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

Championship winners

Peebles 7 Biggar 25

 

CHAMPIONSHIP CLINCHED!!

 

A wonderful result for Biggar and one which finally clinched the National 2 Championship. For several weeks the destination of the Championship has been all but certain with it being only a very remote mathematical chance that Highland would catch Biggar and equal their League tally. Given Biggar’s massive positive points differential however it was highly unlikely that Highland would be able to take the top spot…..but it was still a possibility.

 

That possibility is now no more with the 4 points earned against Peebles taking Biggar clear on 96 league points and with the 100 a very real target for their last match on 13th April against Preston Lodge.

 

 

Biggar have achieved no fewer than 11 promotions in their relatively short 44 year history but only once before, in season 1984/85, have they been promoted as Champions! This then was a significant achievement and all the more so for the playing squad, none of whom have been in a 1st XV promotion winning side before. And particularly satisfying and enjoyable for 8 in the crowd who were part of Biggar’s first ever 1st XV and for the 7 who were also part of the 1985 squad who attended Saturday night’s annual dinner. CELEBRATIONS all round!

 

Back in October when Biggar lost their unbeaten record to Peebles, the more optimistic wondered if, when the time came, Biggar would be faced with a trip to The Gytes to secure the Championship. It was felt then, that that challenge would be an enticing yet incredibly difficult one, and so there was a good deal of nervous tension surrounding the preparations for this match given the prize.

 

With one exception, Franco Carrossi recovered from his rib unjury but adjudged not quite ready for a return to 1st XV duty, all others in the squad were fit – Alan Warnock, Robbie Orr and Conor Lavery recovered from midweek colds/sniffles – and so coaches Mercer, Wilson and Fleming had a difficult task to select a squad. The availability of Andrew Nimmo, who has been with Glasgow Hawks this season, but whose primary club is still Biggar, added more to this debate. In the end the youngster, who has had almost twice as much game time for Biggar than with Hawks, got the nod at loose head with Donald Voas moving to the tight side.

 

The rest of the squad followed similar lines to recent selections with Robbie Lavery dropping to the bench and Gregor Stewart starting at centre.

 

A mention must be made of the MASSIVE travelling Biggar support, surely the biggest tunrout of visiting supporters this league aghs seen for many years, if not ever. The whole cluib was represented with players and supporters of all ages and sections of the club making the trip to Peebles. What a reaction from the crowd as Biggar took the field and what a lift it gave the players who could have been forgiven for thinking that it was in fact a home match!

 

Played in near perfect spring-like conditions the game ensued with both sides playing an expansive game and one which entertained the crowd. Tackles were hard and there was predictably no quarter given or asked.

 

Biggar drew first blood when after 20 minutes Matthew Stewart kicked a penalty to put Biggar 3-0 up.

 

As expected at this stage Peebles had the edge in the tight with their pack disrupting the Biggar 8 in the scrum although the home lineout didn’t function just as well with ball won but not as tidily as would have been preferred.

 

Biggar’s cause was not helped with an injury to prop Donald Voas whose contributions both at scrum time and in the loose this season have been nothing short of immense. A suspected popped rib is a real issue for anyone but especially for a prop and so he was forced from the fray. This ended the much awaited contest between Donald and his brother Douglas who was in the Peebles squad. Replacement Paul Davidson, a natural tight head, put in a huge performance and helped Biggar secure their own ball and nip at least 3 against the head, an unusual occurrence for Peebles.

 

There was excitement in bucketloads with some good lines taken by both sets of backs and with kicks and chases providing real excitement.

 

The next score came from Club Captain Alan Warnock – a former pupil of Peebles High and no stranger to Peebles as he played at The Gytes for seveal seasons – got on the end of a great Biggar attack to score a try which Matthew Stewart was just unable to convert.

 

A second penalty gave Biggar a half time lead at 11-0.

 

The opening exchanges fo the second period saw Biggar scrum half Davy Reive shown a yellow for preventing fair release. Down to 14 men this 10 minute spell was significant though try as they did Peebles were unable to make the extra man count as the Biggar defence, already a huge factor in this season’s successes, again stood firm. Time and again tackles were made with all contributing to the cause and with Peebles given scant time to play without being under very real pressure.

 

The game was won on the back of two Peebles attacks which misfired, this again as much to do with Biggar pressure as any perceived Peebles errors. The first saw Ross Bradford, in typical style and certainly not for the first time this campaign, snaffle an interception pass from Peebles stand off Donald Anderson to run home from half way. Another Anderson pass shortly afterwards fell in similar fashion to Gregor Stewart who also ran in from long range. In a season when his younger brother has scored a club record 20 tries, this was particualrly sweet for the centre as this was his first of the season! Matthew Stewart (no relation!) kicked the conversions to both these scores to put Biggar ahead and effectively out of sight.

 

It looked as though Biggar would keep a clean sheet – which in itself would have been cause for celebration – but Peebles winger Scott Stoddart made amends when, and with only seconds remaining, he latched on to a speculative pass from Conor Lavery to beat the Biggar chase for a try. A stramash ensued as Biggar’s replacement winger Iain Renwick slid into Stoddart as he scored.

 

The conversion by Anderson was successful and as Biggar believed that referee Gardner’s whistle signalled fulltime there was much celebration from the Biggar squad who were joined on the pitch by the bench. This was short-lived however as the whistle was in fact to signal a penalty restart to Peebles on half way!

 

Peebles put together a series of phases but an error ended the contest to allow the real celebrations to begin!

 

There was some very real and raw emotion from Biggar players, coaches and supporters alike and which set things up perfectly for the senior dinner at Hartree Mill later in the evening. Fair play to the Peebles players who had the unenviable task of watchingthe celebrations unfold on their pitch. Not an easy task but one which they carried out admirably and in good spirit – such is rugby!

 

Many congratulations to Biggar’s coaching staff, Playing Convenors, physios and back up staff all of whom have contributed SO much to this season. Primarily however, congratulations to the senior playing group, every one of which has worked so tirlesssly to develop their fitness, skills and game understanding. It has all been more than worthwhile and has created memories for Biggar RFC which will last forever.

 

Biggar

R. Orr, R. Bradford, G. Stewart, M. Stewart, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, D. Voas, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson (Capt), C. Mulligan, R. Jackson.

Reps: A. Peacock, P. Davidson, R. Lavery, I. Renwick.

 

Biggar’s 2nd XV were scheduled to travel to take on Kelso on Saturday but were disappointed when the Border side were in touch to say that they were unabel to field a side.

 

This was rotten news for the Biggar XV who were primed for the match which they needed to win to be sure of avoiding relegation.

 

The 28-0 score does just that however and promotes the side to 6th place in the division with 2 games remaining.

 

A bonus was that the squad, many of whom have had 1st XV action this season were on hand at Peebles to watch the 1sts and join in with the celebrations.


NEWS

Championship winners

Biggar finally secured the National 2 Championship on Saturday

more

April 2019
S M T W T F S
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
web design by Environ-IT