after one Lasswade clearance to take play up the left wing. A couple of passes later and Jamie Orr burst clear to cross from some 40 metres out and by beating the cover defence on the way. Kicking into the wind was always going to be tricky in the conditions and so it proved as Carne Green was off target with his conversion attempt and then again some 10 minutes later when the ball rebounded out off the upright.

 

Able to maintain the pressure Biggar should probably have added to their tally especially when Lasswade had one of their number sin-binned for failing to retreat at a Biggar penalty which Green ran. It was not to be however as Lasswade were very competitive at the breakdown and in mauls, their persistence paying off well as they frustrated the Biggar attack.

 

Having had the better slice of possession Biggar were then forced onto the defensive as visiting scrum half Daniel Ritchie put in a nice wee grubber kick to the Biggar 22. The follow up was deemed illegal by referee Fergus Collins and Green kicked for the lineout. A rare error on the take spawned ball for Lasswade and a barnstorming run from lock Stephen Hunter took play to the Biggar line, winger Ross Bradford just getting the big man down inches from the line. Recycled ball was quick however and Ritchie was on hand to pop the ball to hooker Darren Tiffney who crashed over from a few feet for a try which, when converted by Bell, put Lasswade ahead at 14-5 with just minutes of the half remaining.

 

Having conceded a try just before the break Biggar needed a quick riposte that this they got within minutes of the restart. Now with the wind on their backs play was quickly taken into the Lasswade 22.

 

From a Biggar scrum Moffat, Peacock, Orr, McDonald and Nimmo all made good ground before play was switched back right Bradford making another burst. Revive fed Green who popped the ball inside to Stewart who crossed for the try. The try-scorer had earlier been on for Jamie Orr who sustained a shoulder injury and while the big man returned he was clearly not at full strength and Stewart, normally a centre joined McDonald, another whose preference is in the backs in the back row. Green’s conversion attempt was wide but at 14-10 Biggar were back in the mix. The try and Stewart's all-round combatative play throughout the match - particualrly in defence - was a major factor in his selection as Biggar's man of the match.

 

Almost directly from the restart Biggar had another opportunity, another inside pass to Green finding Stewart who broke the line to set off on a long run. Running into the Lasswade defence the off-load failed to go to hand and Lasswade fullback Niall Gray was able to secure possession on the ground from which Lasswade engaged their pack on what was to become standard fare for the half, the pack picking and going as they strove to get out of their half.

 

A knock on ceded possession to Biggar and after a neat interchange between Ewan Stewart, Peacock and skipper Alan Warnock the big lock was set free into the Lasswade 22. A last ditch tackle from centre Mark Wilson saved the day although he was adjudged to have prevented fair release, Green kicking the penalty for 14-13 as Lasswade were again reduced to 14 men.

 

And that was almost that! Having enjoyed their fair share of possession and territory both now virtually ceased as Lasswade cleverly took a stranglehold on, in particular, possession. Using the short pass to pods of two or three scrum half Ritchie popped the ball left and then right and the left again. Without gaining many yards this proved to be very effective, Biggar unable to get their hands on the ball and reduced to defensive tackling. There seemed no way to get possession back, later criticism suggesting that the offensive defence was too passive but every time a Lasswade player was tackled their body position was low and gong to ground was easy, the ball then efficiently sealed off by the support. Pretty it was certainly not, but it was frustrating for the home side.

 

On the rare occasion Biggar did get the ball they were able to kick clear, one good tackle chase by Sinclair seeing Lasswade knock on at the ruck base but an altercation between Robbie Lavery and Ritchie saw the decision reversed allowing Lasswade to kick clear.

 

Guy Kelly became the 3rd Biggar replacement (for O’Connell) , Robison having earlier replaced McDonald. Lasswade then exerted huge pressure on the younger Biggar front row, this enabling them to spoil possession for Biggar.

 

As the half wore on it became clear that with just one point separating the sides the next score would most likely be the winning score. Unable to sustain possession in their opponents half things were not too positive for Biggar although there was always the hope that they would eventually break free, even just to win a penalty.

 

It was not to be however and having taken play back into Biggar’s 22 another series of probing runs shed ball for Ritchie who fed centre Wilson. There appeared to be cover but his pace took him clear and over for what turned out to be a decisive try.

 

There was at least 8 minutes on the clock but with their tails up there was much less chance of Lasswade conceding possession now. A Biggar penalty saw Green kick to some 5 metres out but having found the visitors adept at the maul and driving play Biggar’s line drive faltered giving Lasswade the scrum and a chance to clear.

 

Throughout there had been penalty awards to both sides which were difficult to understand and there were a couple in the last few minutes which went against Biggar but Lasswade rode their luck, the final award seeing them tap and kick to touch to end the game.

 

Massive disappointment then for Biggar, tempered only by the fact that they at least won a losing bonus point. Having last season had a difficulty in winning ‘on the road’ Biggar’s home record is the much poorer this season, their 3 defeats all being at Hartree. There would be huge satisfaction if their winning run away from home were to continue this Saturday when they journey to Fife and league leaders Kirkcaldy.

 

There seems every chance that Biggar will have to endure another match with a forward pack adept at the pick and go as the Kirkcaldy side are well known for this approach. It promises to be another difficult day!

 

Please note that while the kick offs are now scheduled for 2pm, Kirkcaldy have requested a 3pm start, and this will in fact be the case.

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, E. Stewart, A. Nimmo, J. Orr, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, C. McDonald, A. Orr, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: G. Kelly, K. Robison, G. Stewart, C. Lavery.

 

Perhaps the best news of what turned out to be a challenging weekend with all League sides on Saturday losing out – and indeed all boys youth sides on the wrong end of the score line on Sunday – was the re-appearance of the 2nd XV. This has been a challenging few weeks as there have been a number of regulars unavailable due to injury and work commitments. Importantly however the ‘call to arms’ was answered on Saturday and a side was fielded. This included several who were making a return to the action with all to be congratulated on their considerable efforts.

 

Of these Callum Taylor deserves praise while Robison and Lavery who both played for almost the whole game then turned out for the 1sts on the bench.

 

That the 2nd XV faced runaway league leaders Hawick force did nothing to east the situation, the Border side running out winners by 38-6 win.


Girls win in Glasgow


On Sunday it was again only the Girls who were in competitive action (the Boys Youth teams were on their 2nd week of the October break while the micros and minis matches at Dalziel were postponed due to water-logged pitches). In the Girls Mirage Conference Biggar travelled to Glasgow to take on Hillhead Jordanhill. It was a disappointing time for the U18’s who were again forced to play just a Development match as the home side did not have a full complement of players.

 

U18 Girls v Hillhead

This match was played as Development as Hills were only able to field 11 players. Three periods of 20 minutes were played with Biggar providing 2 girls for the opposition in each period. The conditions were favourable for good running rugby. The bulk of the first period was evenly matched with both sides performing well in attack and defence. The first score came from a maul turnover by Biggar and quick hands and good support led to the try with the conversion added (7-0). Biggar added an early score in the second period but Hills responded quickly and added a try of their own. Biggar girls then had a period of sustained pressure with good distribution and handling and added two further converted tries (26-5).

 

Biggar scored a further three converted tries in the third period with Hills scoring a further try. With several team members on holiday and four forwards out through injury this allowed the Biggar coaches the opportunity to give game time to the less experienced players and all acquitted themselves well with good support from the more experienced players. Hills played a fast offloading game so the Biggar coaches with be pleased with the overall performance of the squad and with the overall spirit evident on the day. Final score (47-12). Tries - Feebi (2), Geri (3), Rachel and Rebecca. Conversions- Emily (6).

 

Finally, Emily Armstrong was named Man of the Match and had a strong game which was capped with two chop tackles toward the end that any Internationalist would have been proud of- Well Done Emily.

 

The U15’s did play a competitive match however and they returned with a good 36-25 win to maintain their second spot in their Conference programme.


PL put to the sword

Preston Lodge 6 Biggar 62

There were two issues plaguing Biggar’s statisticians in the aftermath of this match. When did Biggar last defeat Preston Lodge at Pennypit and when did Biggar last record three 5-point wins on the bounce?

 

The first of these was slightly harder as Biggar’s last win at Pennypit is believed to have been in the last century (early 1990’s) while ‘never’ was the simplest and easiest answer to the second question. This latest result and others elsewhere which saw both Kirkcaldy and Dumfries defeated and Hamilton without a match, means that Biggar jump to joint second top spot, just behind Kirkcaldy and still level with Lasswade. The exciting prospect of course is that Biggar meet these two sides in the next two weeks and so come the league break Biggar should know whether or not they are in real contention for one of the two promotion spots – although there is obviously still an awful long way to go in the league programme.

 

Biggar fielded a similar XV to that which played last week against Whitecraigs, save that in the pack Kevin Robison started the match, Andrew Orr reverting to the back row with Alan Warnock and Euan Sanderson, Douglas Notman unavailable due to a hand injury. Andrew Peacock came into the side at lock.

 

In the backs, Gregor Stewart started in place of Ryan Moffat who was doubtful due to shift work, (although he did in the end make the game, coming on after the break) while Ewan Bogle, who was down to start in place of Alistair Sinclair, pulled out during the warm up with asthma. Craig McDonald joined Andrew Nimmo on the bench, the young prop making a welcome return to action after a month out. These three were joined by Conor Lavery who was making a return to action for Biggar after several seasons with Aberdeen Grammar.

 

The match itself saw Biggar put an injury-ravaged PL to the sword with a sound display of running rugby which resulted in a 10-0 try count, PL’s points coming from a penalty and a drop goal, both credited to scrum half Brian Walls.

 

That Biggar ‘played’ for the full 80 minutes was as pleasing as the result, recent games seeing the side stutter for at least a half of each match. Not so on Saturday when they controlled things pretty well throughout, save perhaps for the opening exchanges when, as expected, the home side enjoyed the territorial advantage and ran with some conviction, only stout defence and a couple of handling errors denying them a score.

 

The East Lothian side were not helped by an injury to lock Jonny Sked, the big man twisted in a tackle and sustaining a neck injury, this the third such injury in as many Biggar games. On this occasion, while an ambulance was immediately summoned, there was a delay of just over an hour with the match official Ramsay Darroch making a decision to continue only after the paramedics had assessed Sked and were prepared to have him stretchered off the pitch. This is never a nice situation for any team and the best wishes of Biggar go to Jonny who is by all accounts recovering.

 

With some 7 minutes remaining of the half, Biggar were reduced to 14 men just after the match restarted, Andrew Peacock shown a yellow and the side had to defend hard to keep PL out. This achieved, they managed a crucial try of their own just before the break.

 

This was their third score and Nimmo’s second and was converted by Carne Green for a 17-6 half time lead, the first two scores credited to Sinclair and of course Nimmo who certainly made an impact when he came on for Dan O’Connell. Both of the first scores were long range efforts involving good passing and real pace.

 

Neither side had found the re-start after such a long delay easy and they were then brought o a halt again as the usual half time break was called. As time was marching on the PL club had their floodlights primed for the second half.

 

Having just stretched ahead Biggar could not have wished for a better start as almost directly from the kick off a Green kick had PL fullback Jonathan Brash in bother. The resultant scrum provided good ball for scrum half Davy Reive who fed Green. The stand off made one of his trademark miss passes to find Aird Jardine. The fullback popped the ball to winger Ross Bradford whose pace took him clear of the cover and over for a try which Green converted for 24-6.

 

Robison thought he was over for a try after a lineout error but play was pulled back, this coinciding with the return of Peacock. PL had a period of better play when their pack went for a lineout drive, this eventually brought to an end as referee Darroch, having issued an instruction to ‘use it’ had no option as the pack retained possession, to blow for a Biggar scrum.

 

Having extricated themselves from their 22 Biggar scored their 5th try through Sinclair, the winger benefiting as Jamie Orr took a ball from the PL throw. Green’s conversion struck the upright before bouncing out.

 

Makeshift flanker Craig McDonald, who had come on in the fist half after a clash of heads between Warnock and Calum Braid left the former with an ugly cut to the nose, was next to cross. Taking a neat off load he bundled his way over from some 10 metres showing great determination in the process.

 

The next three tries went to Green in what was a remarkable 10 minute spell for the Kiwi stand off. The first saw him make a neat dummy before sprinting past the missing PL defence, the second after he won the chase to his own neat grubber kick and then the third after he took an interception pass from PL stand off Chris Dixon who was gamely looking to keep play moving. PL’s was a tired and disheartened back division however and the very same fate befell Dixon’s next movement, Robbie Lavery nipping in to take another interception to run in from half way. Green’s tries and conversions left him with a personal tally of 27 points.

 

That Biggar won was due in no small part to the relentless driving and carrying play of the pack. All 8 were involved and this meant that PL were as often as not on the defensive, two players or more comitted to pulling the Biggar players down. Add some genuine pace and a little confidence and the win was there. PL were not the worst side Biggar have played to date and they did pose problems while Biggar should have scored at least two other first half tries, these coming to grief as errors were made and balls dropped.

 

There was a great deal of satisfaction at this comprehensive victory however, one which the very welcome travelling support thoroughly enjoyed and which put to bed somewhat the recent poor set of results and performances Biggar have endured at PL’s hands.

 

The surprise results from Dumfries and Kirkcaldy made the win all the sweeter of course.

 

Next up is a home match against Lasswade. A big support would be most welcome, so if you can, please get along on Saturday. KO 3pm

 

Of course as delighted as the club was at this result and the league position, there was a cautionary tale as for the second week running there was no 2nd XV. Tup sales, holidays and injuries have taken their toll but it is really important that the club gets a 2nd XV out. To that end all players are asked to make themselves available for this Saturday when Hawick Force make the trip to Hartree Mill.

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, K. Robison, C. Braid, J. Orr, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, G. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: A. Nimmo, C. McDonald, C. Lavery, R. Moffat


Girls host Caithness


On Sunday it was only the Girls who were in competitive action (the Boys Youth teams were on their October break while the micros and minis were training). In the Girls Mirage Conference Biggar hosted the far-travelled Caithness teams at both U15 and U18 age groups. The U15’s ran out winners by 55-31 while the U18’s also came out on top by 64-19 although this was a development match as Caithness struggled to get a full team out. Thanks to Bill Denholm for the following report.

 

Biggar U18's

Biggar’s first game of the season was at Caithness and this time Caithness made the long journey south for the return leg. Caithness, however, were only able to travel with 11 players and the game was played as a development game.

 

With the conditions overcast and with a fairly strong breeze, three periods of twenty minutes were played. Biggar provided a player to Caithness for the first period and the game was played at 12 aside.

 

With some of the regular team away on Duke of Edinburgh Silver expedition or on holiday, Biggar were able to give new team members the opportunity to get some valuable game time.

 

The first period saw Biggar take control scoring three tries to Caithness’s one, although the Caithness girls always posed a threat. (19 – 7).

 

In the second period, all the girls started to gel as a team with the newer players learning from the more experienced players and they scored four unanswered tries (45 -7).

 

The third period saw some good kicking from hand from Geraldine Kimm and was competitive to the end with Biggar scoring three tries to two from Caithness. The game was played in very good spirits and both squads will have gained valuable experience.

 

Final score (64-19).Try scorers for Biggar, Geri (4), Feebi (2), Ailie, Abi, Emily and Lucy. Conversions, Emily (7).

 

Caithness awarded Emily Armstrong man of the match and Biggar gave the award to the Caithness Fly half. Biggar’s man of the match went to Lucy Blackie for her impressive display after just a few weeks of rugby and scoring her first try.

 

Thanks to the SRU referee and to Tammy Mitchell and Jane Stevens for preparing some hearty food to send the Caithness squad off on their long journey and to Jane Robinson for filming the game. Thanks also to Fairlee Kimm and Ally Bandtock for their sterling efforts in the kitchen alongside the under 15 parents.

 

We are awaiting news of Chloe Nelson who in her first game went off to the hospital with a suspected broken collar bone, we wish her well.

 

Next game is away next week to Hillhead.


Another 5 pointer as Whitecraigs come calling

Biggar 45 Whitecraigs 24

Another 5-pointer for Biggar as they ran in 7 tries (to 3) against Glasgow side Whitecraigs.

 

In reality this was pretty much the result that had been expected as Whitecraigs currently languish in second bottom spot of National 2. Nothing can be taken for granted however and while Biggar shot into an early lead and were 30 points to the good at the break, a much improved performance by the visitors had Biggar reeling and at one point threatening to lose the match.

 

Fortunately things got back on track and normal service was resumed, Biggar notching a late try to end the match on a positive note.

 

This was another entertaining match and another of two distinct halves, Biggar on this occasion starting really well before losing their place somewhat for the third quarter when Whitecraigs got far more of the ball and began to dictate.

 

The very unlucky Ewan Stewart was ruled out of action following a hand injury sustained last week against GHK, Andrew Orr moving forward from the back row to hooker. Douglas Notman returned at No 8 to join Alan Warnock while Andrew Peacock played at lock. The backs were as last week with the other changes on the bench, Kevan Robison and Ross Bradford joining last weeks replacements Gregor Stewart and Guy Kelly.

 

In relatively bright conditions and with Scotland’s lady referee Alex Pratt in charge Biggar opened at a cracking pace, scoring a try through Euan Bogle after just 5 minutes, this following a clearance kick from Whitecraigs which failed to find touch and which gave Biggar the chance to counter. Several simple passes later and Robbie Lavery had options to go left or right. In choosing left Bogle was given a clear run to the corner. Carne Green was not able to add the conversion from far out.

 

Whitecraigs hit back with a penalty from fullback Stephen Gillies but this was against the run of play, Biggar scoring a second try after a patient build up when they retained possession through a number of phases. There were a number of charges to the line, these from Callum Braid, Notman and Green before ball was whipped back left to Jamie Orr who crashed over. The young lock had a cracking match throughout deservedly earning him the man-of-the-match award although other contenders included Braid and Ewan Sanderson who as always put in big hits from start to finish.

 

Shortly after the restart Orr initiated a midfield break, his off-load finding Braid who set off for the line some 40m distant. A despairing tap tackle was all that prevented him from scoring and while a ruck spawned ball for Davy Reive who looked to most to have scored, Ms Pratt was not so convinced, awarding Biggar a scrum some 5m out instead.

 

A handful of probing runs took play to the line again and again, a pass to Alistair Sinclair seeing him claim the space for a try in the corner….but no, not this time either as Ms Pratt gave the visitors a 5m scrum. Having made things really difficult for Whitecraigs from the scrum, Biggar pounced on the loose ball, Reive seeking out Ryan Moffat with what, to all intents and purposes was a crash ball, the centre crossing for another good score. Green added the conversion and Biggar were 19-3 up.

 

Minutes later and Biggar claimed their 4-try bonus point, the all-important try credited to Bogle who cleverly chased and won the race to his own kick ahead.

 

Biggar were handling with some confidence which was great to see and which ended with their 5th try, this again following a kick and chase, this time from Aird Jardine who crossed virtually under the posts and which Green converted.

 

The second period began with a much fresher Whitecraigs approach, all of the players buying into the run-it-from-everywhere approach and in sharp contrast to GHK last week, ‘Craigs managed to hold onto their ball quite easily, which continued to put the Biggar defence under real pressure.

 

Biggar managed to hold their line intact to begin with time but would eventually tell and this was the case as flanker Neil Alexander drove over from close range for a try which was converted by Gillies. 33-10

 

Biggar then lost the services of Bogle who was guilty of a late hit on ‘Craigs stand off Stuart Henderson. Enjoying the 1-man advantage so provided, ‘Craigs continued to press and enjoyed this prolonged passage of play which they used to dictate the pace of the match. Following a penalty award which was tapped and given to replacement Chris O’Donnell, there was really no way which Biggar could have employed to halt this giant’s charge for the line. Needing no second invitation the big man crashed over for a try converted by Gillies for 33-17. Things were now getting quite interesting and there were many Biggar supporters who began to unhappily cast their minds back to the Peebles match when things went very wrong and when Biggar contrived to lose a match they had hitherto had under control.

 

Having made a couple of changes, perhaps the most significant being the replacement at scrum half of Reive by Jardine, Biggar managed to sort themselves out a bit. The next score came out of the blue however and was sparked when a loose ball was gathered by Moffat. The centre broke through some unconvincing initial defence before breaking clear into midfield. Having made 40m he popped the ball to the ever-present Orr, who in turn fed Sanderson. The flanker took the ball on and when eventually hauled down, found Jardine with a neat offload, the fullback running in close to the posts – a well worked try. Green added the conversion for 40-17

 

‘Craigs were not down and out however and they responded well with their third score, this after they had enjoyed another sustained passage of play in the Biggar 22, No 7 Ross McDonald credited with the score, Gillies adding the 2 points for 40-24.

 

There followed a prolonged stoppage after ‘Craigs centre Wamberg collided with Moffat, both players complicit in the collision as both were arguably too high in contact. While Moffat sustained a blow to his cheek he was able to continue, Wamberg less fortunate and he was stretchered from the field with a neck brace. This (happily) proved to be precautionary and he was back on his feet after the match.

 

The final try went fittingly to Orr who rounded off an excellent display with this his second score. He was almost over minutes earlier and he could have set Stewart in at the corner but the try was merely delayed as Biggar pummelled the ‘Craigs line before Jardine and Green combined well to free the lock for a dive at the corner.

 

 

Although there was time for the restart the game was virtually over and the next stoppage saw referee Pratt blow for full time.

 

Plus points came in the form of Jamie Orr who was prominent in every aspect – restarts, lineouts, defence and attack – while the mobility of prop Callum Braid, another who shines in the loose as well as doing his bit in the tight, continues to impress. It would again be hard to pick any one player who did not make a very positive contribution to the game at some point, the trick for coaches Mercer and Wilson, both of whom were on a school trip to France at the weekend, being how they can get the squad to play for a whole 80 minutes, the general feeling being that if they could, they would be a match for any team in the league.

 

So Biggar cling onto joint 4th spot with Lasswade, the East Lothian side also claiming a 4-try bonus.

 

This weekend Biggar journey to Preston Lodge, a trip they have never relished and at which they have seldom triumphed. Onward and upward!

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, A. Orr, C. Braid, J. Orr, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, E. Bogle, A. Jardine Reps: K. Robison, G. Kelly, R. Bradford, G. Stewart.

 

 

The 2nd XV were forced to postpone their match after they suffered a large number of call off's due to work and injury. This is really disappointing as again there were many players who missed out on thier game. To that end if you are of playing age, PLEASE make yourself available. Your Club Needs You!


Gold Club Season 21017-18

Gold Club Prize winners for this season:


2nd September.       £250    -    199   Brian Dickie
                                     £100    -     109   Michael Booth
                                     £100    -     45     Tom Moffat
                                     £100    -     95     Bill Warnock
                                     £100    -     73     John Turnbull
                                     £100    -     191   Laura Watson


16th September     £250    -     231   Darren Burns
                                    £100    -      334   Jan Harper
                                    £100    -      236   Peter Kinstrey
                                    £100    -      302   David Raftery
                                    £100    -      104   Ian Barr
                                    £100    -      43     Matt McKendrick

14th  October           £250    -     91    Stuart Mcgregor
                                     £100    -     200  Andrew & Joyce Clark
                                     £100    -     118   Kevin Dempster
                                     £100    -     213   Grant Sutherland
                                     £100    -     181   Martyn Ward
                                     £100    -      334   Jan Harper
 


Mirage Conference Biggar v Ayr

U18 Girls Ayr 15 Biggar 41

Biggar girls travelled to Ayr for the re-scheduled match from earlier in the season which was postponed due to waterlogged pitches. Biggar travelled with a full squad however the hosts were only able to field 11 players and the match was played as a development game.

 

It was agreed by the coaches and the referee that three periods of twenty minutes would be played with Biggar providing three players to Ayr for each period. The game was played in good spirits and both sides were able to gain some worthwhile experience and the new players to the Biggar squad (Megan Paterson, Lucy Blackie and Megan Forster) were able to take part in all the sessions. The Biggar girls came out on top with a final score of 41 – 15.

 

Many thanks go to the coaches, Charlie and Callum who was ably assisted by Rory and in particular Hamish.

 

U15's Ayr 10 Biggar 40

Our girls worked well as a team today and it showed. Excellent performances from all, with at least 3 contenders for Girl of the Game! Great leadership from our Capt Emma Orr and Vice Mariana Finlayson and team spirit from everyone. We’re proud of you. As a side we won 40 - 10.

The girls next game is against Caithness at home on Sunday 15th October, with kick off at midday for both the under 15 and under 18 squads and any support would be greatly appreciated.


Shogun Conference update


In the Shogun Conference the Colts on Saturday preceded the 15’s and 16’s in journeying north to Inverness for their matches against Highland RFC.

 

It was not an easy day for the Colts who lost out heavily by 92-7 while the 16’s were also defeated by 52-15.

 

It was left to the 15’s to return with a win, their 50-0 victory being a great result.

 

Highland were unable to send their S1 and S2 sides south as was scheduled as this weekend coincided with their October week holiday. The Conference matches are now suspended as most other regions have their Autumn break.
 


Fantastic come back at GHK earns 5 points

GHK 26 Biggar 38

This was another incident packed contest, another game of two distinct halves, another with a barrow load of tries (9 in total) and another with some great running rugby from both sides. It’s not clear quite how much of this the loyal Biggar support can take – their side was 14-0 down before they came into the match – but if they can continue to mount second half revivals on the scale of these last two outings then it is going to be a long yet exciting season!

 

Calum Braid - who was later awarded the man-of-the-match award for his contribution in both attack and defence – returned to the front row for the unavailable Donald Voas, this allowing Euan Sanderson to return to the starting line up, one of his fellow back row being none other than Ross Jackson who was without a match at his new club Marr, but who is dual registered and only too keen to pull on the Biggar jersey once again.

 

Ross Bradford was a late injury call off in the backs and his place was taken by Euan Bogle with James Barr called up from 2nd XV action to the bench.

 

GHK and their fellow pitch-sharing mates Glasgow Hawks have not had their troubles to seek this season after a ‘sink-hole’ appeared slap bang in their 1st XV pitch. They have been forced to scour Glasgow for alternative temporary accommodation and while several games have been played at Balgray (home of Kelvinside Academy) the pitch there has not been able to withstand the extra traffic and so Saturday’s match took place on one of the back pitches at Old Anniesland. While there was no doubting the quality of the surface there was some concern over the absence of a pitch surround rope which meant that spectators were right on the touchline. This made the touch-judges task all the more difficult. Fortunately nothing untoward occurred but it is something which the club should address before their next match.

 

Kicking off and starting in similar fashion to Dumfries last week GHK put Biggar under immediate pressure, stand off Danny Campbell hitting a great line off quick ruck ball to crash over for the opening score. He added the conversion for an all too easy 7-0 lead.

 

Running ball at every opportunity GHK were soon back on the attack and on 12 minutes their big prop strolled through a somewhat weak Biggar defence for the second score and with Campbell adding the conversion it was 14-0 for the city side.

 

Biggar had their moments but too often play broke down as penalties were conceded or as ball was fumbled. A Carne Green penalty attempt rebounded off the upright to give GHK some panicky moments but a forward pass from the Biggar attack allowed GHK to clear.

 

Biggar still enjoyed territorial position however and a penalty gave them good field position on the GHK 22. Ball moved right saw Braid and then Ewan Stewart handle before Ryan Moffit took a crash ball, his run taking him over for Biggar’s opening score. Green’s conversion made it 14-7.

 

Although neither side’s lineout was working particularly well both sides engineered important steals on their opponents throw, Alan Warnock taking one such steal when GHK were next in a good attacking position.

 

This was quickly followed a by a neat break from Green which took him through the GHK defence and into open space. He elected to pass wide to Bogle who also made good yards before a great cover tackle ended the move. Unfortunately the tackle ended in a pile up which left the GHK flanker Jamie Cook prone. A prolonged stoppage was necessary while he received attention. Ultimately, while there was discussion about moving the match to the adjoining pitch, the player was transferred to a stretcher and moved out of harm’s way.

 

It is understood that Jamie recieved a 'stinger' and that he is recovering. Best wishes from BRFC.

 

Play had been held up for some 15 minutes and whether this had a major impact on the match is difficult to tell save that Biggar seemed to play with greater authority after the stoppage then they had before.

 

Penalties were awarded on a fairly regular basis by referee Ruaridh Smith and while this didn’t really allow the game to flow all were easy decisions to make and in the most, fairly clear cut. Neither side gained a particular advantage either, save that later in the game, it seemed likely that a GHK player was shown a yellow although this never happened.

 

Gregor Stewart and Douglas Notman had replaced Robbie Lavery and Andrew Orr respectively and both made telling contributions, Stewart with some good hands and Notman with typical belligerence in and around the contact area.

 

A second penalty kick from Green was pushed wide while a similar award to GHK saw them tap and go, this causing all sorts of problems for the Biggar defence and somewhat against the recent run of play, eventually a 3rd try, this falling to winger Marc Taylor and coming just before half time. Campbell’s excellent touchline conversion rebounded off the upright before slipping over for 21-7.

 

Biggar mounted an attack on the restart, this after a GHK fumble, and they should probably have scored from two good attacks, one on each wing, but on each occasion the GHK scramble defence was up to the task. A penalty award led to a lineout but a knock on allowed GHK to kick the ball dead for the break.

 

Having conceded a score just before the break Biggar needed a quick riposte although this didn’t come in the normal manner. An early GHK attack stretched Biggar’s defence but Green took a gamble – much in the same way as Ruardhi Jackson had done in the Glasgow game the night before - and made a timely interception, this taking him clear to the line although it couldn’t come quick enough as the cover defence was getting back quickly. Bogle added the conversion for 21-14.

 

Able to get straight back on the attack courtesy of a Jamie Orr tackle and Sanderson jackal, Biggar kicked for the corner and an attacking line. Braid advanced play and then Reive found Green from the ruck. A huge miss pass was then delivered to Stewart who had a relatively easy run in for Biggar’s 3rd try which, when converted well by Bogle, had the sides level at 21 a-piece.

 

‘Can’t kick, won’t kick’ was certainly the GHK mantra, their desire to run ball from everywhere admirable but if the handling isn’t good then the side is immediately put under lots of pressure and this was definitely the case as time after time when field position could so easily have been gained by a clearing kick, the decision to run was taken. And almost inevitably ground lost as passes were fumbled.

 

Biggar’s lineout was struggling to function efficiently, especially as hooker Ewan Stewart had taken a knock to the hand, Orr eventually deputising in this role. Moffit profited from a good quick pass and perhaps should have made the line but his off-load failed to go to hand, Lavery knocking on with the line easily reachable. Bogle was just wide with a penalty but struck the next cleanly to give his side the lead for the first time at 24-21.

 

To add insult to injury GHK’s restart was kicked dead (this to add to several missed touches in the first half) and play taken back to half way.

 

In contrast to GHK’s ‘no kick’ ploys Biggar controlled proceedings pretty well with Reive, Green and Jardine ensuring ball was kept in front of the pack with a variety of box and grubber kicks. In addition the ferocious offensive tackling from Notman, Braid, Jamie Orr and Sanderson and their work at contact meant that GHK were given precious little time on the ball.

 

Bogle scored the 4th Biggar try, this of course a bonus point score, the winger tearing in at the corner after Green had combined well with Lavery, the centre’s miss pass finding Bogle who slid in at the corner. The conversion from out wide was just short but at 29-21 the advantage was at last Biggar’s.

 

GHK had a chance to put Biggar under pressure following a high tackle from Bogle but frustratingly for the home support the penalty was kicked long and dead allowing Biggar another escape.

 

Back on the attack and up quickly to defend as GHK ran again with some purpose – their backs will surely never make as many handling errors again this season – Lavery took a fumbled pass to pop ball to Green on Biggar’s 10m line. The stand off had the legs (just) of the cover defence and ran in for his second try of the afternoon. Bogle added the conversion to take Biggar two scores clear.

 

It’s been done before of course (Peebles is still too fresh in the memory) and there remained some nervous moments as GHK flung everything they had left at Biggar. Stout defence did its job but with the final movement of the match a driven maul did end on a positive note for the home side as they notched their 4 try bonus point.

 

It was Biggar however who took the lion’s share of the spoils to remain in 4th spot in the league behind Kirkcaldy, Hamilton (who ended Dumfries’ winning run on Saturday) and Dumfries. It is not too often Biggar return from the city with a 5 pointer, rarer still after being two scores down at the break…..but it would be good not to have to rely on second half comebacks!

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, E. Stewart, C. Braid, J. Orr, A. Warnock, A. Orr, E. Sanderson, R. Jackson, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffit, R. Lavery, E. Bogle, A. Jardine Reps: D. Notman, G. Kelly, J. Barr, G. Stewart.

 

 

The Biggar support on Saturday was, as always, excellent. It was supplemented on Saturday by Biggar Young Farmers who were hosting exchangees from Gower YF in Wales. The visitors had a great afternoon and livened things up with a number of touchline songs with lock forward Jamie Orr their clear favourite!

 

 

The 2nd XV had their first outing for a month on Saturday when they travelled to take on Boroughmuir 3rds. To frustrate Biggar the city side triumphed with what was virtually the last play of the game. 17-13 was the final score.


Biggar Girls in Mirage Conference action

Mirage Conference

U15 Girls

Stirling County proved to be a much improved squad from previous years while Biggar’s U15’s include several who are new to the game.

 

As a result the strong running of the Stirling girls made this a very difficult day for the Biggar squad, the visitors running in a barrow load of scores. On a positive note however, the Biggar effort never once wavered and the girls deserve great credit for their efforts in very challenging circumstances.

 

U18 Girls

Biggar 22 Stirling 14

With both clubs able to field full teams and with neither side having lost so far this season, this was always destined to be a very competitive match and so it turned out.

 

Stirling started with the strong wind at their back and applied constant pressure for the first 15 minutes although a very resolute Biggar defence prevented any score. Biggar then began to find their form and after a period of sustained pressure scored their first try when Biggar No.10 Sarah Denholm spotted a gap in the Stirling defence and scored between the posts, conversion added by Emily Armstrong. Biggar continued to secure good ball and a second try was scored by Julia Bell. Both sides continued to play good rugby and Stirling scored a converted try to take the score to 12 – 7 at half time.

 

Biggar started the second half very strongly with constant pressure resulting in Stirling giving away a whole string of penalties and the Biggar squad kept their composure to secure a third try scored by Abi Bandtock taking the score to 17 – 7. Stirling challenged the Biggar defence and after a well worked move with the point of attack changing several times, scored under the posts with the extra conversion points added taking the score to 17 – 14.

 

With the match very even at this point it was Biggar who continued to press strongly and after a penalty kicked to touch secured the ball from the resulting lineout and after several phases of play touched down their fourth try and second for Julia Bell. This took the score to 22 – 14 and it was to remain at this through to the final whistle. This was a very entertaining game showing good skills from both teams and the Biggar coaches will be very satisfied by the all-round team performance particularly in defence.

 

Thanks must also go to Jane Robinson for videoing the game and to Jane and Murray Brown and Marion Hughes for their sterling work in the kitchen.


Colts come up short against West


Shogun Conference Biggar Colts 12 West of Scotland U18 17

 

Following the dreadful news about his involvement in a car accident mid-week, Jordan Gray was absent from the team and awaiting surgery to repair broken bones. This is a massive loss to the team but, most importantly, Jordan will be around to tell us all the tale when he gets home. The Colts wish Jordan all the very best and a speedy recovery.

 

The dull thud of last weeks defeat at the hands of Ayr left a nasty taste in the mouth but in truth it's always a challenge for coaches to establish real continuity when you have players away on other duties.

 

West were decisive from the kick-off and didn't waste any time in getting the scoreboard going with a converted try after 3 minutes. The visitors were playing with intensity. Take heed Biggar.....your opponents are well and truly up for this.

 

Biggar didn't realise at this point, but the next 67 minutes would be full of set-backs, and dull thuds. The first one of those saw the premature departure of Lewis Stewart who had to leave the field after 5 minutes following a meaty challenge with his opposite back rower (suspected Collar bone). Colts pulled together swiftly and Matthew Stewart's try on 8 mins displayed true quality. The precise and simple nature of the move from the set piece scrum on the West 22 was a joy to watch. It was built on defiance, attitude and opportunism. A real team effort.

 

But after that the game turned frantic and disjointed, however Biggar were still advancing and with good numbers too. Drew Brewster's line breaks were effective which put West on the back foot and saw them penalised for not rolling away. Steele pulled the place kick.

 

Biggar pushed forward again and tried to recycle the ball quickly. West not 10. Another penalty. Another miss from the tee. Most definitely out of character for the full-back.

 

A lot of the game was played in the middle of the pitch and no one had any real control. It was West that pulled away at the end of the first half with a penalty kick to bring the score line to 5-10.

 

Biggar's early efficiency had melted into uncertainty. When Steele's penalty kick to touch earned them a throw five metres from the West line it was as if they could just help themselves to the ball.

 

Biggar conceded a rash of penalties in front of their posts and West exploited the mistakes to score another converted try to extend their lead. It was symbolic of a second half that deteriorated into a fractious affair and to add to the frustration Colts lost scrum-half Finlay Barr to an ankle injury. Wallis deputised.

 

There was a glimmer of hope because the most of the second half was played fairly well in the West half but there remained uncertainty and imprecision. That hope took another blow when Andrew Reid was knocked out and had to be stretchered off.

 

Biggar had to bring something to the party and eventually did with a good period of pressure and a healthy mix of vim and vigour. Daniel McConkey and Craig Frame showing leadership in the pack and moving forward at every opportunity.

 

Scott Paton nailed his first try of the season by crashing over the line to close the gap to 5 points. It may not have been as pretty as the first try but that didn't matter. The forward had a bit of work to do and showed strength and determination. Ali Steele added the extras.

 

A possible victory could be had although the clock was ticking down. Too little, too late. Biggar couldn't capitalise on the territory they had and it was nothing like enough to close things out. The game ended with that same bitter taste sampled the week previous. West would need scraped off the ceiling with delight and only their second win of the season. Biggar would be left climbing the walls!

 

Tries: Matthew Stewart, Scott Paton Conv: Ali Steele
 


Shogun Conference update

On Sunday the Boys were in action against West in the Shogun Conference.

The S1 and S2 sides were at home but neither side could get the better of their visitors, West claiming the points with a 31-0 win at S1 and a 21-11 win at S2.

Biggar Under 14’s

The boys put in another terrific display against West of Scotland in a highly competitive encounter on Sunday losing by 21 points to 11 points.

Although West went in front with 2 early tries it was Biggar who gained the upper hand towards the end of the 1st half replying with a try from Callum McLemon but also losing out on 2 further scores which should have been taken.

The West winger was being given space to get his pace up and angle running which Biggar failed to deal with. However, Biggar never given in and often put West on the back foot to score a further 2 tries from Ben McBride and Christopher Barrett . Finlay Crozier converted two of three tries.

Biggar attack is as strong as any other team in this league but too often it is the defence (tackling) which needs continual work on. Everyone needs to tackle not just a few.

We must not take away how well these boys have moved forward in the last few weeks with coaches Doug Roper and Mark Yates driving the boys from the front.

Attitudes have changed and its these little things that make a big difference.

The other change is that they now have a squad and they are all proud to be playing for each other. This team will not give up and they really are great to watch.

The glory in this team is their ability to rise every time they fall. Many others could learn from these boys.

 

The 15’s and 16’s were at Burnbrae.

The U15s returned to winning ways with a 52 - 0 win away at West on their 4G pitch.

 

Scoring started after 4 minutes with a direct run and try from Jonathan Smith. West then put the boys under 10 minutes solid pressure with the ball being held up over the try line a couple of times. The defence remained strong and organised and when Biggar eventually got the ball they started to link up and the trys followed.

 

First of all for outside centre Lewis Campbell with a try collected perfectly form a bouncing ball after a kick over the top from Euan Laing followed by one from flanker Kaleb Millar with a drive through the middle. Next up was Murray Lean with a strong inside centre cut back from 10 yards out to cut through a wall of defence.

 

In the second half the forwards got more of the trys with first Fraser Simpson breaking through the middle for a break away try. This was followed up by Jonathan Smith's and Kaleb Millar's second and topped off with an injured Sam Taylor keeping his try scoring count continuing.

 

6 of the 8 trys were converted by captain for the day Euan Laing.

 

The rain barely stopped and their was lots spilled ball and knock on's but by keeping West out and the score board moving the team was able to play lots of people in different positions and gain lots and lots of experience.

 

Thanks to hosts for a match always played in the best tradition of rugby.

 

In a close but very high-scoring match the 16’s lost out by 44-38 (loss)

 

The Colts, 15’s and 16’s face a long trip north at the weekend when they journey to Inverness to take on Highland

 

Unfortunately their S1 and S2 sides cannot make the trip south as this weekend coincides with the Inverness October holiday which means they cannot raise numbers to travel. While Biggar are seeking alternative fixtures it might mean a week off for these sides but with a scheduled break in the programme to cater for the October week break here this may mean a fortnight’s break.


Biggar and Dumfries serve up a thriller

Biggar 26 Dumfries 29

It seems that Biggar’s matches this season are proving to be not only particularly exciting affairs but also full of incident – sufficient to ensure there is plenty of post match debate at least.

 

The first match of the season saw the side notch up a win against a confident Hamilton side; a fortnight ago against Peebles, Biggar managed to lose a game in the dying minutes which they had hitherto seemingly had in the bag; last week in Aberdeen the side racked up Biggar’s largest league total for many a year while on Saturday the side clawed their way back into a match most present felt at half time (when they were 24-5 down) they had lost. More was to follow as in the last minute the decision was taken opt for a scrum and a try to win, instead of what appeared to be a relatively simple penalty which would have given them a valuable draw and which would have perhaps, more importantly, ended Dumfries’ winning run.

 

Was it bravado, bravery, foolhardy…..each opinion had its backers in the post match chat, with a general failure in communication deemed the reason for opting for the scrum though there seems no doubt either that the second half finished abruptly, there having been a prolonged period of injury time after a clash of heads which might have seen Dumfries claw their way back from the kick off had Biggar kicked the penalty.

 

No matter, Biggar collected 2 points courtesy of their losing and 4-try bonus, Dumfries picking up a maximum 5 from their part in the 8-try feast.

 

Unbeaten before the match and unbeaten after the match, Dumfries were delighted to record their win and so they should be, their side easily the best prepared Biggar have encountered to date and clearly relishing their promotion from National 3 last season.

 

Biggar rang the changes again as injury/illness deprived them of Euan Sanderson and Andrew Nimmo, their deputies being Donald Voas and Douglas Notman, the No8/flanker returning after injury. Jamie Orr replaced Callum Dunlop at lock while in the backs a fit again Ryan Moffit returned to the centre, Gregor Stewart dropping to the bench where he was joined again by Andrew Peacock, Euan Bogle and Guy Kelly.

 

This was the ultimate in those matches which fall into the category of being a ‘game of two halves’, Biggar down and out at 24-0 and then 24-5 at the break and yet managing to win the second half by 21-5.

 

An early barrage of attacking play by the visitors saw Biggar on the ropes as Dumfries ran at great pace, posing all sorts of questions to the Biggar side. Within three minutes of the start a rumble by Dumfries prop Scott Goodwin saw the Biggar line breached and gave fullback Sam Hiddleston a relatively easy run in under the posts, John Carlisle easily adding the conversion for 7-0.

 

Robbie Lavery got back well to thwart a breenge by hooker Zeke Dyson and Carlisle missed a penalty while a break by Hiddleston on the right flank should have perhaps seen Dumfries score again, Biggar just managing to scramble back and defend their line.

 

In their 22 again skipper Alan Warnock who, as usual, provided a captains lead throughout, tidied a lose ball in the Biggar 22, but it was Dumfries who were calling the shots at this point, the National 2 newcomers running some great angles and at real pace.

 

Biggar’s defence has not been under just as much sustained pressure in any other game although they did have some forays up into the Dumfries half where they met some resolute defence and where they found it difficult to hold onto possession. At every opportunity Dumfries ran the ball or kicked it back to resume their threat. Another penalty from Carlisle proved tantalisingly close as it rebounded off the upright and which had Biggar scrambling as Warnock tidied again and Green kicked clear.

 

Ironically, however, the next try came not from a sortie by Dumfries but instead as a result of a real mix up between Biggar centres Moffit and Lavery and when Biggar were in possession, albeit in their half and when running out of defence. Stand off Carne Green shaped to go and pass left but his pass fell to the ground as the centres collided, the ball kicked on and then picked up gratefully by Carlisle who ran through for a score which he again converted for 14-0.

 

A Biggar attack 10 minutes later foundered as they were penalised, Carlisle kicking to 5 metres out where ball won by Michael Thomson was shipped right, Hiddleston in at a great angle to crash through the despairing Biggar defence for a third Dumfries try which when converted gave them a 21-0 lead.

 

Biggar then lost the services of hooker Ewan Stewart after a head knock. In reality he should have departed earlier but referee Adam Morrison who is a Kiwi not long arrived in the country and who had a good game otherwise, was content to allow Stewart to stay on and this despite the protestations of Davy Reive. Peacock came on for the unlucky Stewart who will now miss out the next fortnight or so.

 

Just minutes later and another Dumfries penalty was converted for 24-0.

 

This seemed at last to galvanise the Biggar effort, the hosts finishing the half on the ascendancy, a series of pick and goes with Orr, Braid, Voas, Green et al in the van taking play deep into the Dumfries 22. Pressure was at last sustained and Dumfries were forced to defend. This they managed although Notman and Jardine both came within metres of the try line. Two penalties conceded by Dumfries both of which were eminently kick-able saw Biggar opt for a scrum and then a tap and go, this eventually spawning ball which Green used right. His wide pass was taken by Lavery who managed to off-load in the tackle to Alistair Sinclair who scampered over for a try which gave Biggar a 24-5 lifeline for the second half.

 

Biggar began the second period in fine style although crucially they were unable to add to their tally, ball lost when in promising positions and Dumfries managing to escape the immediate threat.

 

Having survived this initial period Dumfries then scored their 4th try, this coming after the Biggar defence was strung wide and far, Rory Steele crossing with a wee show and go. Carlisle was off target with his wide conversion but at 29-5 it didn’t look good for the home side.

 

The players had different ideas however and quickly had Dumfries back in their own half and on the defensive again. Voas who saw so much more of the ball this game then in any other so far this season made valuable inroads as did Notman, Braid and Orr with Jardine and Bradford helping by running ball back when Dumfries kicked clear. A hard won penalty gave Biggar an attacking opportunity and in similar fashion to the Dumfries score in the first half, ball won in the air by Jamie Orr was carried forward by Voas. Reive popped the ball out to Moffit, the big man almost unstoppable from close range and crashing over from some 10 metres out although he needed to stretch for the try. Green converted for 29-12.

 

Now, in what was a purple patch, Biggar probed once again, with all taking ball into contact with a new found confidence. Off-loads which had previously proved inconsistent seemed to stick to hand and Biggar made ground slowly but surely. Euan Bogle who had replaced Sinclair at half time made some good yards with quick feet but it was that man Moffit (having easily his best game so far) who grabbed the next try.

 

A penalty to the Dumfries 22 saw ball won again by Orr, Reive on hand to provide the link to Moffit who came again as first receiver. His drive seemed destined to come to a swift end such was the Dumfries cover but miraculously he managed to stay on his feet before being half tackled. Able to continue on he burst through the remaining cover to stretch once again for the line, referee Morrison on hand to award the try. Green’s conversion made it 29-19!

 

With a quarter of the match still remaining it was very much a case of game well and truly on!

 

In what was real harem, scarem period a clash of heads saw Biggar’s Braid and Dumfries’ McCall depart, this leading to uncontested scrums which with Biggar just edging their opponents in this area, nullified that slim advantage.

 

The pace of the game was beginning to tell although those who felt Biggar were down and out at half time and breathing too heavily would be delighted to note their continued efforts to take the points from this match. Dumfries were now confined to a defensive role as Biggar continued to press. The precise control which was required was just not quite there however with a couple of lineouts and passes not as accurate as would have been wished.

 

An injury to Jardine saw him replaced by Stewart who played on the wing with Bradford reverting to fullback. As Kelly had come on earlier for Braid, Biggar had now used all their bench.

 

Continuing to press Biggar were awarded a penalty which with several minutes remaining they opted to kick for the corner. While the initial foray was halted on the left, play was switched back to the right where Green’s long pass found Notman in acres of space and with a clear overlap. The flanker put his head down though and crashed over for a try which when converted by Green took Biggar within 3 points at 29-26.

 

And so to the final minute of drama. While Dumfries might have thought that the restart would give them good field position Biggar had different ideas and a break from Green took play deep into their opponents half. Some great interplay between Warnock, Peacock and Lavery maintained the momentum with the two Orr’s providing suitable battering rams to continue the onslaught.

 

A penalty award came Biggar’s way and in the middle of the park on the Dumfries 22 there was a great opportunity to tie the match.

 

The rest is now history, a break by Bradford and then by Bogle allowed Biggar to press but each sortie was met by stout defence. A ruck formed and for once Dumfries opted to go for the counter ruck, and as Biggar attempted to scramble the ball back referee Morrison blew for a penalty – cue manic celebrations from the Dumfries squad who knew that the kick to touch would end the match.

 

For the neutral a cracking match, and while there was understandable frustration and disappointment in the Biggar ranks, the squad can take great heart and solace for the way in which they came back into the match, scoring 4 tries in the process and matching their opponents in every area, save for the penalty count…….

 

Next up is a tough trip to GHK, the Glasgow side not playing just as well as they did last year but a difficult proposition in the city. Biggar will have to dig deep and rely on their reserve strength as there were a few sore bodies at the end of the game.

 

Biggar

D. Voas, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, J. Orr, A. Warnock, C. Braid, A. Orr, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffit, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: D. Voas, G. Kelly, E. Bogle, G. Stewart.


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Fantastic come back at GHK earns 5 points

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Shogun Conference update

Another tough day for the Biggar Youth sides

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Biggar and Dumfries serve up a thriller

Biggar match visitors in tries with a single penalty all that seperates the sides at the death

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