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

7 from 7…

Biggar 47 Glasgow Accies 7

Win No7 for Biggar came at the expense of National 2 newcomers Glasgow Accies. While the City side have been running things close in recent games they were exposed a little at Hartree Mill as Biggar continued with their unprecedented league start.

 

Being really picky, Biggar should have recorded another half century but, in the last 10/15 minutes when that score was a possibility, players got a little white-line fever and in taking ball to the line by themselves, play became untidy and opportunities were wasted.

 

The fact that they did this is hardly surprising and shows a desire and confidence to score. In reality of course there are only 5 points available from any one match and Biggar had these pretty well sewn up within the first half hour. That they did not match their first half tally after the break came as a result of those last untidy passages of play but also because Accies made a better fist of things after turning round to face the breeze, their pack upping their game and recording their solitary score.

 

Biggar welcomed back Donald Voas and Chris Mulligan who were both unavailable last week, they seamlessly taking the places of two injured players, Guy Kelly (concussion last week against Highland) and Robbie Orr (training injury). Elsewhere, Luhann Kutze made his first start at scrum half in place of Davy Reive while Ryan Moffat regained his centre berth as Robbie Lavery moved back to fullback.

 

Accies began with an inauspicious kick-off which, because it went straight into touch, gifted Biggar early possession.

 

With an expectant crowd – this is in itself an uncommon experience at Hartree Mill – Biggar did not disappoint, their first try coming after just 9 minutes and going to Rowan Stewart who took Moffat’s pass and whose pace took him past the stretched Accies defence. Matthew Stewart kicked successfully for 7-0.

 

Despite playing into the breeze – conditions though not nearly as bad as had been forecast were still chalk and cheese from those enjoyed last Saturday - Biggar used a kicking option with Conor Lavery using a variety of kicks to pin Accies back and to turn defence into attack.

 

The Accies backs were a little hesitant in attack while a couple of risky, wide passes put the receiver under pressure and created opportunity and space for Biggar which they were quick to exploit.

 

In the next passage of play the ‘Ross’ s’ - Bradford and Jackson – took play forward before the kick was again employed. An aerial battle prompted an Accies counter attack but this saw possession regained by hooker Ewan Stewart who then freed Kutze who in turn made short shrift of sprinting clear to the line and under the posts for a try which was again converted by Matthew Stewart.

 

The second score came after 15 minutes and 5 more had barely elapsed before Biggar struck again. Matthew Stewart rounded off a wonderful attacking move spurned by another turnover, this one from Mulligan. Moving the ball to the left at pace and a couple of virtually intuitive passes between Kutze and Rowan Stewart provided Matthew with a run for the line for a try which he also converted.

 

The bonus point winning try came after 28 minutes and the conversion made the score 28-0: a point a minute!This try came after an Accies fumble which perhaps should have also seen play halted for an apparent Biggar knock-on. This was unseen by the referee however and a kick and chase ensued. A series of attempts to control possession by the Accies defence failed and Mulligan was up quickly to eventually get his hands on the ball. Although stopped short his pop pass was taken by Moffat who crashed over for the 4th try. Matthew Stewart converted for 28-0.

 

Biggar then lost the services of winger Bradford who had been unfortunate in collecting a couple of pretty hefty thumps when he appeared trapped in tackle situations. The second hit left him in considerable pain and he would be an unlikely starter against Lasswade next Saturday. Craig McDonald took over.

 

While they continued to press and put the visitors under pressure Biggar were unable to add to this tally and half time came at 28-0.

 

Now with the increasingly strong breeze on their backs Biggar immediately had Accies under pressure at the start of the half.

 

Using kicks both in attack and defence soon saw Accies deep in their 22 and with Biggar using ball well to increase the pressure a lineout take and drive provided good forward momentum for Biggar to run at the Accies defence. A neat pop pass from Conor Lavery to Moffat set the centre free for a tilt at the line which he duly won. Matthew Stewart was off target with this kick.

 

There followed a much improved passage of play and possession for Accies who nevertheless came up against a resolute defensive performance from the Biggar XV who time after time put in some massive hits to halt Accies progress.

 

In attack once more Biggar added another try, this falling to Rowan Stewart who benefited from following up on a Conor Lavery midfield burst. Freed with a 40m sprint to the line, the winger showed a neat turn of pace and shimmy to take him clear of the Accies defence. Matthew was back on target for 40-0.

 

Accies lost a 3rd player to injury as Biggar continued to hit hard in the defensive tackle while biggar themselves were left short-handed when Carrossi fell foul of the scrummaging laws and was shown a yellow reducing Biggar to 14 with just a quarter of the match remaining. Andrew Peacock came and Lewis Stewart became the unlucky player to give way to allow Peacock to provide scrum cover.

 

Undetterred at being outnumbered, Biggar showed sufficient resilience to work their way out of defence and into another attacking position. Running wide from a scrum Kutze put in a neat pop pass to Rowan Stewart coming off his wing at a fantastic angle which cut the Accies defence apart and which led to the teenagers hat-trick. Matthew Stewart brought up the 47 point tally.

 

In a rare attack and with some 15 minutes remaining Accies finally got a score, their pack combining well to turn and then drive the Biggar pack back to their line where, from under a pile of bodies, lock William Brown was credited with the try which was then converted by Gordon McGuire.

 

Notman came on to replace Carrossi after his 10 minute sin-bin had elasped while Reive entered the fray with some 5 minutes to go.

 

Voas had a thundering run at the Accies line, Alan Warnock took play to within a couple of metres while Lavery employed the cross-kick to good effect.

 

A plethora of attacking opportunities were then spurned by Biggar as errors crept into their play with others that were missed by the afore-mentioned white line fever. It can be seen that Accies were in some respects let off the hook.

 

Man-of-the-match was again a tight decision with stand off Conor Lavery getting the nod for his control the game through running, passing and kicking.

 

 

A 7th win from 7 starts makes for excellent viewing and represents a fantastic result and one much appreciated by the coaching staff with Doug Fleming the man in charge on Saturday as both Gary Mercer and Davy Wilson were in Ireland on a school coaching trip.

 

Accies have been getting some valuable coaching input from ex-Scotland prop Ryan Grant. This was clearly evident in their scrum – again Franco Carrossi was on the wrong end of a yellow card as he found the going tough – but Grant will be less pleased with the Accies lineout which Biggar, via Jamie Orr and Alan Warnock managed to pilfer on a fairly regular basis.

 

Biggar’s pace in defence has been a factor in their play to date and this was the case again on Saturday when their opponents were put under immediate pressure whenever they had possession. This led to errors and Biggar’s other strength, an ability to counter attack from almost anywhere led almost directly to several scores.

 

Lasswade are next up. The Mid Lothian side are currently bottom of the table and are having a torrid time but this is almost a ‘local derby’ and in games such as these anything can happen!

 

There is of course another match as Lasswade at the weekend, this involving the clubs’ respective Over 35’s who will do battle on Friday evening (KO 7.30pm).

 

It is unlikely that this will be played at quite the pace of the match the following day or that the combatants from the Saturday match will learn much from the exploits of the ‘oldies’ but stranger things have happaned at sea….!

 

Statistics

Biggar have the best Points Differential of all the Premiership and National League teams. Having scored 267 points they have conceded a miserly 63 which gives them a positive of 204. Nearest to that comes from Gordonians in National 3 with a 178 points differntial.

While few other clubs come close at that 1st XV level, 2 clubs. Hawick Linden of East 2 and Waysiders Drumpellier of West 3 boast even tighter defences with just 57 and 38 points conceded respectively!!

 

 

Biggar

R. Lavery, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Moffat, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, L. Kotze, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. Carossi, J. Orr, A. Warnock (Capt), L. Stewart, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. McDonald


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