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

1sts manage a draw at whitecraigs

Whitecraigs 15 Biggar15

The first encounter in October saw Biggar rack up a deserved 5 league points in a 45-24 win at Hartree Mill.

 

That the return would prove so very different means that any lingering hopes of promotion are now over, Biggar in 5th spot but with Peebles and others in close contention and with games to play with.

 

The postponement from last Saturday was frustrating and in order to avoid an April date for the rescheduled match both clubs opted to play under floodlights on Friday evening.

 

Biggar were without a couple of key players, Carne Green having now returned home to NZ, while Ewan Stewart was unavailable due to illness. Neither absence can be levelled as an excuse however and there was considerable frustration again within the Biggar camp at the inconsistencies of performance.

 

Possessing a huge pack Whitecraigs did much to deny Biggar any quality possession for large chunks of the game and as a result they just couldn’t manage to string together sufficient phases to break down the ‘Craigs defence.

 

The game opened brightly enough with flanker Gregor Stewart taking full advantage of a ‘Craigs overthrow to pinch possession before rounding the cover defence for a good try in the corner, though just too far out for Euan Bogle to strike the conversion.

 

‘Craigs replied some 10 minutes later with a second opportunist try, this time for their scrum half who exploited a gap in the Biggar defence to nip through for a try from some 20 metres. This try was also unconverted and this was the case for the third try of the match, this credited to the home side and which gave them a 10-5 half time lead.

 

Biggar would have expected to kick on from here and in some respects this is indeed what they did, Bogle striking a penalty to reduce the deficit before adding a conversion to a try from centre Ryan Moffat, this a try he set up with a good midfield break. Jamie Orr took play forward from the Moffat off-load and then the centre regained possession to barge over.

 

The 15-10 score was a whole lot more encouraging but a susceptibility to concede penalties, something which this squad have not been particularly guilty of, reared its ugly head. This gave the home side the initiative and the opportunity to maintain pressure on the visitors and the inevitable then came to pass, namely a yellow card to centre Robbie Lavery – the second in as many games, and this a ‘team’ yellow in that it was for persistent infringement.

 

Down to 14 men Biggar’s chances were then further reduced with a second yellow, this to replacement Callum Dunlop, which meant for an approximate 5 minute overlap, Biggar were 2 men down. Dunlop had come on in the first half for Calum Braid who aggravated a shoulder injury. Rowan Stewart had replaced Alistair Sinclair at half time.

 

Having defended pretty well Biggar then put themselves under pressure by failing to clear their 22 properly, ‘Craigs taking full advantage to launch a series of pick-and-go’s from the pack. This eventually paid off, with space created on the wing for the ‘Craigs winger to squeeze in at the corner.

 

A successful conversion and the win would have been just reward for ‘Craigs efforts but from a Biggar point of view the ball happily missed its target and so the game was drawn.

 

‘Craigs have only had one win this season and so this was their second best result. For Biggar it marks the end of any promotion hopes they may have had although as they have the top 2 still to play, they will have a major say in which teams do finally get the two promotion spots.

 

Biggar

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

 

First up however is Preston Lodge who come to Hartree Mill on Saturday. Biggar will be looking to regain their form and ensure they gain a good home win.

 

There was no 2nd XV match but there was action on Saturday when the Colts hosted local rivals Hamilton in a friendly. This was played at The Showfield because the Hartree Mill pitches were frost bound.

The visitors held Biggar well in the first half but the home side ran in a host of tries after the break to record a well deserved win.

 

All Sundays matches were cancelled because of the overnight frost and so members and rugby fans were able to relive the heady heights of Saturdays Calcutta Cup match! What an occasion it was for the rugby community – two top sides going at it hammer and tong with little quarter asked or given.

 

That Scotland won was fantastic but what was as important was they manner in which they won with a 3-1 try count evidence of their ability to break down the opponents defence. Just reward for their efforts.

Though ex-Biggar man Scot Lawson didn’t get into the action from the bench was disappointing but to be part of the occasion and to be part of the celebrations was clearly fantastic.


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1sts manage a draw at whitecraigs

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May 2018
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