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

1sts bounce back against Dumfries

Biggar 39 Dumfries 0

What a difference a week makes! A Biggar win as they bounce back after the defeat by Peebles while the Border side who looked a competent and strong side come unstuck against Glasgow Accies....

 

After the disappointment of last week when Biggar produced a somewhat lack-lutsre display, the side came out of the traps with all guns firing against Dumfries. Having weathered the Dumfries storm of the first half, they then opened up to record an excellent win, with just as importantly, preventing the visitors from recording any points.

 

Having suffered defeat last week, Biggar were determined to ensure that they got things back on track on Saturday. This was the first game of the second ‘half’ of the season and against a side which had provided stern opposition in the opening encounter.

 

Biggar welcomed back two warriors in lock Alan Warnock and scrum half Davy Reive with Guy Kelly recalled to the front row. Andrew Peacock and Franco Carrossi dropped to the bench with Chris Mulligan taking over at hooker from the injured Ewan Stewart, and with Lewis Stewart at flank forward. In the three quarters the other Stewart brothers (Gregor and Rowan) were unavailable and so Matthew Stewart returned from injury at centre with Iain Renwick, who had been at 9 against Peebles playing on the wing.

 

As had been expected Dumfries began strongly some neat moves in the backs seeing them create great yardage and on one occasion splitting the Biggar defence in two, only a great tackle from Robbie Orr halting the move.

 

Against the run of play then it was a boost to see Matthew Stewart kick a penalty top give Biggar an early lead.

 

Play was a tad fractious at this stage with both sides getting into good attacking positions but errors spoiling all the hard work that had gone before. The wind, which was coming across the pitch, was a major factor with Dumfries struggling to master restarts and with Biggar just too long on a couple of occasions. These, combined with a variety of penalty awards and a mal-functioning Dumfries lineout and some uncharacteristic handling errors from Biggar meant that there were regular stoppages.

 

Dumfries continued to put Biggar under pressure however and it took all of Biggar’s defensive strength to keep their line intact, one superb try-saving tackle from Davy Rieve which did just enough to prevent Dumfries from scoring was one of many to catch the eye, Donald Voas another who put in some thundering hits throghout the match.

 

Dumfries should have tied the scores ast 3-3 but kicker Alan Birdsall was off target from a relatively ‘simple’ distance.

 

Having seen that kick miss Dumfries opted thereafter to run the ball with a series of tap and go’s but again it was Biggar’s first up and cover tackles which came to the fore to repel the visitors.

 

Biggar were a match for their opponents in the tight scrum but they took the lion’s share of lineout ball, Jamie Orr in fine form although tribute too, to his lifters.

 

As ahs often been the case this season Biggar’s ability to counter-attack has been impressive and it was this which led to the first try. A squint Dumfries lineout in Biggar’s 22 led to a sscrum and Biggar possession. Ross Bradford got the ball in midfield and made a great break to the left with Iain Renwick adding more yards. Ballw as then transferred inside to Reive who made short shrift of the gap to reach the line. Matthew Stewart added the conversion for 10-0.

 

This score came just beofre the half hour mark and some 5 minutes later Biggar struck again with Stewart kicking a second penalty for 13-0.

 

A major error on the restart meant the Dumfries were gifted possession and had it not been for their defence Biggar would have conceded a score. Instead however, Bradford, Voas, Chris Mulligan and the Orr brothers all tackled well to stem the tide.

 

A Conor Lavery clearnace took play to half way with the chase stopping Dumfries from a counter attack. A knock on gave Biggar scrum ball and with Ross Jackson making the initial thrust, yards were made by Robbie Orr, then Jackson again who popped the ball to Lewis Stewart who looked to be on his way to scoring a try. The despairing cover tackle did enough to trip him up but the youngster had the presence of mind to find Euan Sanderson in support, Biggar’s skipper diving in for the score, though the flying tackle by the last Dumfries player was not to his liking!

 

Half time then and Biggar were ahead at 20-0.

 

A series of penalties from referee Mike Milner disrupted play as the second half began, Dumfries benefitting from these awards and managing to relieve the pressure exerted by Biggar. Faced with poor possession from their lineout meant that a tap-and-go ploy was again their preffered option, but Biggar were up for this with another batch of big hits ending the momentum Dumfries so craved.

 

With some 15 minutes of the second half gone Biggar struck with a third try. Reive tidied lineout ball before gaining some much needed yards. Robbie Lavery spread play wide and Lewis Stewart linked well before getting the ball to Robbie Orr. The fullback is very elusive and made the try line form the half way mark, out-stripping the Dumfries defence on the way. Matthew Stewart’s conversion took Biggar to 27-0.

 

There was now the real possibility of collecting another 4 try bonus – not something that had been given much thought in the lead up to the game.

 

Robbie Lavery made a great line break with his next foray and with Mulligan carrying play forward again his pass found Lewis Stewart who flew in from the Dumfries 22 for a try convertde by his brother for 34-0 and that all important bonus point try!

 

With the thrid quarter beckoning Voas was carrying well again as Biggar rang the changes with Franco Carossi replacing Kelly and Peacock replacing Alan Warnock. Robbie Lavery then took over at scrum half as Reive left the field to a well-deserved round of applause for his efforts.

 

Dumfries continued to run at Biggar with scrum half Birdsall tireless in his attempts to spur his side and on and with flanker Ben Johnstone and No8 Luke Gilbert making good ground into the Biggar 22 but errors and Biggar’s defence brought these efforts to nought.

 

The last try was one of the best of the season to date and there have been plenty from the top drawer as well. A missed kick to touch was cleared fownfield by Dumfries and into Biggar’s 22 where it was gathered by Robbie Orr. He found Iain renwick who set up a ruck on Biggar 10m line. There were then a series of phases each of which involved different players but which continues to take play into the Dumfries half. An injection of pace by Mulligan and then by Bradford who made some great runs on Saturday set Jackson free for the try in the corner! A total of 13 players were involved at some point…..fantastic!

 

The final few minutes saw Biggar penalised on a number of occasions at scrum time when they seemed to be totally dominant and which meant that Dumfries ended the match in Biggar’s 22.

 

Congratulations to all involved on Saturday. There was no one who did not perform and it was really encouraging to see how the younger members of the squad – 4 in their teens – worked together. This was a big result given the previous week’s performance and one which should again boost confidence. With a weekend off due to the Cup commitements Biggar now prepare for the real challenge posed by Stewarts Melville who are currently in 3rd spot. Biggar won the match at Hartree Mill and took the Edinburgh side by surprise. They will be eager to return the compliment there is no doubt.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, R. Lavery, M. Stewart, I. Renwick, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, C. Mulligan, G. Kelly, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, L. Stewart, R. Jackson

Reps: F. Carossi, A. Peacock, R. Moffat, J. Barr

 

The 2nd XV entertained Peebles 2nds in a friendly on Friday evening. After a good first half Biggar dropped off the pace a bit and allowe their visitors too much space.

The Border side ran out deserved winners. Ali Steele, Alex Toal and euan Bogle scored tries with the latter also kicking 2 conversions.


NEWS

1sts bounce back against Dumfries

Biggar bounce back after Peebles defeat

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