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

Biggar run in 10 tries to defeat Falkirk

Biggar 58 Falkirk 7

Another 10 try haul and another 5 point win keeps Biggar at the top of National 2.

 

Falkirk were relegated from National 1 last season and the expectation was that they would prove a much better organised side than that which Biggar faced at Howe. This was indeed the case but Biggar again played at a ferocious pace and that, combined with a rock solid defence, meant that the visitors endured a difficult afternoon.

 

That Falkirk made a host of unforced errors will irk their coaching team but this could as easily be attributed to the pressure exerted by Biggar as by any perceived lack of skill.

 

On a pleasant Autumn afternoon a healthy crowd gathered to watch Biggar’s second home match of this season and they returned home having been royally entertained by the Biggar squad, all 19 of whom contributed so positively throughout the 80 minutes.

 

Biggar was forced into making several changes for this match with the ‘Euan’s’, Sanderson and Stewart both unavailable. Donald Voas moved to hooker with Guy Kelly starting at prop. Ryan Moffat took over in the back row. Conor Lavery, who was injured last week, had recovered and started at stand off.

 

The squad is young, bursting with energy and full of running but this is matched by a growing maturity and confidence which good performances engender. To have beaten both sides relegated from National 1 last season is a feather in their cap and has certainly set out a marker for the other National 2 sides. That they will come a cropper at some point is without doubt but for the moment all can be justifiably very proud of their efforts.

 

Biggar opened strongly and had their first score within 4 minutes, a neat cross kick from Conor Lavery being gathered by Ross Bradford who went over in the corner but just too far out for the conversion to be successful.

 

Falkirk took advantage of several penalty awards to tap and go and this ensured Biggar were kept on the defensive but a Lavery kick pushed Falkirk back, forcing a drop out 22. A break by locks Alan Warnock and then Andrew Peacock created an attacking position, Ryan Moffat breaking on the blindside to take play within 5 metres where his neat off-load was taken by scrum half David Reive who dived over in the corner. On the left side of the pitch meant that it was the ‘right’ side for Lavery who added the conversion for a 12-0 lead.

 

Quickly back on the offensive Biggar’s thrid was Bradford’s second, the winger benefitting from an excellent Lavery pick up and pass.

 

Gregor Stewart was forced off the pitch after taking a series of hits to his chest with Robbie Orr coming into the side at fullback and Robbie Lavery moving to centre. The youngster was barely on the pitch before he rounded off a great attacking move by collecting a pop pass from Rowan Stewart who had made good ground on the left flank to go over for a try. The all-important 4th and therefore bonus point winning try was converted by Lavery for a 24-0 lead.

 

This soon became 29 when a deft pass under pressure from Robbie Lavery put Matthew Stewart into space, the youngsters pace taking him clear and then round the Falkirk defence for a cracking try, Lavery uncharacteristically missing from close range.

 

Falkirk’s back three were taking most of Biggar’s kicks out of defence well and initiating counter attacks but these in turn were well defended by the Biggar side. This was particularly the case in the next passage of play when wave after wave of Falkirk attacks were snuffed out and this all within 5-10 metres of the Biggar line when it seemed that the vistors were almost bound to score.

 

Reive was shown yellow by referee David Young when he killed the ball during one Falkirk attack this leading to another switch for the versatile Robbie Lavery who took over at scrum half. His first role ended in upset however as the ball squirted out of the Biggar scrum and with the Biggar back line preparing for a clearance it was Falkirk No 8 Stewart McCulloch who reacted first to dot down for a try converted by Finn Call.

 

Half time then with Biggar in a commanding 29-7 lead but ever conscious that with the wind they would face another testing half.

 

A turnover at the start of the half after an excellent take from Peacock put Biggar on the defensive but a scintillating break from Orr for some 40 metres took play right back into the Falkirk 22 where, after a series of attacks, Voas picked up from the ruck to thunder over from 10 metres for the first score of this second period.

 

The try scorer left the field to be replaced by fit again Lewis Stewart (Milligan moving to hooker) who made his first appearance of this season.

 

Some good running angles from Moffat in the centre had Falkirk on the defensive again and then it was Chris Milligan who rounded off the next attack with Conor Lavery again notching the conversion.

 

Guy Kelly made way for Callum Braid, another returning from injury and making his first appearance this campaign. Biggar’s scrum was unaffected by this switch while Falkirk’s big props who came off had an impact on their tight scrum.

 

An accidental offside gave Biggar some respite from the next Falkirk attack which again foundered with the line in their sights. A knock on was another error to cost the visitors ground and possession, Biggar able to capitalise with Iain Renwick who had replaced Conor Lavery at stand off, dictating play well.

 

As the game began to open up, Falkirk profited from some good running from their backs who made considerable ground but once again the Biggar defensive effort with Orr, Lavery and Stewart to the fore meant that these were snuffed out.

 

Fittingly it was lock Alan Warnock who rounded off the next try, he tracking play during a lengthy break out from the Biggar half to take a pass from Ross Bradford and in almost identical circumstances as the Howe match last week. Orr added the conversion.

 

The same player – Orr – then made a massive tackle to prevent a rare Falkirk attack and with ball turned over Biggar made a final advance into the Falkirk 22. Warnock was in to support Ross Jackson at the breakdown and his transfer, anothet done under pressure, set Rowan Stewart free from some 40 metres for the final try. Renwick was just short with the conversion.

 

Falkirk ended the match in the Biggar half but referee Young blew for time before they could add to their tally.

 

An impressive performance then and perhaps most pleasing of all was that this was a gritty, whole squad performance. Every player contributed to the cause and while there were errors – not least as Biggar were penalised heavily for a variety of offences which on another day could see their opponents rack up a hefty tally – there seems a quiet resolve not to panic and instead to maintain calm and be patient.

 

This Saturday sees the side travel to Whitecraigs, a venue which has never been a particularly easy place to win. The squad should travel with confidence however and will be all the more determined to maintain this current run.

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, G. Stewart, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, G. Kelly, D. Voas, F. Carossi, A. Peacock, A. Warnock (Capt), C. Milligan, R. Moffat, R. Jackson.

Reps: C. Braid, L. Stewart, R. Orr, I. Renwick

 

Biggar had no other senior sides in action at the weekend as the 2nds game was cancelled when at 12.30 on Saturday Boroughmuir called to say that they were unable to raise a XV. At such short notice this was particularly frustrating for all concerned, the Biggar squad completing a training session prior to watching the 1st XV match. This enforced break will make their match this weekend against Edinburgh Accies all the more challenging as the City side are currently flying high in the Reserve League table.

 

The Biggar Eagles side were also without a match as Musselburgh were also unable to field a full XV.


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Biggar run in 10 tries to defeat Falkirk

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