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

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


NEWS

PL put to the sword

Biggar dump PL

more

November 2017
S M T W T F S
29 30 31 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 1 2
web design by Environ-IT