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

Motor Neurone Disease Fund Raiser 10th November


Biggar supports MND Charity

10th November MND Fundraiser

 

We are supporting two MND related charities at this event - namely MND Scotland and Doddie Weir’5 Discretionery Trust

 

As a club we are all too aware of the devastating effects of MND. Our very own Rab Young, now resident in Australia, was diagnosed in 2016 while Doddie Weir was diagnosed just a year later in the summer of this year.

 

Both these friends played here at the match to celebrate our Clubhouse Opening back in 1990. That was a gala occasion with a very young Doddie beginning to make his mark on the game while Rab was returning to Biggar after several years at Selkirk.

 

That they should both now suffer from MND is dreadful although typically both are making light of their condition and managing their lives accordingly. Their families have, crucially, been of massive support.

 

Cameron – Rab and Ali’s eldest - was here two months ago and it was fantastic to meet up with him as he was only a wee laddie when we last met and of course when he left these shores for Oz. Cammy was delighted to be at Hartree Mill  (not as much at the result it has to be said as we lost to Peebles) as he and his fiancee Alice toured Scotland catching up with family and friends.

 

Doddie of course is an icon of the game and a bubbly, charismatic figure who has developed into a rugby celebrity with work on TV and as an after-dinner speaker. His boys and wife are to the fore with the Doddie Weir'5 Discretionery Trust which has gathered momentum as Scotland internationalists and other media personalities have pledged their support. For more information about the Trust go to www.doddieweir5trust.co.uk

 

We are targeting MND Scotland and the Doddie Weir’5 Discretionery Trust as recipients of the funds we raise on the 10th with David Ireland of 3RSolutions in the role of Match Sponsor. Doddie was David’s best man and so David has a real connection with the big man.

 

We hope you are encouraged to support our event. Tickets are priced at £25 with a bucket collection to add to the surplus raised from the tickets. There is a limit of 125 tickets and so please do not hesitate to book yours! First come, first served!

 

The evening will feature 3 games of rugby with our Colts, 2nds and Ladies all involved in matches. Our fund-raising dinner will start at 6pm sharp with the Colts in action at 6pm and the Ladies and 2nds playing at 7.30pm.

 

The Colts play Currie in the Shogun Conference while the Ladies entertain Hamilton in what should be their 2nd match of this season – both sides are taking their first steps into competitive rugby. The 2nds meanwhile host Dumfries 2nds, the Border club also having a direct link with Doddie as he was their principal speaker at their club dinner in April, shortly before he announced that he was suffering from MND.


Another 5 pointer as Whitecraigs come calling

Biggar 45 Whitecraigs 24

Another 5-pointer for Biggar as they ran in 7 tries (to 3) against Glasgow side Whitecraigs.

 

In reality this was pretty much the result that had been expected as Whitecraigs currently languish in second bottom spot of National 2. Nothing can be taken for granted however and while Biggar shot into an early lead and were 30 points to the good at the break, a much improved performance by the visitors had Biggar reeling and at one point threatening to lose the match.

 

Fortunately things got back on track and normal service was resumed, Biggar notching a late try to end the match on a positive note.

 

This was another entertaining match and another of two distinct halves, Biggar on this occasion starting really well before losing their place somewhat for the third quarter when Whitecraigs got far more of the ball and began to dictate.

 

The very unlucky Ewan Stewart was ruled out of action following a hand injury sustained last week against GHK, Andrew Orr moving forward from the back row to hooker. Douglas Notman returned at No 8 to join Alan Warnock while Andrew Peacock played at lock. The backs were as last week with the other changes on the bench, Kevan Robison and Ross Bradford joining last weeks replacements Gregor Stewart and Guy Kelly.

 

In relatively bright conditions and with Scotland’s lady referee Alex Pratt in charge Biggar opened at a cracking pace, scoring a try through Euan Bogle after just 5 minutes, this following a clearance kick from Whitecraigs which failed to find touch and which gave Biggar the chance to counter. Several simple passes later and Robbie Lavery had options to go left or right. In choosing left Bogle was given a clear run to the corner. Carne Green was not able to add the conversion from far out.

 

Whitecraigs hit back with a penalty from fullback Stephen Gillies but this was against the run of play, Biggar scoring a second try after a patient build up when they retained possession through a number of phases. There were a number of charges to the line, these from Callum Braid, Notman and Green before ball was whipped back left to Jamie Orr who crashed over. The young lock had a cracking match throughout deservedly earning him the man-of-the-match award although other contenders included Braid and Ewan Sanderson who as always put in big hits from start to finish.

 

Shortly after the restart Orr initiated a midfield break, his off-load finding Braid who set off for the line some 40m distant. A despairing tap tackle was all that prevented him from scoring and while a ruck spawned ball for Davy Reive who looked to most to have scored, Ms Pratt was not so convinced, awarding Biggar a scrum some 5m out instead.

 

A handful of probing runs took play to the line again and again, a pass to Alistair Sinclair seeing him claim the space for a try in the corner….but no, not this time either as Ms Pratt gave the visitors a 5m scrum. Having made things really difficult for Whitecraigs from the scrum, Biggar pounced on the loose ball, Reive seeking out Ryan Moffat with what, to all intents and purposes was a crash ball, the centre crossing for another good score. Green added the conversion and Biggar were 19-3 up.

 

Minutes later and Biggar claimed their 4-try bonus point, the all-important try credited to Bogle who cleverly chased and won the race to his own kick ahead.

 

Biggar were handling with some confidence which was great to see and which ended with their 5th try, this again following a kick and chase, this time from Aird Jardine who crossed virtually under the posts and which Green converted.

 

The second period began with a much fresher Whitecraigs approach, all of the players buying into the run-it-from-everywhere approach and in sharp contrast to GHK last week, ‘Craigs managed to hold onto their ball quite easily, which continued to put the Biggar defence under real pressure.

 

Biggar managed to hold their line intact to begin with time but would eventually tell and this was the case as flanker Neil Alexander drove over from close range for a try which was converted by Gillies. 33-10

 

Biggar then lost the services of Bogle who was guilty of a late hit on ‘Craigs stand off Stuart Henderson. Enjoying the 1-man advantage so provided, ‘Craigs continued to press and enjoyed this prolonged passage of play which they used to dictate the pace of the match. Following a penalty award which was tapped and given to replacement Chris O’Donnell, there was really no way which Biggar could have employed to halt this giant’s charge for the line. Needing no second invitation the big man crashed over for a try converted by Gillies for 33-17. Things were now getting quite interesting and there were many Biggar supporters who began to unhappily cast their minds back to the Peebles match when things went very wrong and when Biggar contrived to lose a match they had hitherto had under control.

 

Having made a couple of changes, perhaps the most significant being the replacement at scrum half of Reive by Jardine, Biggar managed to sort themselves out a bit. The next score came out of the blue however and was sparked when a loose ball was gathered by Moffat. The centre broke through some unconvincing initial defence before breaking clear into midfield. Having made 40m he popped the ball to the ever-present Orr, who in turn fed Sanderson. The flanker took the ball on and when eventually hauled down, found Jardine with a neat offload, the fullback running in close to the posts – a well worked try. Green added the conversion for 40-17

 

‘Craigs were not down and out however and they responded well with their third score, this after they had enjoyed another sustained passage of play in the Biggar 22, No 7 Ross McDonald credited with the score, Gillies adding the 2 points for 40-24.

 

There followed a prolonged stoppage after ‘Craigs centre Wamberg collided with Moffat, both players complicit in the collision as both were arguably too high in contact. While Moffat sustained a blow to his cheek he was able to continue, Wamberg less fortunate and he was stretchered from the field with a neck brace. This (happily) proved to be precautionary and he was back on his feet after the match.

 

The final try went fittingly to Orr who rounded off an excellent display with this his second score. He was almost over minutes earlier and he could have set Stewart in at the corner but the try was merely delayed as Biggar pummelled the ‘Craigs line before Jardine and Green combined well to free the lock for a dive at the corner.

 

 

Although there was time for the restart the game was virtually over and the next stoppage saw referee Pratt blow for full time.

 

Plus points came in the form of Jamie Orr who was prominent in every aspect – restarts, lineouts, defence and attack – while the mobility of prop Callum Braid, another who shines in the loose as well as doing his bit in the tight, continues to impress. It would again be hard to pick any one player who did not make a very positive contribution to the game at some point, the trick for coaches Mercer and Wilson, both of whom were on a school trip to France at the weekend, being how they can get the squad to play for a whole 80 minutes, the general feeling being that if they could, they would be a match for any team in the league.

 

So Biggar cling onto joint 4th spot with Lasswade, the East Lothian side also claiming a 4-try bonus.

 

This weekend Biggar journey to Preston Lodge, a trip they have never relished and at which they have seldom triumphed. Onward and upward!

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, A. Orr, C. Braid, J. Orr, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, E. Bogle, A. Jardine Reps: K. Robison, G. Kelly, R. Bradford, G. Stewart.

 

 

The 2nd XV were forced to postpone their match after they suffered a large number of call off's due to work and injury. This is really disappointing as again there were many players who missed out on thier game. To that end if you are of playing age, PLEASE make yourself available. Your Club Needs You!


Fantastic come back at GHK earns 5 points

GHK 26 Biggar 38

This was another incident packed contest, another game of two distinct halves, another with a barrow load of tries (9 in total) and another with some great running rugby from both sides. It’s not clear quite how much of this the loyal Biggar support can take – their side was 14-0 down before they came into the match – but if they can continue to mount second half revivals on the scale of these last two outings then it is going to be a long yet exciting season!

 

Calum Braid - who was later awarded the man-of-the-match award for his contribution in both attack and defence – returned to the front row for the unavailable Donald Voas, this allowing Euan Sanderson to return to the starting line up, one of his fellow back row being none other than Ross Jackson who was without a match at his new club Marr, but who is dual registered and only too keen to pull on the Biggar jersey once again.

 

Ross Bradford was a late injury call off in the backs and his place was taken by Euan Bogle with James Barr called up from 2nd XV action to the bench.

 

GHK and their fellow pitch-sharing mates Glasgow Hawks have not had their troubles to seek this season after a ‘sink-hole’ appeared slap bang in their 1st XV pitch. They have been forced to scour Glasgow for alternative temporary accommodation and while several games have been played at Balgray (home of Kelvinside Academy) the pitch there has not been able to withstand the extra traffic and so Saturday’s match took place on one of the back pitches at Old Anniesland. While there was no doubting the quality of the surface there was some concern over the absence of a pitch surround rope which meant that spectators were right on the touchline. This made the touch-judges task all the more difficult. Fortunately nothing untoward occurred but it is something which the club should address before their next match.

 

Kicking off and starting in similar fashion to Dumfries last week GHK put Biggar under immediate pressure, stand off Danny Campbell hitting a great line off quick ruck ball to crash over for the opening score. He added the conversion for an all too easy 7-0 lead.

 

Running ball at every opportunity GHK were soon back on the attack and on 12 minutes their big prop strolled through a somewhat weak Biggar defence for the second score and with Campbell adding the conversion it was 14-0 for the city side.

 

Biggar had their moments but too often play broke down as penalties were conceded or as ball was fumbled. A Carne Green penalty attempt rebounded off the upright to give GHK some panicky moments but a forward pass from the Biggar attack allowed GHK to clear.

 

Biggar still enjoyed territorial position however and a penalty gave them good field position on the GHK 22. Ball moved right saw Braid and then Ewan Stewart handle before Ryan Moffit took a crash ball, his run taking him over for Biggar’s opening score. Green’s conversion made it 14-7.

 

Although neither side’s lineout was working particularly well both sides engineered important steals on their opponents throw, Alan Warnock taking one such steal when GHK were next in a good attacking position.

 

This was quickly followed a by a neat break from Green which took him through the GHK defence and into open space. He elected to pass wide to Bogle who also made good yards before a great cover tackle ended the move. Unfortunately the tackle ended in a pile up which left the GHK flanker Jamie Cook prone. A prolonged stoppage was necessary while he received attention. Ultimately, while there was discussion about moving the match to the adjoining pitch, the player was transferred to a stretcher and moved out of harm’s way.

 

It is understood that Jamie recieved a 'stinger' and that he is recovering. Best wishes from BRFC.

 

Play had been held up for some 15 minutes and whether this had a major impact on the match is difficult to tell save that Biggar seemed to play with greater authority after the stoppage then they had before.

 

Penalties were awarded on a fairly regular basis by referee Ruaridh Smith and while this didn’t really allow the game to flow all were easy decisions to make and in the most, fairly clear cut. Neither side gained a particular advantage either, save that later in the game, it seemed likely that a GHK player was shown a yellow although this never happened.

 

Gregor Stewart and Douglas Notman had replaced Robbie Lavery and Andrew Orr respectively and both made telling contributions, Stewart with some good hands and Notman with typical belligerence in and around the contact area.

 

A second penalty kick from Green was pushed wide while a similar award to GHK saw them tap and go, this causing all sorts of problems for the Biggar defence and somewhat against the recent run of play, eventually a 3rd try, this falling to winger Marc Taylor and coming just before half time. Campbell’s excellent touchline conversion rebounded off the upright before slipping over for 21-7.

 

Biggar mounted an attack on the restart, this after a GHK fumble, and they should probably have scored from two good attacks, one on each wing, but on each occasion the GHK scramble defence was up to the task. A penalty award led to a lineout but a knock on allowed GHK to kick the ball dead for the break.

 

Having conceded a score just before the break Biggar needed a quick riposte although this didn’t come in the normal manner. An early GHK attack stretched Biggar’s defence but Green took a gamble – much in the same way as Ruardhi Jackson had done in the Glasgow game the night before - and made a timely interception, this taking him clear to the line although it couldn’t come quick enough as the cover defence was getting back quickly. Bogle added the conversion for 21-14.

 

Able to get straight back on the attack courtesy of a Jamie Orr tackle and Sanderson jackal, Biggar kicked for the corner and an attacking line. Braid advanced play and then Reive found Green from the ruck. A huge miss pass was then delivered to Stewart who had a relatively easy run in for Biggar’s 3rd try which, when converted well by Bogle, had the sides level at 21 a-piece.

 

‘Can’t kick, won’t kick’ was certainly the GHK mantra, their desire to run ball from everywhere admirable but if the handling isn’t good then the side is immediately put under lots of pressure and this was definitely the case as time after time when field position could so easily have been gained by a clearing kick, the decision to run was taken. And almost inevitably ground lost as passes were fumbled.

 

Biggar’s lineout was struggling to function efficiently, especially as hooker Ewan Stewart had taken a knock to the hand, Orr eventually deputising in this role. Moffit profited from a good quick pass and perhaps should have made the line but his off-load failed to go to hand, Lavery knocking on with the line easily reachable. Bogle was just wide with a penalty but struck the next cleanly to give his side the lead for the first time at 24-21.

 

To add insult to injury GHK’s restart was kicked dead (this to add to several missed touches in the first half) and play taken back to half way.

 

In contrast to GHK’s ‘no kick’ ploys Biggar controlled proceedings pretty well with Reive, Green and Jardine ensuring ball was kept in front of the pack with a variety of box and grubber kicks. In addition the ferocious offensive tackling from Notman, Braid, Jamie Orr and Sanderson and their work at contact meant that GHK were given precious little time on the ball.

 

Bogle scored the 4th Biggar try, this of course a bonus point score, the winger tearing in at the corner after Green had combined well with Lavery, the centre’s miss pass finding Bogle who slid in at the corner. The conversion from out wide was just short but at 29-21 the advantage was at last Biggar’s.

 

GHK had a chance to put Biggar under pressure following a high tackle from Bogle but frustratingly for the home support the penalty was kicked long and dead allowing Biggar another escape.

 

Back on the attack and up quickly to defend as GHK ran again with some purpose – their backs will surely never make as many handling errors again this season – Lavery took a fumbled pass to pop ball to Green on Biggar’s 10m line. The stand off had the legs (just) of the cover defence and ran in for his second try of the afternoon. Bogle added the conversion to take Biggar two scores clear.

 

It’s been done before of course (Peebles is still too fresh in the memory) and there remained some nervous moments as GHK flung everything they had left at Biggar. Stout defence did its job but with the final movement of the match a driven maul did end on a positive note for the home side as they notched their 4 try bonus point.

 

It was Biggar however who took the lion’s share of the spoils to remain in 4th spot in the league behind Kirkcaldy, Hamilton (who ended Dumfries’ winning run on Saturday) and Dumfries. It is not too often Biggar return from the city with a 5 pointer, rarer still after being two scores down at the break…..but it would be good not to have to rely on second half comebacks!

 

Biggar

D. O’Connell, E. Stewart, C. Braid, J. Orr, A. Warnock, A. Orr, E. Sanderson, R. Jackson, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffit, R. Lavery, E. Bogle, A. Jardine Reps: D. Notman, G. Kelly, J. Barr, G. Stewart.

 

 

The Biggar support on Saturday was, as always, excellent. It was supplemented on Saturday by Biggar Young Farmers who were hosting exchangees from Gower YF in Wales. The visitors had a great afternoon and livened things up with a number of touchline songs with lock forward Jamie Orr their clear favourite!

 

 

The 2nd XV had their first outing for a month on Saturday when they travelled to take on Boroughmuir 3rds. To frustrate Biggar the city side triumphed with what was virtually the last play of the game. 17-13 was the final score.


Biggar and Dumfries serve up a thriller

Biggar 26 Dumfries 29

It seems that Biggar’s matches this season are proving to be not only particularly exciting affairs but also full of incident – sufficient to ensure there is plenty of post match debate at least.

 

The first match of the season saw the side notch up a win against a confident Hamilton side; a fortnight ago against Peebles, Biggar managed to lose a game in the dying minutes which they had hitherto seemingly had in the bag; last week in Aberdeen the side racked up Biggar’s largest league total for many a year while on Saturday the side clawed their way back into a match most present felt at half time (when they were 24-5 down) they had lost. More was to follow as in the last minute the decision was taken opt for a scrum and a try to win, instead of what appeared to be a relatively simple penalty which would have given them a valuable draw and which would have perhaps, more importantly, ended Dumfries’ winning run.

 

Was it bravado, bravery, foolhardy…..each opinion had its backers in the post match chat, with a general failure in communication deemed the reason for opting for the scrum though there seems no doubt either that the second half finished abruptly, there having been a prolonged period of injury time after a clash of heads which might have seen Dumfries claw their way back from the kick off had Biggar kicked the penalty.

 

No matter, Biggar collected 2 points courtesy of their losing and 4-try bonus, Dumfries picking up a maximum 5 from their part in the 8-try feast.

 

Unbeaten before the match and unbeaten after the match, Dumfries were delighted to record their win and so they should be, their side easily the best prepared Biggar have encountered to date and clearly relishing their promotion from National 3 last season.

 

Biggar rang the changes again as injury/illness deprived them of Euan Sanderson and Andrew Nimmo, their deputies being Donald Voas and Douglas Notman, the No8/flanker returning after injury. Jamie Orr replaced Callum Dunlop at lock while in the backs a fit again Ryan Moffit returned to the centre, Gregor Stewart dropping to the bench where he was joined again by Andrew Peacock, Euan Bogle and Guy Kelly.

 

This was the ultimate in those matches which fall into the category of being a ‘game of two halves’, Biggar down and out at 24-0 and then 24-5 at the break and yet managing to win the second half by 21-5.

 

An early barrage of attacking play by the visitors saw Biggar on the ropes as Dumfries ran at great pace, posing all sorts of questions to the Biggar side. Within three minutes of the start a rumble by Dumfries prop Scott Goodwin saw the Biggar line breached and gave fullback Sam Hiddleston a relatively easy run in under the posts, John Carlisle easily adding the conversion for 7-0.

 

Robbie Lavery got back well to thwart a breenge by hooker Zeke Dyson and Carlisle missed a penalty while a break by Hiddleston on the right flank should have perhaps seen Dumfries score again, Biggar just managing to scramble back and defend their line.

 

In their 22 again skipper Alan Warnock who, as usual, provided a captains lead throughout, tidied a lose ball in the Biggar 22, but it was Dumfries who were calling the shots at this point, the National 2 newcomers running some great angles and at real pace.

 

Biggar’s defence has not been under just as much sustained pressure in any other game although they did have some forays up into the Dumfries half where they met some resolute defence and where they found it difficult to hold onto possession. At every opportunity Dumfries ran the ball or kicked it back to resume their threat. Another penalty from Carlisle proved tantalisingly close as it rebounded off the upright and which had Biggar scrambling as Warnock tidied again and Green kicked clear.

 

Ironically, however, the next try came not from a sortie by Dumfries but instead as a result of a real mix up between Biggar centres Moffit and Lavery and when Biggar were in possession, albeit in their half and when running out of defence. Stand off Carne Green shaped to go and pass left but his pass fell to the ground as the centres collided, the ball kicked on and then picked up gratefully by Carlisle who ran through for a score which he again converted for 14-0.

 

A Biggar attack 10 minutes later foundered as they were penalised, Carlisle kicking to 5 metres out where ball won by Michael Thomson was shipped right, Hiddleston in at a great angle to crash through the despairing Biggar defence for a third Dumfries try which when converted gave them a 21-0 lead.

 

Biggar then lost the services of hooker Ewan Stewart after a head knock. In reality he should have departed earlier but referee Adam Morrison who is a Kiwi not long arrived in the country and who had a good game otherwise, was content to allow Stewart to stay on and this despite the protestations of Davy Reive. Peacock came on for the unlucky Stewart who will now miss out the next fortnight or so.

 

Just minutes later and another Dumfries penalty was converted for 24-0.

 

This seemed at last to galvanise the Biggar effort, the hosts finishing the half on the ascendancy, a series of pick and goes with Orr, Braid, Voas, Green et al in the van taking play deep into the Dumfries 22. Pressure was at last sustained and Dumfries were forced to defend. This they managed although Notman and Jardine both came within metres of the try line. Two penalties conceded by Dumfries both of which were eminently kick-able saw Biggar opt for a scrum and then a tap and go, this eventually spawning ball which Green used right. His wide pass was taken by Lavery who managed to off-load in the tackle to Alistair Sinclair who scampered over for a try which gave Biggar a 24-5 lifeline for the second half.

 

Biggar began the second period in fine style although crucially they were unable to add to their tally, ball lost when in promising positions and Dumfries managing to escape the immediate threat.

 

Having survived this initial period Dumfries then scored their 4th try, this coming after the Biggar defence was strung wide and far, Rory Steele crossing with a wee show and go. Carlisle was off target with his wide conversion but at 29-5 it didn’t look good for the home side.

 

The players had different ideas however and quickly had Dumfries back in their own half and on the defensive again. Voas who saw so much more of the ball this game then in any other so far this season made valuable inroads as did Notman, Braid and Orr with Jardine and Bradford helping by running ball back when Dumfries kicked clear. A hard won penalty gave Biggar an attacking opportunity and in similar fashion to the Dumfries score in the first half, ball won in the air by Jamie Orr was carried forward by Voas. Reive popped the ball out to Moffit, the big man almost unstoppable from close range and crashing over from some 10 metres out although he needed to stretch for the try. Green converted for 29-12.

 

Now, in what was a purple patch, Biggar probed once again, with all taking ball into contact with a new found confidence. Off-loads which had previously proved inconsistent seemed to stick to hand and Biggar made ground slowly but surely. Euan Bogle who had replaced Sinclair at half time made some good yards with quick feet but it was that man Moffit (having easily his best game so far) who grabbed the next try.

 

A penalty to the Dumfries 22 saw ball won again by Orr, Reive on hand to provide the link to Moffit who came again as first receiver. His drive seemed destined to come to a swift end such was the Dumfries cover but miraculously he managed to stay on his feet before being half tackled. Able to continue on he burst through the remaining cover to stretch once again for the line, referee Morrison on hand to award the try. Green’s conversion made it 29-19!

 

With a quarter of the match still remaining it was very much a case of game well and truly on!

 

In what was real harem, scarem period a clash of heads saw Biggar’s Braid and Dumfries’ McCall depart, this leading to uncontested scrums which with Biggar just edging their opponents in this area, nullified that slim advantage.

 

The pace of the game was beginning to tell although those who felt Biggar were down and out at half time and breathing too heavily would be delighted to note their continued efforts to take the points from this match. Dumfries were now confined to a defensive role as Biggar continued to press. The precise control which was required was just not quite there however with a couple of lineouts and passes not as accurate as would have been wished.

 

An injury to Jardine saw him replaced by Stewart who played on the wing with Bradford reverting to fullback. As Kelly had come on earlier for Braid, Biggar had now used all their bench.

 

Continuing to press Biggar were awarded a penalty which with several minutes remaining they opted to kick for the corner. While the initial foray was halted on the left, play was switched back to the right where Green’s long pass found Notman in acres of space and with a clear overlap. The flanker put his head down though and crashed over for a try which when converted by Green took Biggar within 3 points at 29-26.

 

And so to the final minute of drama. While Dumfries might have thought that the restart would give them good field position Biggar had different ideas and a break from Green took play deep into their opponents half. Some great interplay between Warnock, Peacock and Lavery maintained the momentum with the two Orr’s providing suitable battering rams to continue the onslaught.

 

A penalty award came Biggar’s way and in the middle of the park on the Dumfries 22 there was a great opportunity to tie the match.

 

The rest is now history, a break by Bradford and then by Bogle allowed Biggar to press but each sortie was met by stout defence. A ruck formed and for once Dumfries opted to go for the counter ruck, and as Biggar attempted to scramble the ball back referee Morrison blew for a penalty – cue manic celebrations from the Dumfries squad who knew that the kick to touch would end the match.

 

For the neutral a cracking match, and while there was understandable frustration and disappointment in the Biggar ranks, the squad can take great heart and solace for the way in which they came back into the match, scoring 4 tries in the process and matching their opponents in every area, save for the penalty count…….

 

Next up is a tough trip to GHK, the Glasgow side not playing just as well as they did last year but a difficult proposition in the city. Biggar will have to dig deep and rely on their reserve strength as there were a few sore bodies at the end of the game.

 

Biggar

D. Voas, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, J. Orr, A. Warnock, C. Braid, A. Orr, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffit, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: D. Voas, G. Kelly, E. Bogle, G. Stewart.


Biggar 1sts rampant in Aberdeen win

Aberdeenshire 0 Biggar 67

Aberdeenshire have finished in the top 5 in the last two National 2 league seasons and have dished out large defeats to Biggar sides when they have journeyed north, these including 51-27 and 49-5 routs. There was some satisfaction then for those Biggar players who had been beaten on these occasions when on Saturday Biggar swamped their hosts with an 11 try, 6 conversion performance. That ‘Shire were seldom if ever in the Biggar 22 is only part of the story as the total could/should have been closer to 100, a number of errors seeing ball dropped or ‘Shire’s last ditch defence preventing scores. On three other occasions Biggar men had ‘scored’ as referee Graeme Ormiston blew his whistle for forward passes.

 

The satisfaction gleaned from the win – Biggar’s biggest league win for many years and the largest defeat suffered by ‘Shire so far this season - was tempered somewhat by the fact that ‘Shire are clearly suffering badly and that after just 5 games, they appear almost certain to be relegated to National 3 at the end of the campaign.

 

Biggar’s squad was on familiar lines save for the absence of forwards Jamie Orr (unavailable) and Douglas Notman (injury) and back Stuart Hull (injury). Callum Dunlop (making his league debut at 1st XV level) and Andrew Nimmo (fielded at back instead of front row) came into the pack while Ryan Moffit replaced Hull. Euan Bogle and Guy Kelly on the bench, were others to make their debut appearance at this level.

 

In warm, sunny conditions but on a pitch with grass so long it had those from the farming fraternity looking for a silage chopper, Biggar were ahead after just 3 minutes. An initial attack ended with an attacking scrum and swift hands moved the ball left to Ross Bradford who cruised over for the first try. While Carne Green was off target with this conversion he made amends with the next, this after Moffit side-stepped the cover defence. His contribution was virtualy overa s shortly afterwards the big centre was up ended in what looked to be a tip tackle, his head rebounding off the turf and ending with him walking shakily to the touchline. Gregor Stewart came on as his replacement.

 

Play continued with Biggar on the attack, ball carried by Nimmo, Andrew Orr, Euan Sanderson and Callum Baird in turn and then advanced via the backs with alistair Sinclair claiming the first of what would be a hatttrick followed by Bradford’s second – this after a quick tap penalty.

 

Nimmo was next up, he making good ground every time he was on the ball, this try taking the score to 31-0 and half time.

 

The chat at the break had been to match the first half tally and this with ‘Shire so out of sorts Biggar managed comfortably with a further 36 points. As suggested the total should have been greater as a desire to get to the line and at times an over-complication of plays led to ball being spilled and opportunities lost. This was somewhat understandable however as rarely in league rugby do sides get the opportunity to play with so little real opposition. Not that the ‘Shire effort faded, their attitude and determination to play, and this after 4 heavy defeats, highly commendable. There is spirit a-plenty which if there is a glimmer of hope for the side may yet stand them in good stead.

 

Tries after the break came from Donald Voas (he and Kelly replaced Dan O’Connell and Braid) then Kelly, the young prop seeing his feat matched by the other debutant Bogle (who had replaced Sinclair). The winger/fullback was just off target with his conversion attempt but had better fortune from his next attempt, this to Bradford’s hat-trick score.

 

With coach David Wilson ringing the changes, Sinclair nabbed his second and then at the death, his third to round off the day.

 

After the huge disappointment that saw the side throw their lead away against Peebles the previous week, this was the only possible response for Biggar and so it was very much a case of ‘mission accomplished’. Errors there were without doubt and on another day these might have proved costly but the accumulatuion of 60+ points is not to be sniffed at and something very few Biggar sides have ever managed.

 

Things will be very different this coming week when Dumfries Saints, promoted from National 3 last year and currently unbeaten come to Hartree Mill. This will be a massive test for both sides and rekindles another of those ‘derby’ matches with the two clubs having ‘enjoyed’ many previous tight and challenging encounters over the years.

 

Biggar

C. Braid, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, C. Dunlop, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, A. Nimmo, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffit, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: D. Voas, G. Kelly, E. Bogle, G. Stewart.

 

Work commitments, injury and unavailablity meant that despite valiant efforts Biggar were unable to field a 2nd XV at the weekend for their trip to Selkirk. It is anticipated that this will be a one-off and that normal service will be resumed this coming weekend albeit that the side have a scheduled league ‘break’. Coach Doug Fleming is seeking alternative opposition but as yet has nothing confirmed.


Biggar suffer agony of last minute defeat in local derby

Biggar 30 Peebles 33

A rugby match lasts some 80 minutes plus stoppage time and it was deep into this stoppage time that Peebles scored their 5th try to take the lead for the first time and deny Biggar what had looked to most to be a relatively straightforward win. That Peebles were beaten the previous week by Kirkcaldy in what amounted to very similar circumstances was not lost on the Peebles support who were understandably cock-a-hoop at their win, the first of this campaign.

 

The mood in the Biggar camp was very different of course with a combination of frustration, disbelief and anger that they had coughed up the game in such a dramatic manner. With 10 minutes remaining and at 30-19 ahead it looked as though Biggar would take the points and deny their rivals that first elusive win but in the end instead of claiming what would have been a priceless 3 from 3 record Biggar could only salvage a losing bonus as Peebles claimed a valuable 5 pointer.

 

Form is absolutely no guide in a local derby and so it proved as Biggar failed to put the game away, their control of play which had given them a 24-19 half time lead evaporating after the break as Peebles took great pleasure in capitalising on an unusually profligate defence.

 

Ewan Stewart made a return to the starting XV this to the exclusion of Andrew Peacock although the tireless lock did break his nose against Howe. In the backs Stuart Hull was preferred to Gregor Stewart while Aird Jardine was at fullback with Ross Bradford moving back to the wing for David Paterson.

 

Early exchanges were even with Biggar pinning Peebles back with a variety of kicks until Biggar enjoyed a prolonged period of pressure in the Peebles 22 with a total of 13 phases resulting in a try for Andrew Orr, the back row/hooker diving over from close range. The lead up was a great passage of play with Biggar pounding at the Peebles defence after Bradford had made the first clean line break of the day. Peebles held out well but eventually play was taken to the line and Orr broke clear. Carne Green added the conversion.

 

A neat re-start from Greg Raeburn – this a feature of this contest – gave Peebles possession and while the crowd had had to wait 13 minutes for the first score, the second came just 2 minutes later. Peebles hit up via flanker Euan Jackson and then Raeburn popped a neat ball to Murray Brown who split the Biggar defence before feeding Ruaridh Clinch who coasted over for a try converted by Raeburn to level the scores.

 

A neat break by hooker Ryan Stewart might have come to more save for a timely tackle by Biggar skipper Ewan Sanderson and then a dropped pass while another Peebles sortie into the Biggar 22 saw Jardine plunder another loose pass with Greene able to clear the danger as Peebles were penalised for not releasing.

 

Biggar hit back from the lineout to this penalty with a sweeping passing movement sending Bradford on another long run, this play ending as Ewan Stewart lost possession in the contact but on the opposite wing, ball being moved easily from side to side.

 

Not to be outdone Biggar maintained the field position and with another series of tilts at the line with Robbie Lavery, Andrew Orr, Greene and Jardine all to the fore ball was moved left to Bradford who crashed over from short range for Biggar’s second, again converted by Green for 14-7.

 

In very similar fashion and incredibly frustrating for the sizeable support Biggar ceded possession from the restart and with No 8 Andrew Muir bursting through the middle, Biggar were penalised for playing the ball on the ground. Replacement scrum half Ruairdh Britton (Donald Anderson had left the field with a damaged shoulder) took a quick tap penalty to put Biggar on the back foot. His pass to Brown split the retreating defence and he crossed for a try which Raeburn converted to level the scores once again, this time at 14-14.

 

With 10 minutes remaining Biggar took the lead again with a Green penalty awarded after Muir was penalised for not rolling away and then after a play begun deep in the Biggar half saw ball moved wide again this time via Green, Gregor Stewart (who had just replaced the injured Hull) and Notman to Lavery. The centre made ground before freeing winger Bradford, these two then combining cleverly to draw and pass, Bradford rounding off the move with his second try which Green converted to open up a gap at 24-14.

 

Had Biggar managed to see the half out at this point things would surely have turned out very differently but Peebles had very different ideas and capitalised on some weak defence which allowed them to score again, Raeburn missing the conversion but Peebles were now back within one score of Biggar at 24-19.

 

Turning round to play towards the clubhouse Biggar changed their front row with Donald Voas and O’Connell replaced by Andrew Nimmo and Callum Braid. The home side might have expected to take control of proceedings in this half but while they played well in patches they opted to kick and give Peebles ball, the visitors taking great delight in running this back into contact. There were several handling errors which saw attacks break down, both sides undoubtedly feeling the pressure of this derby match. Green kicked two penalties to put Biggar into what should have been a commanding lead at 30-19, a third attempt awarded when he was taken out after a kick ahead and which saw Peebles Roddy Guiney issued with a yellow card, was pushed wide.

 

Crucially Biggar were unable to increase their lead while Peebles were a man down, the visitors doing much to frustrate Biggar although the home side lost out by losing possession at crucial times both in open and tight play.

 

For their part Peebles were content to keep Biggar at bay, neither side really threatening the line. As the minutes ticked by it looked as though there might not be any further scoring, Biggar one try away from a 4-try bonus but unable to turn what little territorial advantage they had into points.

 

With a half hour gone things began to change as Peebles seemed to up the tempo, running penalties to open the Biggar defence. A Biggar penalty should have eased things but a squint throw from the resultant lineout gave Peebles possession and they continued to play in the Biggar half. A Biggar error then gave Peebles another attacking opportunity which they took Stoddart scoring his second, Raeburn converting to put them within one score at 30-26.

 

Almost immediately from the restart Biggar lost the services of Jamie Orr who was shown yellow for a tip tackle. Down to 14 the pressure was all on Biggar. Unfortunately while the Biggar defence has until this game been fairly secure it could not contain Peebles who used the full period of added time to steal the match, Callum Anderson plunging over from close range after a series of penalties and plays in the Biggar 22.

 

Raeburns conversion was immaterial but he was successful, referee George Pounder bringing proceedings to a close.

 

While Peebles rightly celebrated, frustration, disbelief and anger were as previously suggested the prevalent emotions in the Biggar camp. A 3 from 3 unbeaten run would have been a dream start to this league campaign and although a win at Aberdeenshire would see Biggar 3 from 4, which would still be an excellent return, ‘Shire has not been the happiest of hunting grounds in recent years!

 

A tough week ahead on the training paddock!

 

Biggar

D. Voas, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, S. Hull, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: C. Braid, A. Nimmo, A. Patrascio, G. Stewart.

 

Biggar’s 2nd XV were left without a match after Gala called off their Friday evening contest as they were unable to field a side. This is very frustrating but symptomatic of the problems clubs face in fielding second XV’s.


Biggar take the points at Howe

Howe of Fife 20 Biggar 24

Biggar’s second league match took them over the new Queensferry Crossing into Fife and Cupar where they met the other side relegated from National 1 last season, Howe of Fife.

 

The Fife club have not had their troubles to seek recently but will doubtless come back stronger as the season progresses. They had a useful XV who ran Biggar close with a final 10 minutes which saw Biggar man up in defence to deny their hosts anything other than a losing bonus.

 

Biggar fielded largely the same XV which had faced Hamilton last week save that the front row was swapped (Donald Voas and Callum Braid started with Dan O’Connell and Andrew Nimmo on the bench) and with Andrew Orr hooking in place of the injured Ewan Stewart. There was only one change in the backs where Aird Jardine dropped to the bench with David Paterson starting on the wing and Ross Bradford moved to fullback.

 

 

In very pleasant autumn conditions Biggar kicked off playing up the not insignificant slope. The early exchanges were relatively even with both sides conceding penalties at what appeared to be an alarming rate.

 

Howe opened their account from one such penalty but Carne Green was uncharacteristically off target with a kick which would have tied the scores, the ball bouncing off the upright but out of reach of the Biggar support.

 

On 25 minutes referee Richard downing saw fit to yellow card Howe hooker Connor Crawford for another offside, Green kicking well this time to tie the scores at 3-3. In a breakout Green then saw his grubber blocked with Howe gaining only a slight advantage which was then negated as Biggar stole possession. A great touchline step and turn of pace then saw winger Alistair Sinclair leave the Howe cover almost all in his wake bar for a flailing hand which was enough to knock him off his stride. Passing inside Davy Reive was up to carry the move forward and in truth had the scrum half gone for the corner he would surely have made it but he elected instead to feint to the supporting lock Jamie Orr. Having moved slightly away from Orr his actual pass fell tantalisingly low and Orr knocked the ball on with the line beckoning.

 

Howe it was who regained their lead, this after David Paterson was caught as he sought to run out of defence, Howe stand off Cameron Ellison the kicker.

 

Biggar had a chance to put Howe under real pressure from the restart which was dropped but the lineout peel saw the ball nudged forward in the transfer, giving Howe a let off.

 

Half timepiece then with nothing between the sides and with everything to play for. Coach Gary Mercer rang the changes in the pack as O’Connell and Nimmo came on to replace Voas and Baird.

 

It’s never good to concede a try at any point in a match but just before or just after half time can often be match winners as they tend to really punish the team which loses out. Biggar suffered this as almost directly from the restart a neat backs move saw Howe’s William Wardlaw take full advantage off a missed tackle to step through and behind the Biggar defence like the proverbial knife through butter. Having made the break he popped the ball back inside to his fellow centre Duncan McIntyre who galloped in under the posts. Ellison added the conversion and suddenly Biggar were two scores behind.

 

Gregor Stewart and Paterson were then switched for Ryan Moffat and Aird Jardine, the latter’s appearance at fullback seeing Ross Bradford move to the wing berth.

 

Just as quickly as Howe had scored so Biggar were able to reply though the try when it came was not from a normal source. Having won a penalty which Green dispatched to the corner Biggar made to catch and drive, a tactic they seldom use with any real conviction – until Saturday that is when with Douglas Notman in charge, the pack drove the Howe eight back with some ease before Notman collapsed over the line for a timely try. Green made no mistake despite the narrow angle and at 13-10 Biggar were right back in the mix.

 

A penalty shortly afterwards by Green tied the scores with a half hour at least remaining.

 

Biggar then enjoyed what was to become their best period of the match as they played the game almost solely in the Howe half, a number of probing runs ensuring the home defence was made to work really hard – which they largely did – to keep Biggar out.

 

Something though was bound to give and so it was that Green kicked again for 16-13. Just after this and following a great wee break from Sinclair ball was moved swiftly up the wing. Had the pass been given Biggar would have taken the lead but as it was the ball was gobbled up by retreating Howe man McIntyre who was able to clear the danger.

 

The score was merely delayed however, as flanker Ewan Sanderson rounded off a very enterprising passing sequence which saw ball moved quickly to beat the Howe cover. Bradford’s break paved the way but the score was made by the swift passing from Lavery and then Sinclair. Green was unable to land the conversion but at 21-13 Biggar had opens up a gap.

 

Just when it looked as though Biggar might be able to crack on so Howe came back into things a long period of play seeing the turn the tables on Biggar and force the visitors to defend. While they did so fairly well, just as Biggar scored a try so did Howe, lock forward Ryan Milne making the initial break through the Biggar defence before getting the ball inside to his supporting winger Cameron Patrick who crashed over leaving a trail of Biggar tacklers in his wake. Ellison’s conversion made it a one point match with some 12 minutes remaining.

 

The score ended the game for flanker and skipper Alan Warnock and for lock Andrew Peacock who were replaced by Stewart and Baird.

 

Biggar hit back once again virtually from the restart, Howe desperately trying to break out but being penalised as Biggar competed at the breakdown. Green struck again for 24-20.

 

Just as had been the case the previous week against Hamilton Biggar were then forced into a rearguard action as they were pushed back into their half and then their 22 as their opponents strive to get what could have been a winning try. That Biggar held out is to their real credit, played putting themselves in all sorts of positions to halt Howe’s progress.

 

Ironically the game ended as Howe conceded a penalty this after they had spent some considerable period of time on and almost over the Biggar line. Stand off Ellison and centre Wardlaw it was who conspired to ‘cross’ as Biggar prepared to tackle. There was some debate with the referee as to who to end the match but eventually Biggar kicked clear to hear the final whistle.

 

Biggar’s away form has never been all that great and for some it was almost a jinx to even talk about an away win. This was surely dispelled for this seasons as while the side were not as clinical or as effective as they had been against Hamilton the specious week, they still manges to secure the league win.

 

Coaches Mercer and Wilson were happy to take the points but were equally quick to pint out that the overall standard of play a still short of what they sought, something most of the side readily agreed with. Back to the training pitch then with another local derby to look forward to on Saturday when Peebles are the visitors.

Peebles have not enjoyed the best of starts but form goes out the window in this type of fixture and it will all be about which squad wants the win more. A feisty, competitive encounter is likely.

 

Biggar

D. Voas, A. Orr, . Braid, J. Orr, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, A. Warnock, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, G. Stewart, R. Lavery, D. Paterson, R. Bradford Reps: A. Nimmo, D. O’Connell, R. Moffat, A. Jardine.

 

2nds take on Marr at home

Fresh from their great win at Dundee last week the 2nds hosted Marr, one of the top sides in the Reserve League. True to form they took the game to Biggar early on, stretching the Biggar defence and making them work.

 

The final score of 28-16 was fair but nonetheless hard to take. Marr were the better side but Biggar compounded things by dropping off a few tackles and as their set piece faltered, largely due to the fact that many players are not yet 100% match ready.

 

This side will develop as the players come together on a regular basis. There were several players making their first start this season and their rustiness showed, hard though they also tried.

 

Ewan Bogle had a reasonable day with the boot.

 

A disappointing aspect of the match however was a knee injury to live wire scrum half David McArthur who damaged his already weak knee. This was rotten luck indeed and the club wishes him a speedy recovery.


Biggar take on Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton

With the league season resuming and with 3 sides in action on Saturday, Biggar RFC were delighted to record 3 important wins: 2 against local rivals Hamilton at 1st XV and Colts XV level and the 3rd an excellent 2nd XV away win at Dundee High! Great start….

 

Sunday provided another great set of results with all sides performing particularly well.

 

In fact from 9 starts Biggar recorded 8 wins.

 

Biggar 24 Hamilton 17

Biggar kicked off their League season with a testing encounter against Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton, a side which romped through Nat 2 two seasons ago but who were relegated last season.

 

The Hartree Mill grounds were looking their best in the late summer sun and with the pre-season displays still fresh in the memory, Biggar opened up strongly. They met a resolute Hamilton defence, however a penalty award saw stand off Carne Green kick for a 3-0 lead.

 

Biggar’s pack featured a real mix of youth and experience and demonstrated that they would make things really difficult for their visitors both in the tight exchanges and in the loose. Props Andrew Nimmo and Dan O’Connell were hitting up well, supported by the back row of Ewan Sanderson, Andrew Orr and Douglas Notman. Unfortunately hooker Ewan Stewart was forced off early on, this necessitating a switch for Orr to the front row and giving Jamie Orr his first outing this season.

 

The pack paved the way for the backs to attack off go-forward ball which they enjoyed.

 

Hamilton should have equalised from a penalty kicked by full back Alan Wilson but he did convert a try scored by Inglis, the winger able to round off a passage of play which saw a couple of Biggar errors allow the Hamilton side to gain ground. The conversion took Hamilton into a 7-3 lead, this just past the half hour mark.

 

A fairly frantic period of play ensued within the Hamilton 22 and this should have seen Biggar score bar for an infringement of a ‘new’ rule in that the hooker must hook the ball. With their scrum under the cosh this free kick gave Hamilton some relief, or at least it should have but in an attempt to run ball out of defence play moved across the width of the pitch before Notman managed to disrupt ball at the ruck base sufficiently to allow winger Ross Bradford a chance to poach a try.

 

A well struck conversion from Green put Biggar ahead by 10-7.

 

Biggar’s defence was efficient, their use of the choke tackle meaning that Hamilton were held up and conceded possession a feature of the afternoon. Hamilton were not to be put off however and a neat passage of play which saw ball shifted wide and then back inside allowed Wilson a tilt at the line. He was unable to convert, the score now 12-10 to Hamilton.

 

Biggar then hit back with two quick fire scores. Orr and Bradford were making good ground when they got the ball and this and Green’s intelligent kicking kept Hamilton pinned in their half. An attacking play with ball passed to Gregor Stewart saw the young centre shape to pass left before switching the ball back inside to Robbie Lavery who was running a good line. His off-load was taken by Orr who in turn popped the ball to Davy Reive, the scrum half needing a telescopic arm to reach out for a fine score which Green converted for 17-12.

 

Directly from the restart a kick ahead by Green saw Hamilton try once more to run the ball out of defence. An inside pass was well read by Stewart who started off for the line. The cover defence was good but the youngster made an ‘out the back’ backhand pass to Reive who linked with Orr, the flanker crashing over despite the attentions of two Hamilton tacklers for another try – his 6th of the season to date.

 

Green’s conversion took Biggar into a half time lead of 24-12.

 

That Biggar failed to increase their total after the break is a frustration. Chances they had although neither side could really break their opponents defence down sufficiently to get in behind and score. Hamilton did manage a score, this from Wilson who was able to profit from a neat break and pass by stand off Stuart Whitelaw, which Wilson again converted.

 

Biggar made some decent breaks with replacement prop Donald Voas in the van on a couple of occasions and with a neat kick ahead almost spawning a try bar fro some last ditch Hamilton scrambling defence.

 

In year gone by however, Biggar would have struggled to see the game out and may well have cracked under the pressure. With Green orchestrating things behind the scrum however, and with the pack carrying ball tirelessly and working together in defence, Hamilton were thwarted and their efforts were generally cross pitch.

 

There were some really big efforts made by the whole squad, second row work horses of Jamie Orr and Andrew Peacock and Alan Warnock being noteworthy. Prop O’Connell received the man-of-the-match nod however, this after another workmanlike performance in all areas.

 

Great work too from Aird Jardine who was fielded at fullback, winger Alistair Sinclair who had a quieter day than of late and the bench of Stuart Hull and Ryan Moffat.

 

Biggar

A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, D. O’Connell, A. Warnock, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, D. Notman, , D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, G. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: D. Voas, J. Orr, R. Moffat, S. Hull

 

The win is a positive step but one which will require to be repeated this Saturday when the team travel to take on the other side relegated last season, Howe of Fife.

 

The 2nds travelled to Dundee on Saturday. There were some 38 senior players training on Thursday evening but the selection for this 2nd team was still a struggle as contractors and unavailability meant the side was still in doubt until Saturday.

 

That the boys returned with a win is all the better then and a massive pat on the back to all involved, no more so than to ‘retired’ Neil Wolfendene who played a stormer and managed to score a try to boot! Big pluesses agai however in the play of those fresh out of Colts. No fewer than 6 played and all were extremely positve in their approach showing maturity beyond their years - particularly in defence. There were some nice efforts in attack as well however with all trying to keep the ball available.

 

Commiserations to StevenCampbell and Craig McDonald who both picked up injuries. It is to be hoped they are not out of the game for long.

 

There was a classic twist to this match. The 2nds in similar fashion to the 1sts had managed to stretch ahead to 28-15. Dundee were not out of things however and they came back into the game with two tries, the last of which, had it been converted would have given them a one point win. Happily, from a Biggar point of view at least, the kick went wide and Biggar clung on to their win.

 

Biggar’s win came courtesy of tries from James Barr, Wolfendene and Stuart Alder while Euan Bogle (1 conversion, 2 penalties) and Craig McDonald (1 conversion, 1 penalty) shared the kicking duties.

 

Alder’s try which saw the centre involved twice is already – and after just one game and one week of the season – being talked up as the try of the season!

 

Of interest was the selection for Dundee 1sts of ex-Biggar Colt Rory McGinn at stand off with brother Danny on the bench. On the pitch adjacent to where the 2nds played the boys helped their new club to a good 33-0 win over Falkirk.

 

And to think there are another two Biggar youngsters headed to Dundee to study this session…..


Biggar round up pre-season with win over Hawks

Biggar 68 Glasgow Hawks 28

Biggar’s National Cup opponents, Div 3 side Perthshire, pulled out of the fixture on Wednesday evening as they were without prop forwards. This was a blow as Biggar needed a fixture prior to league action next week against Hamilton. Over to fixture secretary John Jackson who conjured up Glasgow Hawks 2nd XV although the Glasgow side were aided by a couple of Hamilton players to complete their squad. Aside from the fact that Gary Mercer and David Wilson both previously coached at Hawks there is another link with ex-Biggar Colt Peter Steele returning to Hartree Mill in Hawks colours, the youngster having switched clubs last season. Many thanks to the Hawks for filling the void in at short notice and for travelling, Hartree Mill never a favourite of city sides!

 

On a perfect afternoon for rugby the game got off to a cracking pace with Biggar opening the scoring after 15 minutes when an offensive hit in the centre by Gregor Stewart dislodged the ball which was gobbled up by flying winger Alistair Sinclair who set off to the line some 60 metres away. Outstripping the defence he scored just to the left of the posts, Euan Bogle converting for 7-0.

 

Just 8 minutes later and that man Sinclair ran in his second, this after he was picked out by stand off Carne Green, this a feature of the Kiwi’s play all afternoon. Bogle converted again for 14-0.

 

Feinting a wide pass, Green popped a short ball some 5 minutes later to rampaging flanker Andrew Orr. He made ground before feeding supporting centre Gregor Stewart who then fed hooker Ewan Stewart who crossed for an excellent score though just too wide for the conversion.

 

Sinclair then nabbed his hat-trick (his second in 3 weeks), this another long run in after Ewan Stewart provided a neat inside ball on the half way. Bogle’s conversion took Biggar to 26 points with Hawks gaining a score of their own as their number 8 burrowed over from close range. The conversion made the half time score 26-7 to Biggar.

 

The try run continued after the break when Orr made a very typical breenge up the middle and over, Bogle again on target for 33-7.

 

Biggar made a hash of the restart kick after this score and Hawks pounced one more as their centre crashed over under the posts.

 

Biggar’s newest recruit Arnoldas Patrascio from Lithuania (via Denmark) made the ultimate dream start. Playing at lock but standing at the tail of the lineout he gathered a Hawks overthrow to turn and gambol over for a try with what was his very first touch of a ball in a Biggar jersey! Much amusement for the healthy crowd. Needless to say Bogle converted.

 

In similar fashion to Hawks’ second score, Biggar’s defence was once again found wanting and with Patrascio clearly shielding a weak shoulder he departed to be replaced by live wire Callum Dunlop who had started and who showed great composure throughout the match.

 

Another neat pop pas from Green to Orr was the prelude to Biggar’s next try, this going to skipper for the day Euan Sanderson, the flanker clearly in good spirits after his holiday and making a great contribution all day. With Bogle off for a rest Aird Jardine converted.

 

Biggar conceded a penalty in their own 22 as Hawks again came back at Biggar, the visitors stand off stepping neatly to beat the Biggar cover for their 4th score which, when converted, gave them their 28 point tally.

 

Biggar were not to be outdone however and relished the opportunity to have the last word(s)!

 

A neat dink from Green behind the Hawks midfield saw Jardine nip in and make the best job of splitting the remaining cover for a try (suspiciously offside perhaps?) which Green converted as everyone wanted to get in on the act.

 

The final score went to winger Ross Bradford who had been running lines all afternoon without ever touching the ball which never seemed to go his way. A darting, mazy run by Jardine saw the wee man beat several of the Hawks defence -some seemingly twice – before off-loading, the ball eventually nabbed by Bradford for the final and 10th Biggar try. Green converted for the 68 point tally.

 

Biggar

A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, G. Kelly, C. Dunlop, A. Peacock, E. Sanderson, A. Orr, D. Notman, A. Jardine, C. Green, A. Sinclair, G. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, E. Bogle Reps: C. Braid, D. Voas, D. O’Connell, R. Moffat, J. Barr, I. Renwick

 

Three games gone and Biggar’s pre-season record makes excellent and very encouraging reading:

Played 3 Won 3 Points for 167 Points against 50.

 

That of course counts for little as the very real and important test is this Saturday when the side entertains Hamilton. This is a Lanarkshire local derby which is always keenly awaited and equally keenly contested. The Hamilton club were relegated last season after cleaning up National 2 the season before and they will have a point to prove. Their pre-season concluded on Saturday with a resounding 100+ point Cup win over their hosts Aberdeenshire who, aside from others have lost two of their number to Biggar – stand off Green and centre Michael McKeand who returns to his roots after several years up north (it’ll be great to see him back in the black jersey!).

 

It was also very encouraging to see Biggar’s bench again being used to the maximum with appearances for props Dan O’Connell and Donald Voas who have both struggled with injury and too for Iain Renwick who is another who is returning to his first club, this after several seasons with Ayr.

 

Selection is now a real test for coaches Mercer and Wilson who have several players contesting for places in both backs and forwards – these a real mixture of experience and youth. There will be disappointment for some but all should be encouraged by the knowledge that they are playing for the black jersey and Biggar RFC. This is as true for those who play in the 2nd XV as it is for those in the 1st XV. The 2nds have a daunting task with their first outing being a trip to Dundee High on Saturday. Ironically they could face two ex-Biggar players in the brothers McGinn (Danny and Rory) who both played for their new club on Saturday against Stirling County.


Biggar are Border Reivers with win in Penrith

Penrith 17 Biggar 21

This was the third match between these two sides and Biggar now lead the series 2-1. Saturday’s trip south was, as had been expected, a step up after last week’s match against Ponteland, but one which the Biggar squad made well.

 

Holidays, injury and work continue to prevent some players from making an appearance but those who did travel playe their part, none more so than those who have graduated from Colts rugby, Guy Kelly, Andrew Nimmo, Callum Dunlop and Euan Bogle all contributing massively to the Biggar performance.

 

Played over 3 periods, each of 30 minutes, this was another shock to the system, mainly because Biggar had only one forward replacement and he (Kelly) came into action on the 25 minute mark after Ewan Stewart picked up a leg knock. It was a long day for the pack!

 

Biggar almost drew first blood when a try looked to have been scored by Andrew Orr but the referee adjudged the flanker/hooker to have lost control of the ball over the line.

 

Penrith thet had a tilt at the Biggar line after a penalty and resultant lineout. Penrith scrum half, George Graham – formerly of Gala – made a dartign run to score the first try, this tactic paying off well throughout the match as he exploited gaps in the Biggar close defence.

 

Biggar should have scored a try almost immediately as Carne Green’s pass put Ryan Moffat into space. The centre in turn fed Robbie Lvery but the pass didn’t quite stick.

Kelly replaced Stewart, this neccessitiating a switch in the forwards but one which ahd little effect on the Biggar scrummage.

 

Right at the end of the third Biggar’s endeavours were rewarded as Andrew Peacock drove over from close range for a try converted by Green. 7-5 to Biggar.

 

After 10 minutes of this period Biggar introduced all their bench with Bogle, Gregor Stewart, James Barr, Craig McDonald and Aird Jardine replacing Alistair Sinclair, Lavery, Green, Moffat and Davy Reive respectively.

 

Some excellent continuity should have led to a second try but again the chance was lost. Instead Penrith scored another after Graham again sniped at the scrum base. The conversion put Penrith ahead at 12-7, this the only score of this period.

 

There were changes again before the third period got underway. Biggar took the lead shortly after the restart, Sinclair making excellent headway from Bogle’s wide pass. The winger celebrated his 21st in fine style by continuing on his run after he had passed, catching the return pass to sprint across in the corner. A great score which Bogle converted for 14-12.

 

Penrith looked bigger physically then their guests but they were somewhat ring-rusty playing in what was their first fixture of this season. Biggar held out due to some sterling work in defence by the pack but supported out wide. The hosts did score again however, this off a driven lineout which is so difficult to stop when it is done properly. Witht the conversion missed Penrith had a 17-14 lead with some 12 minutes remaining.

 

A performance was what was wanted with a win a secondary aim but when Nimmo ran another excellent line close to the ruck and crashed over for what would be the winning try, there was much celelbration. This was in most spectators opinion the ‘correct’ result, Biggar having had the best part of the play and having created the most chances. Bogle added the conversion to gibe Biggar their 21-17 winning margin.

 

Biggar

A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, C Braid, C. Dunlop, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, A. Orr, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, S. Hull, R. Bradford Reps: G. Kelly, G. Stewart, J. Barr, C. McDonald, A. Jardine, E. Bogle

 

The Cup game this Saturday will be another step along the way with Perthshire, although finishing last season towards the bottom of National 3, always likely to provide a tough challenge. KO is 3pm and it would be great to get a big support to cheer the boys along.


Biggar v Ponteland

Biggar 78 Ponteland 5

Biggar’s senior squad had a decent run out on Saturday against Ponteland from Newcastle. This was the first meeting between the sides but it is unlikely to be the last as the visitors proved to be a good bunch of lads, combining the visit to Hartree Mill with their annual trip to the Hawick Beer Festival.

In an entertaining match, Biggar played some decent rugby albeit that the visitors were a tad behind in terms of fitness, big though they undoubtedly were.

In the early stages Ponteland showed their ability to attack via the driven maul and Biggar did well to repel these initial sorties, even managing a scintillating break out which almost ended with a score.

Having engineered the breakout however Biggar were able to hold their position with Andrew Orr crossing for a score after a Euan Sanderson breenge. Ewan Bogle added the conversion and Biggar were on their way.

In the following 10 minutes Biggar added 2 further scores with Ponteland contributing one of their own – an excellent score it was too - to take the score at the end of the 20 minute quarter to 26-5, Bogle kicking well to convert all 4 scores.

The second quarter saw Biggar continue to add pressure to their visitors with 2 further scores. Four more scores came in the 3rd quarter and another 2 in the last quarter as Biggar piled on the points.

While the match was a little less of a contest than would have perhaps been preferred, coaches Wilson and Fleming (Mercer was not available for this match) were able to give all those players present a good run out. This included all 5 of those Colts who were available from last years squad and who have now moved up albeit that due to Uni/College commitments only 3 of these will be playing at Hartree Mill this season.

All involved showed up well, this including the recent recruits to the Biggar squad, with stand off Carne Green, centre Ryan Moffat and winger Ross Bradford all performing well and all getting a try.

The squad have been encouraged to play an open game and this they did with ball being shipped wide and at pace and with the pack showing up well in the loose. Up front, while props Dan O’Connell and Donald Voas were unavailable, their replacements Callum Braid (great to see this young man back in Biggar colours) and Guy Kelly stuck well to their task in both tight and open play, Kelly getting game time before his appearance off the bench in Sunday’s district match for Glasgow U20.

For the record points came from 14 tries: hat-trick heroes Alistair Sinclair, Andrew Orr with 2 each for Ross Bradford and Euan Sanderson and others for Ryan Moffat and Callum Braid. Bogle kicked 9 conversions.

 

Congratulations to Colt Cameron Forrest who officiated at senior level for the first time when he took charge of the last quarter! Referring is a massively important aspect of the game and Cameron’s involvement – and that of any others who may feel this is of interest - is to be encouraged.

 

Vice-President John Bogle made a presentation to the Ponteland club of a Biggar wall plaque and in return he was delighted to receive a Ponteland club tie and a copy of their 50th anniversary history (this is of course a landmark that is now just 8 years away for Biggar!).

 

This Saturday the squad make a return trip to Penrith for what is now seen as a regular pre-season contest. The lads from the north east are at a higher standard than Ponteland and this will be another step up prior to the home Cup match on Saturday 26th against Perthshire. The Cup precedes the start of National league 2 rugby, Biggar getting their campaign underway with a home match against Hamilton.


A Tale of two halves…

West of Scotland 26 Biggar 32

Biggar claimed only their second away win this season after they scraped over the line against West on Saturday.

That Biggar claimed a 4 try bonus was another boost for the side who have struggled recently, save for last week against bottom of the table Hill Jills.

With West claiming a win over near neighbours GHK the previous Saturday, Biggar travelled in the knowledge that they would face a city side on form. That they dominated the first half was extremely pleasing then, their 29 point tally coming in very nearly the same number of minutes. Aird Jardine kicked 2 conversions from the 5 first half tries, the opening try scored by himself and others by Alisdair Sinclair, Donald Voas, Ewan Sanderson and Gregor Stewart.

Quite what went wrong after the break needs some analysis but seemingly, without any obvious reason, Biggar’s effort faltered just as West’s increased, the home side able to claw their way back into the contest to add 3 tries to their solitary first half score to claim a 4 try bonus of their own ato take the score to 29-26 with some 10 minutes remaining.

This then became a 1 score match and it was left to Jardine to stretch Biggar’s lead to 6 points with a penalty. West were still very much in the game however and had they opted to kick for touch with their last penalty and use their most successful tactic, the lineout drive to exert pressure on the Biggar line then they may have sneaked the win. Instead however the tap penalty option was preferred and as they went through the phases it was Jamie Orr who rounded off a cracking game with a priceless turnover to end the contest.

Exciting or nerve racking? Both and in equal measure!

 

Biggar made a couple of changes to the side which opened against Hill Jills. There was a change at centre where Gregor Stewart returned after injury to replace Craig McDonald and at scrum half where Davy Reive replaced David McArthur.. In the pack Andrew Dunlop moved up to 2nd row to replace the injured Zander Lyon while Duncan Withers took his place in the back row albeit for just the first half due to a prior engagement.

Colt Andrew Nimmo made his first step into senior action as he came off the bench, the youngster showing up well and making some decent hits. He is also to be congratulated on making the next cut for the Scotland U18 squad who take on England at Peffermill on Sunday.

 

In a whirlwind start, this much to do with the fact that the game was played on West’s 3G pitch, Biggar ran West ragged and allowed them barely a touch of the ball and this only after Jardine opened the scoring with a neat chip and chase.

David Paterson, who had a very positive and very industrious day in both attack and defence, made the break for the next score although it was opposite winger Sinclair who rounded off the move with try in the corner. Paterson showed some real flair with this run which saw him round and hand off no fewer than 4 defenders before feeding Sinclair. Having missed the first conversion from a relatively good angle Jardine saw his next effort from virtually the touchline rebound off the upright. 10-0.

A series of good carries ended as Withers was left isolated and the resultant penalty gave west the chance to use their driving maul to good effect to take play into Biggar’s 22. Their pick and go’s looked to have done enough for a score but the referee blew for a knock on instead although the scrum saw Biggar penalised and west regain the initiative. A couple of phases later and their centre crashed over for a score which took the score to 10-7.

Undeterred Biggar came right back into things with a try Donald Voas, the prop tracking a dynamic charge from Ross Jackson. When tackled Jackson presented well and gave Voas the chance to pick and go for the last 8 metres.

Barely three minutes elapsed before Ewan Sanderson crashed over after another assault on the West line. Jardine’s conversion put Biggar ahead at 22-7 and also gave Biggar the 4 try bonus.

Stewart’s try just short of the half hour was set up by Robbie Lavery whose run took him through the first West line of defence. His pop pass was gratefully accepted by his fellow centre who was able to get the ball down despite the attentions of the West cover. Jardine added the points for the 29-7 half time score.

Biggar almost added a 6th try as Jackson intercepted off West in the Biggar 22. The youngster set off for the line but a cracking cover tackle from the West fullback did just enough to prevent the off-load tp the supporting Paterson and the attack came to nought.

Biggar don’t have a great track record for regularly running up large scores but such was their dominance of the first half proceedings - save perhaps for the driven line which West used to good effect – that had they managed another score shortly after half time, things might have been very different.

That was not to be however and a combination of errors and an increase in confidence of the home side conspired to give West the initiative. Their scrum half nipped over from an early attack and the conversion took the score to 29-14.

West will rue the missed chances they had in the game and which would have given them the win had they been converted. Twice they lost control of ball over the line although this was also due in no small part to some excellent cover defence from Biggar’s back 3 of Sinclair, Paterson and Steele who tracked back well on both occasions to prevent the score.

On the first of these the score was merely delayed as a mix up off the scrum base, an area which Biggar generally controlled well, led to possession being lost by Stewart who could only watch as the West centre pounced to score the try. 29-21!

A penalty and kick to the corner preceded the next West try, which happily from a Biggar point of view at least, was not converted. But at 29-16 the match was set alight for a nerve-jangling 10 minutes.

As the game progressed it became evident that the errors from both sides were going to be influential. While Biggar showed up really well in defence – Orr, Sanderson, Stewart just three who tackled tirelessly throughout – it was West’s errors which prevented them from claiming the lead.

Biggar’s attacks were rare occasions and these too ended with errors which allowed West further attacking opportunities. One such opportunity came as West lost ball in attack. Showing some great skills Biggar passed the ball wide to Lavery who made ground before passing to Paterson who took off on another run. There is a time to pass and a time to run and on this occasion Paterson held on for a fraction too long, the off-load to Orr just not suite going to hand.

Just minutes later however and Biggar were awarded a rare penalty which Jardine slotted for 32-26.

As the clock ticked on Biggar tackled manfully and then came the last turnover from Jamie Orr which brought the final whistle.

Players breathed heavily from their efforts while the Biggar spectators breathed heavily in relief! Ex-Biggar man Angus Thomson again showed up well form his adpoted club, leading form the front and tackling well throughout.

Coaches Mercer and Wilson were left scratching at their heads in an effort to understand quite what changed after half time. Nevertheless, this was an important win and one which should set the squad up nicely for their next match which sees them back in Glasgow at Whitecraigs.

 

Biggar

Thomas Steele, Alistair Sinclair, Robbie Lavery, Gregor Stewart, David Paterson, Aird Jardine, David Reive (C), Donald Voas, Ewan Stewart, Dan O'Connell, Andrew Dunlop, Jamie Orr, Duncan Withers, Ewan Sanderson, Ross Jackson. Reps: Andrew Orr, Calvin Henderson, Andrew Nimmo, Craig McDonald.

 

The 2nd XV hosted Lasswade in a match postponed from a fortnight ago.

Able to field a strong XV Biggar recorded another excellent win by 41-3.

There was a 4 try bonus point with Alan Warnock notching a fantastic 4 try haul himself while Douglas Notman, Craig Frame and Alan Todd also scored, the last two both scoring from what was their first touches of the ball!

Gary Morrison (2) and Jack Warnock (2) shared the kicking duties.

With Kelso winning a tight match by 19-17 at Edin Accies, but without the all important bonus point, Biggar now return to the top of the East reserve league table by just 1 point.

Well done boys!


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Membership

Biggar RFC operates and Open to All policy and welcomes new members from all sectors of the community

 

We accept members from 5 years upwards who can join our Mini section to those that have retired and want to assist and retain their links with our active club.

 

Our membership year runs from May to April and if you would like to find out more about the playing arrangements at the club or become a member please contact either Gordon Young on 07774678617  or via email at gy1680@aol.com or Nigel Pacey on 07714 713504.

 

If you would like to know a little more about our rugby programmes for Primary or Secondary school children please refer to our Mini and Midi pages under the "Teams" section or contact either Laura Watson for information about Primary School age children and Paula Yardley on 07830022447 for Secondary School aged children

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The Standing Order form can be downloaded here (doc format)

 

The BRFC membership form can be downloaded here (doc format)

 


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