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

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!


NEWS

Another 5 pointer as Whitecraigs come calling

A great first half sees Biggar earn another 5 points

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