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

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.


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