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

Things you need to know….dates for your diary

May 25th-27th: Biggar's Big May Weekend

It's just a few weeks away - are you ready.....have you got your tickets?

 

Includes

 

Friday 25th:

Biggar Young Farmers 75th Anniversary Ball

 

Saturday 26th:

Biggar’s Fun Sevens,

After Sevens Party Night featuring two local bands, Strange Brew and The Nomads,

and

 

Sunday 27th:

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers

(various charges apply, please see social media for full details).

 

As always GY is your contact for tickets, but don't leave it too late!


West Area cup progress for U16’s

Sunday 11 March 2018

Annan 5 v 70 Biggar U16’s

The under 16’s third West Region Cup fixture, unfortunately turned into a very one sided affair. With Annan a man short from the start, Biggar’s Josh Foster was loaned to the opposition to balance the numbers, but this did not prevent Biggar getting off to a flying start. Callum Smith opened the scoring after Euan Barr picked-up a loose ball and having drawn in the Annan defenders slipped a pass to Callum to run-in unchallenged. Calum McCallum kicked the conversion for Biggar to lead 7-0. Then some excellent forward play led to the ball being spun down the back line to Shane Bolan who touched down in the corner, although the kick was missed to take the score to 12-0. Next Callum Smith scored his second by catching a kicked clearance from Annan’s 10 yard line on just about half-way and running it straight back under the posts. Callum McCallum made the kick to extend the lead 19-0.

 

Unfortunately the Biggar boys began to get complacent and as Annan once again kicked forward from the base of a scrum no one but the Annan centres chased the ball. As the Biggar defenders watched the ball bounce the Annan man picked it up and ran in from distance with only the Biggar full-back making any effort to get to him. Annan missed the conversion but they had put points on the board to bring the score to 19-5.

 

Biggar responded almost immediately from the kick-off gaining a line out and winning the ball through Andrew “pine-tree” Barratt, before taking a driving maul some thirty yards for Seth Jamieson to touch down for the try. This was closely followed by Euan Barr’s second of the game as after a solid hand off he found himself free to sail in under posts. Just before half-time a Biggar scrum on the Annan five yard line led to Cameron Gray picking up and scrambling over the line, although he had an excellent dummy run from fly-half Greggor McPhearson to thank for clearing the way for him. With Calum McCallum making all three conversions the lead was extended to 40-5 as the half-time whistle blew.

 

Despite being so far in front the Biggar boys received a rollicking half-time team talk from coach Andy, who was unhappy at the complacency and showboating that was creeping into their game. This clearly had the desired effect as the boys became much more focussed in the second half and began to play the sort of rugby that any team would find hard to combat. The boys managed to run in a further 5 unanswered tries in the second half. First up, after a long series of phases with the backs criss-crossing the pitch, Euan Barr notched up his second of the match.

 

Next, Will Kelly found himself on the end of another series of back plays and ended up running in from 20+ yards (a record for Will) as the Annan defenders bounced off him along the way. It was Will Kelly again for the next try, this time in the more familiar forwards fashion as he finished off a set play from the Biggar line-out.

 

Try number ten came from another unstoppable Biggar rolling maul, although I am sure at one point there were at least 13 Biggar men involved as Seth Jamieson finally touched down for his second of the game. That only left Cameron Gray to complete the try-fest as he skilfully got on the end of a kick through from Calum McCallum and touched down for his second of the game also. With Calum McCallum kicking three of the five second half conversions the score was extended to 70-7 at which point the coaches called the game.

 

An emphatic victory for the boys but much to work on as they next face Allen Glens the other undefeated side in the cup pool.

 

Sunday 25 March 2018

Biggar U16’s 36 v 22 Allen Glens

This was a big game for the U16’s, a battle between the two undefeated teams in the West Regional Cup pool, which would determine who would top the group. With regular coaches Andy and Aird both unavailable our thanks go to Nick for standing in and keeping the boys on track. The Biggar boys started the game well, with the majority of the first fifteen minutes ensconced in the Allen Glens half, though they were unable to turn the possession and the territory into points. It was the Glens who eventually opened the scoring with a try totally against the run of play, though they missed the conversion for a 5-0 lead. Biggar struck back with their signature driving maul which saw Cameron Gray touching down and Calum McCallum kicking the conversion to make it 7-5.

 

As both teams settled into their game it was end to end stuff. Biggar extended the lead with a Callum Smith try breaking from the half-way line and speeding past all of the Glens defenders to score. Calum McCallum made the kick for 14-5. But then came a second try from Glens to bring it back to 14-10 as they once again missed the conversion. After some excellent rucking play from the Biggar forwards, which saw them progress down the field to the Glens try line, it was Calum McCallum who scrambled over the line from the back of the ruck. Though he missed the kick it was 19-10 as the ref blew for half-time.

 

Biggar opened the second-half with another score straight from the kick-off. Calum McCallum caught the Glens kick making several yards before setting the ball up for a pick-up and go from Seth Jamieson, who after making considerable ground, popped a pass to Callum Smith to score by out pacing the last of the defenders. Though the kick was missed this was an excellent start to the second-half and extended the Biggar to 24-10.

 

Once again though Glens kept themselves in the game with their third try and a successful conversion pulling it back to 24-17. Next up, Euan Barr finished off a series of back moves shuffling the ball back and forward across the park to score, shrugging off three Glens tacklers as he did so. Calum McCallum kicked the conversion to extend the lead to 31-17. Still the game was not over, as the Glens came back again, scoring a try but missing the conversion to make it 31-22, with less than 10 minutes to go.

 

It looked as if things were going down to the wire but another solo run from Callum Smith, sailing down the touchline past several defenders who were just unable able to catch him and scoring in the corner. Although the kick was missed the lead was stretched to 36-22 and the Biggar boys just held on to the ball to see out the clock.

 

An excellent team performance and a well deserved victory for the boys, who topped the group with a 100% record. Next stop the semi-final against GHA!


Mixed fortunes for Girls Youth U15’s and U18’s

Sunday was another of those mega-days when the club hosted no fewer than 5 games with another side, the Girls U15 squad on duty in Banchory against a Grampian XV.

They found the going tough in this match and lost out by 47-22. This brings an end to Biggar’s 3 year U15 national cup dominance, but with a very young squad who worked tirelessly and who will have learned a lot from the experience, they will be back!

 

 

Biggar U18 girls v Caithness 75-0 win

 

Biggar U18 Girls progress to the Semi Final of the Scottish Club Cup after a convincing victory over the Caithness squad.

 

Match Report: Many thanks to Bill Denholm

 

On what was a very busy day at Hartreemill this Quarterfinal tie was played for the most part in the March sunshine.

 

Caithness having undertaken the long journey south on Saturday arrived with a squad of 17 and with Biggar able to pick from a squad of 20 girls, this was a welcome opportunity for both teams to get some much needed game time after the severe weather experienced over the previous months.

 

Biggar started the game very well and applied early pressure and were two tries up within the first 10 minutes. Caithness however came back strongly and scored a very good try to take the score to 10-5.

 

The Biggar girls were playing in a very controlled way and scored a further 5 tries taking the score to 39-5 at half time.

 

The second half was to unfold in a similar way with Biggar maintaining the pressure and with very good link play scored a further 5 unanswered tries. The Caithness girls to their credit did not allow their heads to drop and competed to the end.

 

All 20 Biggar girls were able to get some game time including a new face Shania, who travelled all the way from Kelso for training on Wednesday and for this game. Final score 70-5. Despite the margin of the victory the game was competitive and played in very good spirit.

 

The Biggar coaches will be very pleased with the controlled manner in which the girls played as a team with some very good decision making, excellent link play and very few errors (Well done Girls). Scorers: Tries Geri (4), Rachel, Kaylee (2), Emelia (4), Emily. Conversions Kaylee (4).

 

The girls now travel to Hillhead for the semi-final on the 8th April.

 

Many thanks to Richard for filming the game and to Ally Bandtock and Jennifer Bailee for their work in the kitchen. Thanks also to Dave Simpson for supporting the girls in their warm up and as medic for the match – this was a great help to both girls and coaches.


Youth U14’s v Dunfermline

Biggar U14 v Dunfermline 22-14 defeat

 

(Many thanks to Gavin Hill for this report)

 

Just 4 weeks ago Dunfermline gave Biggar a very stern test winning comfortably using their size and skill levels.

 

On Sunday Dunfermline left Hartreemill knowing that they had been in a game right up to the final whistle winning by 22 points to 14points. Dunfermline coaches felt Biggar had noticeably improved since they last met.

 

Yes, Dunfermline again showed why they have few games over the season but they were matched by a team with determination.

 

As one Biggar boy said 'I'm not that big, physically. I'm just big where it counts - I got a big heart!'

 

That sums up this team and they will go far together.

 

Throughout the game a couple of the Dunfermline boys caused issues. Biggar don’t have individuals they have a team that will do so much together.

 

Biggar did have their share of the ball but they were letting themselves down in the rucking as Dunfermline constantly counter rucked to turn over ball. Also lack of communication at the restart lead to ball being given to Dunfermline too easy.

 

With Morris McDiarmid showing great maturity, the ball was being well used in the backs and this allowed Ben MacBride to show tremendous pace throughout the game. Gregor Forrest was causing their midfield issues and was being well supported by Alexander Walpole.

 

Too often in recent weeks Tom Roper and Rory Hill have had to carry a high percentage of the work in the forwards but Callum McLemon, Christopher Barrett and Ciaran Bell really made a difference on Sunday and this allowed the pack to often take control up front. Christopher and Ciaran really were impressive to watch. The forwards are now showing their potential. If they could all match the determination and improvement of Kyle Frame then we can only go one way- onwards and upwards.

 

The game was open throughout and another 5 minutes played and the game would have been in the balance as the boys were well on top and the Biggar backs were playing excellent rugby which Dunfermline were unable to handle as Morris McDiarmid caused issues with his continual switching of play.

 

What a great game. Well done to all.

 

The hard work of head coach Doug Roper is coming through and he has strong back up with Mark Yates, Jordan Gary and Gavin Hill. The learning of technical skills is coming through on the pitch now.

 

Scorers

Callum McLemon - 1 try

Ben MacBride - 1 try

Morris McDiarmid- 1 try

Gregor Forrest – 1 try

Finlay Crozier converted 2 from 4.


Colts in semi-final win

Colts halt Bulls Charge at Laigh Bent

 

(Many thanks to Simon Low for this report)

 

A semi-final, a beautiful sunny day and a South Lanarkshire derby. What more can you ask for on a Saturday? This wasn’t a classic in the free-flowing rugby sense but what a game these young men served up. Both sides showed heart, fight and determination from the first to the last minute and right up until the final score from Finlay Stewart with 2 minutes left on the clock both Hamilton and Biggar believed they could win it.

 

It started so well for Biggar. They kicked off into a swirling breeze with Ali Steele sending a beautifully accurate kick bouncing and into touch inside the Bulls 22. The Bulls hooker overthrew with Dan McConkey catching the ball and taking off for the Bulls try line. A couple of players got hold of him but couldn’t stop his charge. With Ali kicking the extras Biggar were 7-0 up with barely 2 minutes on the clock.

 

A penalty from Ali in front of the posts not long after extended that lead to 10-0 after Hamilton were pinged for not releasing. Great start for Biggar and everyone was hoping that they would go on and build up a decent score!

 

Hamilton were having none of that. They came storming back and had Biggar camped in their own half for the next 20 minutes. During that time Biggar seemed to lose discipline and were guilty of giving away a significant number of penalties either for not releasing or offside. Hamilton kicked 2 of these penalties and scored an unconverted try to take the lead 11-10. Hamilton were fighting hard for this game with their big pack and very mobile backs causing problems.

 

Having surrendered the lead, Biggar took the game back to Hamilton. With 5 minutes to half time, there was plenty time to get back ahead and they did just that. From a well taken scrum, Finlay Stewart made a strong run and stormed into the Bulls half. He played a great pass to Rowan Stewart who ghosted through the defensive line to go over between the posts with Ali kicking the extras.

 

Biggar took the restart and went on the hunt for another try and right on the stroke of half time they were rewarded. Some really good tackling from the whole defensive line was pushing Hamilton back and seemed to have them trapped inside their 22. They kicked for territory and only found Ali Steele who went for a run back at the defence. Ali was tackled but with the forwards there the ball was recycled quickly to Robbie Orr. The Bulls defence was stretched and he was able to burst over the line to score. Ali kicked the conversion which brought the referees whistle.

 

Half Time Hamilton 11 – Biggar 24

 

Into the second half and it was Hamilton who came flying out of the blocks again. Their first score was an excellent chip through the defence inside the Biggar 22. Great awareness from the Hamilton 10 and support from his wings saw them touch down under the posts. This got the Bulls tails up again and when their big number 19, who had arrived at half time, barged through a tackle on half way he showed a great turn of pace to get to the line and score. With both tries converted, Hamilton had the lead again. Still plenty of time left but what reaction would come from Biggar?

 

The answer was an excellent one. It had become a real battle up front with neither pack able to dominate. The Biggar front 5 of Hugo Baillie, Rhys Thompson, Harry Low, Harry Archibald and Scott Paton were showing real strength in the tackle and the ruck and with some really strong runs from Hugo and Scott in particular, they started to turn the screw on Hamilton. This showed at a scrum on 48 minutes. With Hamilton putting in just on their 22, Biggar got a real shove on. With their pack going backwards, Finn Barr was able to put pressure on the ball and it was turned over. This gave the backs a real chance to run at the defence and a great long pass from Robbie was taken by Finlay Stewart to go over. Ali again kicked the conversion.

 

Next to score was Rowan Stewart. He played a superb 70 minutes in the centre for Biggar and his 2 tries were fully deserved. A penalty for Biggar in the middle of the Hamilton half was moved forward 10 for back chat. From the 22 Finn Barr took a quick tap and Rowan burst on to the ball. Hamilton knew what was coming but were unable to stop it as he dived over. With the conversion Biggar were 13 points ahead again.

 

This knocked the stuffing out of Hamilton a little and a quieter spell followed. With the wind at their backs Biggar did the simple things well. Any time they got possession Ali would kick Hamilton back into their 22 and Biggar would force them to work hard to get back over the gain line. This was working well until the Hamilton number 19 burst through a tackle and stormed clear to score again. With the covering defence closing fast he was forced to touch down out wide. Given the tight score-line, the extras would be crucial so the Biggar support held their breaths as the Hamilton 10 pulled his kick just wide. With 8 minutes left, Biggar were 8 points ahead. A grand stand finish was expected.

 

Biggar did not disappoint. They took the game to Hamilton again and were rewarded with a penalty inside the Hamilton 22. Ali showed nerves of steel(e)! to kick the 3 and hopefully seal the game.

 

The icing on the cake came with 2 minutes left. Biggar were awarded a penalty inside the Hamilton half and with the fans thinking a kick for 3 should be the option Ali went for the corner. The line out was lost and Hamilton started driving out of their 22. A great tackle from Cameron Snell and a steal from Craig Frame got the ball back for Biggar who spun the ball wide. Again the combination from Robbie to Finlay paid off and Biggar had gone over.

 

Full time Hamilton 30 - Biggar 48

 

Another really good display from the boys on Saturday with every man coming off the pitch having given his all. Hamilton are a good side and pushed them all the way. A bit of an off day with the line outs in the wind and a couple of missed tackles were punished by Hamilton but this was still a really good battling performance. An end of season West Region Cup Final now awaits on April 28th with the opposition to be decided by the Ayr v West Of Scotland semi-final which has been delayed.


Lasswade defeat

Lasswade 24 Biggar 20

With 4 games remaining Biggar were keen to finish on a high with a series of good performances which would cement a 5th place finish.

 

Try as they did however they could not quite get the better of Lasswade who, courtesy of 3 second half tries, took the honours on Saturday.

 

In typically breezy conditions Biggar’s half time lead of 10-0 was not enough although a mix up which gave the home side a gift of a try within the first minute of the restart was one of a few unforced errors which would cost the side dear.

 

While the pack was on familiar lines the back division showed a few changes with Iain Renwick at scrum half for the injured Davy Reive, Aird Jardine back in at No 10 in place of the unavailable Conor Lavery and Gregor Stewart on the wing – the third starting position the youngster has filled this season, this due to the unavailability of wingers Alistair Sinclair and Rowan Stewart (playing with the Colts).

 

It was also good to see Douglas Notman return for a stint on the bench alongside Andrew Nimmo who has been out of the side for some time due to injury. Donald Voas was also due to be on the bench but an accident travelling to the game meant that he was unable to make the game.

 

Playing with the wind Biggar had to have the better of the first half and this they largely did, some resolute defence preventing Lasswade from scoring while a series of decisions, which could as easily been awarded to Lasswade, went their way. Biggar’s cause was not helped by an injury to flanker Euan Sanderson, this a recurrence of a shoulder injury sustained earlier in the season and one which flared up after a typically brave defensive tackle. Notman, who has played only a couple of matches since before Christmas could hardly have expected (or wished!?) to be called into action as early although he lasted the pace pretty well despite his lack of match fitness.

 

The scoring was opened with Ross Bradford making the most of a great break by Ross Jackson whose run took him through and round the ‘Wade defence, a suspicion of a knock-on being missed by referee George Pounder, but not by the ‘Wade support or players – their belief that the game would be stopped proving fatal, as play continued, allowing Jackson to make many yards deep into the home 22 before freeing Bradford for a run to the line.

 

Ewan Bogle added the conversion for 7-0.

 

Just 5 minutes later and Bogle had a chance to extend his sides lead from a penalty award, but he was just off target.

 

Biggar seemed up against things in the tight scrum although this early pressure did not last while neither side were anything like as comfy at the lineout as they would have wished, the breezy conditions ultimately making it difficult for the hookers.

 

Play was pretty frantic as Biggar were able to clear downfield fairly easily while ‘Wade were forced to run ball back, their pack doing their bit but being let down a bit by some uncharacteristically wayward handling by the backs which saw ball spilled in attacking moves which promised much. It was a pity that Biggar couldn’t make more from these errors, their only other opportunity for points coming from Bogle who slotted a penalty with just 2 minutes remaining of the half.

 

Both teams took to the dressing room at the break, Biggar reappearing without hooker Ewan Stewart who had struggled after a head lock in an earlier play, his place taken by No 8 Andrew Orr with sub Nimmo introduced on the flank.

 

Then cane the ‘gift’, a Biggar pass floating past the two players on the blindside and onto the ground and into the path of winger Smith who hacked forward before pouncing for the try. Stand off Bell knocked the conversion over and having done so much to control the game and take the lead, Biggar found themselves just 3 points ahead at 10-7.

 

Some great, belligerent running and carries by Andrew Orr, Ryan Moffat, Robbie Lavery, Nimmo and Jardine took the eye although as is often the case few fail to deliver and all contribute to the cause. A forward pass foiled one promising move but this saw a penalty award for a previous infringement, Bogle kicking well to extend the Biggar lead to 13–7.

 

Things got better as Biggar continued to run well at the ‘Wade defence, ball switched from side to side as Biggar probed. Having taken ball up the left wing play was then swept back right where Moffat provided a good offload to Notman who appeared on the wing. Having made a run into the ‘Wade 22 he popped the ball inside to centre Lavery who managed to cross for a great score, despite the attentions of the ‘Wade cover defence, and one which Bogle converted for 20-7.

 

Skipper Alan Warnock made a great take and tilt on the restart but just when they should have been looking to control play and calm things down a lineout loss paved the way for a ‘Wade counter, lock Hunter on the end of a series of ‘pick and go’s’ to crash over for a try which Bell converted to make it a ‘one score’ game yet again at 20-14.

 

With some 30+ minutes remaining other scores were more than likely but play was fairly even as neither side were able to put phases together to enjoy or take advantage of any sustained periods of pressure.

 

In attack, Biggar then coughed up possession in the ‘Wade 22 and a kick and chase ensued, winger Stewart just getting to the ball first but unable due to the chasing ‘Wade players boot to control the ball. He was then unfortunately penalised for playing the man (or ball?) whilst on the ground. As Biggar regrouped ‘Wade tapped the penalty and laid siege to the Biggar line where a crash ball was taken at pace by centre Smith who took the ball over for what turned out to be a crucial and match-winning try.

 

Bell converted – Biggar’s touch judge Reive could hardly have raised his flag more grudgingly! - and Lasswade took the lead for the first time in the match at 21-20. With 10 minutes now left there was still time to retake the lead, but a number of errors crept into the Biggar play and decisions which hitherto had gone their way were awarded to ‘Wade.

 

The home side stretched their lead with 5 minutes remaining with a Bell penalty for 24-20. Biggar’s hopes were raised with a final flurry, Bogle set free on the left flank for a run and then grubber which took play to within 5metres of the ‘Wade line and while Biggar retained possession again a knock-on brought the final whistle.

 

Another frustrating afternoon for the Biggar outfit although ‘Wade have just been ahead this season and indeed are still within sight of promotion.

 

For Biggar the next task is a bigger one again as league leaders Kirkcaldy come to Hartree Mill on Saturday. Having lost just 2 matches - to Dumfries and Lasswade – the Fife side sit atop National 2 and are virtually promoted although with 4 matches to go they could still be caught – a Biggar win would certainly make for an entertaining finish!

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, E. Stewart, C. Henderson, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, R. Jackson, A. Orr, I. Renwick, A. Jardine, G. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, E. Bogle Reps: D. Voas, A. Nimmo, D. Notman, J. Barr

 

The 2nd XV set out with just 12 players to take on league leaders and league champions elect Hawick Force. It came as no surprise that Biggar ended up on the wrong end of a hefty defeat. Perhaps all the more galling was the reluctance of the Hawick squad to ‘loan’ any players to Biggar until the second half when they were miles ahead.

 

Not surprisingly Biggar declined the offer at that point and bravely soldiered on. Hawick took the title with this win and all good luck to them in the Division above.

 

A big pat on the back for a the trusty 12 who ventured south, Andrew Howatson fulsome in his praise of his sides efforts in the face of an unstoppable force.


Colts battle Saints and Elements in Dumfries

Dumfries 0 Biggar 78

In what can only be described as atrocious conditions, the Colts kicked off their final West Region group match at Park Farm. A biting wind bringing in driving snow suggested a tight game but the colts were having none of that. The warm up showed they meant business and when the game started they took it straight to the Saints.

 

From kick off they ran at the Saints trying to find a gap but with some hands were not as warm as they might be a couple of misplaced passes and knock-ons saw an initial scoreless phase. That would not continue for too long. Having lost a couple of early scrums inside the Saints 22, a scrum was called on the Saints 5M line. This one was held well and the ball was moved out through the backs to Rowan who barrelled over to open the scoring. Ali added the extras from a tough angle.

 

This warmed everyone up (thankfully) and was the start of a great run of play from all in the Red and Black strips. Biggar scored a second straight from the kick off. A great take on the move from Finn Barr saw him drive at the Saints. Good quick ball out saw Ali bursting through the line and took Biggar well into the Saints half. Good support from Lohan saw him rewarded with a score as Ali found him with a pass and he touched down out wide. Again Ali added the extras.

 

Next up was a score from Robbie Orr. Saints had been galvanised by a chat behind the posts and had the Biggar line under pressure. Great defensive work saw the ball turned over and gave Biggar a line out inside their 22. The ball was well won and Stewart Forrest made a great break. He was eventually brought down but Dan McConkey supported superbly and took the ball into the Saints half. With the Saints defence scrambling backwards the ball was threaded through the backs to Robbie who cut a great line and went over. Really good simple rugby and it was paying dividends.

 

A pattern was now developing that Saints were just not able to prevent. From kick off, the Biggar forwards were working well drawing in the defence and then the backs were using pace, power and really good hands to get in for each score. The next Score from Sam Wallis was exactly in that vein. Dumfries had the ball in hand and were probing inside the Biggar half. Their big prop spotted a gap and went for a run. He was absolutely hammered by Charles and spilled the ball. Finn Barr did the tidy up work and make some ground. Then the backs did the rest. Out wide to Sam on the wing. He still had a lot to do but he did it well. Another really good team effort to score.

 

The next score straight from kick off was an “all back” affair. A really good kick off take from Lohan and he ran at the defensive line. Popped the ball to Robbie who broke through with Rowan in support. A well timed pass and he was in. A very good try and I think a number of the forwards were still in their kick off positions as Rowan touched down! 

 

23 minutes gone – 33 – 0 to Biggar. It was proving to be a tough shift for Dumfries. To be fair to them they then came in to a really good 10 minute spell both defensively and in attack and Biggar were forced to defend well. There was a real determination to keep a clean sheet and Biggar worked well to protect it during this spell.

 

Having weathered the storm Biggar went on the hunt for more tries. Next up to score was Finlay Stewart. A great break through the heart of the defensive line from Harry Low found the big tighthead facing a one on one with the Saints fullback. Harry did what any self-respecting front row forward should do in this situation and found a team mate!! Craig Frame was in support and took the ball on and with the Saints defence turned, Lohan got the ball out to the backs in support and wide to Finlay to touch down.

 

Right on the stroke of half time, Biggar scored their 7th try of the game. Dan McConkey took the kick off and was supported well by Craig Frame. Craig was tackled and from the ruck Lohan spotted a gap, picked up the ball and ran though for the score.

 

Half Time – Dumfries 0 – Biggar 45

 

Into the second half and there would be no let up from Biggar. With a number of substitutions made Dumfries would now be seeing double with Lewis Stewart entering the fray. Clearly itching to get on to the pitch he set about the task of creating more havoc for the Saints defence with gusto. Biggar kicked off and the ball was knocked on by Saints. Lewis dived onto the ball and recovered it for Biggar. The ball was recycled and Lewis took the ball on again with a great break towards the line. With the Saints defence tied up, the ball was spun along the backs for Rowan to score and complete his hat trick!

 

Next up was a score for Robbie that looked simple but involved real determination and strong running. A clearing kick was put up by the Saints number 9 but failed to find touch. Instead he found Robbie in the open with a clear sight of the line in front of him. He ran a great line and over for the score.

 

Ali Steele then decided to get in on the try scoring act on 50 minutes. With a scrum awarded to Biggar just on the Saints 22 a big blind side was calling. Lohan took the invitation and seemed to be running out of room but Ali ran a great line and took the pass and go over.

 

Finlay Stewart got his second of the game and Biggars 11th when the ball was worked well along the line and Saints simply ran out of defenders. It looked like Biggar could score at will and it seemed like only a matter of time before the ref called full time.

 

Matthew brought the scoring to a close with a fine try on 56 minutes. With Saints now well beaten and looking to the changing rooms a line out was won by Lewis and spun wide by Lohan. Matthew ran a great line and got the ball in hand and broke the defensive line to score. With the conversion made by Ali/Lohan/Robbie?

 

Full Time – Dumfries 0 – Biggar 78

 

It would have been easy for the colts to switch off during this game and coast through the second half knowing that the points were already in the bag and it was great to see that this did not happen. Much tougher games lie in wait – not least a cup semi-final against Hamilton next week. This was all about the performance and hard work that each player put in today. There is competition for every place in this team and that showed for each of the 55 minutes played. A great team effort from all and some real individual team skill too. A really good game to watch from a Biggar perspective.

 

Ayr will play West in the other semi final the date for which is 21st April! This is because Ayr have to play the National Cup Final match against Stirling County on Saturday, this match having been postponed because of snow. That will mean a lengthy wait for the Biggar/Hamilton winners.


Colts engineer excellent second half performance over Kilmarnock

Biggar Colts  43   Kilmarnock U18   17

The cynic may say game 3 in the West Cup competition served up a bit of a stinker. Or was it?

 

This was a match full of contradiction. 

 

In the first 35 you would question if the Colts can learn from previous experience and whether the boys are actually listening. Would something internally have to fundamentally change?

 

The second 35 was a display of astonishing teamwork, not totally devoid of mistakes but completely comfortable, characterful and, for the most part, assured.

 

Even though Biggar hit the cold ground running and looked in decent working order it was actually a false picture. 

 

Stuart Forrest got things going as Biggar won the early territorial battle with the No.8 picking up from the base of the scrum, going on the blind and reaching for the line to log the first points. Promising signs.

 

However, Biggar Colts are a real target for teams these days and Kilmarnock had designs on upsetting the apple cart and were making a damn good job of it. Biggar would do well to learn from the sheer determination and team spirit that their visitors displayed. 

 

The East Ayrshire outfit went through the phases very well and broke the Colts defence down to go in for an unconverted try.

 

Four minutes later they would be at it again and you had to admire their drive. Their pack was strong on the hoof and Biggar couldn't halt the attack. Not through lack of trying though. 

 

The home team committed themselves to a policy of holding off and selecting summer rugby options. Kilmarnock stuck it to them, but strangely Biggar never looked in any real trouble, as hard as it was to watch at times.

 

Both teams lost numerous line-outs, largely down to weather conditions, but despite what appeared to be a heavier Kilmarnock pack Biggar dominated in that department.

 

Both Klimarnock and Biggar didn't need an invitation to advance but both were guilty of over thinking and making basic errors.

 

Colts managed to draw level with a penalty after Kilmarnock off-side. Steele struck well to bring the score to ten a piece.

 

Killie punished Biggar for handling mistakes at the end of the first half and with the lofty full-back stretching his legs they were nearly under the posts again were it not for a last ditch Orr tackle. 

 

Weather conditions continued to play havoc. It was pretty cold too and not a day for hanging about. As the half-time whistle sounded Colts were off the pitch and in the changing rooms. Killie stayed on the field. Was this Biggar playing mind games? No, it was just bloody freezing!

 

Rumour has it that Jock had made hot tea and warm scones. No jam though!

 

Just like the time he served red wine with the fish course, the players were having none of it and returned to the field for the re-start.

 

The second half was warmly received, any boy it had to be, but not before Kilmarnock slapped Biggar in the face again to register their third try and converted well too. The visitors were up at 10-17 but they suffered a blow soon after when two of their own players clashed heads. It was a nasty one that saw one being replaced. Whether this affected Killie's performance was hard to say but the tide turned quickly in Biggar's favour.

 

Colts finally worked out how to play the conditions and commanded possession. 

 

Ali Steele bulldozed his way through on 45 minutes to level things again and converted his own score.

 

Robbie Orr then put Biggar clear after a scrum was won against the head. 

 

Colts advanced again and got into the groove. Finlay Barr spotted the unguarded ruck on Killie's 5m. The srum-half made no mistake and added to the score sheet.

 

Biggar tails were now up. A Biggar penalty inside their own half saw them opt for a tap and go. With the ball finding its way into Matthew Stewart's hands the centre switched on the afterburners and touched down from 60 metres with limited company.

 

Ali Steele loves a show and right at the death his trademark leaping salmon after a superb solo run entertained the crowd to top off a fine second half performance.

 

The match was poor on quality at times but ultimately enough to secure a Biggar win. 

 

You can make all the excuses under the sun about the weather but, lets be honest, there's been worse. It took 40 minutes to properly get it together but when they did it was structured and purposeful.

 

A notable performance came from Ethan Webb at wing. The first year Colt was industrious and made yards at every opportunity, just missing out on a score of his own. 

 

The Colts are on the road to Dumfries next time with an opportunity to top the Group B table.

 

Tries: Stuart Forrest, Ali Steele (2), Robbie Orr, Finlay Barr, Matthew Stewart.

Conv: Ali Steele (5)

Pen: Ali Steele


Biggar dump Howe

Biggar 26 Howe of Fife 0

Biggar recorded a deserved bonus point win on saturday in what was a re-arranged League fixture with Perthshire side Howe of Fife.

 

Played as an early kick off to allow playesr and spectators alike to watch the 6 Nations clash between Ireland and Scotland thanks go to Howe for agreeing to this and travelling down in the morning.

 

In dreary conditions – but still completely different from those which existed just the previous week – Biggar had a dream opening when Rowan Stewart appeared on the right wing from his berth on the left to rip through and round the Howe defence for a cracking try. Ewan Bogle was unable to convert from far out but Biggar were 5-0 ahead.

 

Biggar seeemd to have increrased their lead just minutes later when Andrew Orr was in control at the back of a driving maul and appeared to get the ball over the line. The referee was unimpressed however and Biggar ahd to be content with their lead.

 

This score had perhaps been too easy and it was hardly unexpected that Howe gained in confidence after their poor start to put some pressure on the home XV. The defensive line held intact however and depsite their best efforts Howe were unable to make it through to the line.

 

Biggar’s next score came a handful of minutes beofre half time, Rowan’s brother Gregor getting in on the act as he, in similar fashion to Orr earlier, took the ball over the line from a lineout drive. This time the ball was grounded to the referee’s satisfaction and with Bogle adding the conversion, Biggar increased their lead to 12-0 at half time.

 

A pleasing aspect of the first half was the return of prop Donald Voas who repleced Dan O’Connell and did his bit to maintain Biggar’s dominance in the tight scrum. Indeed, credit to Howe No 8 and scrum half who managed to tidy ball up pretty well in what were trying circumstances as the Howe pack were shunted back at almost every scrum.

 

The second half did not begin too well as scrum half Davy reive who had tracked back well from a Howe kick ahead was felled by the follow up tackle, the Biggar No 9 clearly injured and unable to continue after a smash to the cheekbone. His replacement was Aird Jardine who made a return to action after several weeks off.

 

Rowan Stewart then crossed for his second score, this a much simpler effort but one which came from a Gregor Stewart turnover and some super and secure handling by the Biggar three-quarters which had Howe grasping at shadows.

 

Bogle was wide with the conversion but Biggar had a 17-0 lead.

 

Bogle as the next to suffer from an off-the-ball incident and while there was no real suggestion of intent at the time, the video certainly suggests that Biggar should have been awarded a pernalty at the very least.

 

As it was James Barr came on at stand off, Conor Lavery moving to fullback. Alistair Sinclair who had earlier replaced Ross Bradfford meant that the full bench of 4 had been used.

 

Howe who ahd struggled somewhat with the early kick off had just two replacments and this meant that after their porp was hurt scrums were uncontested, this giving the vistors some parity up front and reducing Biggar’s atttacking power.

 

The final score was a cracker and saw several players involved with some great slieght of hand giving sinclair a relatively easy run in at the corner.

 

A break by skipper alan warnock saw the ball moved to Conor Lavery who slipped a neat pass ‘out the back’ to new stand off Barr. He made good yards before retunring the ball to Laevry who was almost at the line when he popped the ball inside to supporting winger Sinclair. Excellent! Ryan Moffat took over the kikcing duties and he added the cobnversion for the 26 point total.

 

There was still tim eto reatsrt thje game and for birthday boy andrew Orr to pick up a yellow card for a stramash with one of the Howe pack but the game was by this time over, Biggar having pciked up a valuable bonus point win.

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, E. Stewart, C. Henderson, J. Orr, C. Dunlop, G. Stewart, A. Warnock, A. Orr, D. Reive, C. Lavery, R. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Moffat, R. Bradford, E. Bogle. Reps: D. Voas, A. Sinclair, J. Barr, A. Jardine.


NEWS

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Colts engineer excellent second half performance over Kilmarnock

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Biggar dump Howe

Bonus point win for Biggar

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