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

Biggar swamp West

Biggar 62 West of Scotland 10

Biggar swarmed over a weakened West on Saturday to record 60+ points for the 3rd time this League campaign, albeit that in the wake of Aberdeenshire dropping out of the League, only two of these are still recorded.

 

A half time score of 31-5 was then doubled for the final tally, and this with at least another 4 scores having gone a-begging as balls were dropped when players were in scoring positions.

 

It was a hard day for the Glasgow side and there was some sympathy for at least two of their number, Angus Thomson and Andrew Goodall, both hailing from Biggar and both contributing manfully in what was a torrid afternoon for those in the red and yellow colours.

 

This win lifts Biggar to 4th spot in the League although as Hamilton who are in 6th spot have a game in hand and one they would expect to win as it is against bottom of the table Whitecraigs, they would jump ahead of Biggar.

 

But, and it is a BIG but, this Saturday’s match sees the two Lanarkshire sides pitted against each other at Laigh Bent in the first match of the return fixtures and so, the winner – whoever that is - will gain a big advantage over the other. Biggar recorded an excellent 24-17 home win in that first encounter and their away form has been very good with only one defeat and that to league leaders Kirkcaldy. Hamilton meanwhile, who have improved greatly since that opening match, lost out at home to Kirkcaldy on Saturday, and so the match is set up perfectly for a great contest.

 

Biggar were back to full strength following the autumn international break with all those who had been carrying injuries recovered to take their place, the one exception being Douglas Notman who was still injured following the GHK Cup match. His replacement was No8 Stevie Campbell who had been missing following an ankle injury sustained several weeks ago but who was fit for action once again. Prop Callum Braid switched from his usual berth to back row while fit-again Jamie Orr partnered skipper Alan Warnock at lock.

 

The hard frost of Wednesday and Thursday which had led to the cancellation of the Ladies game against Currie on Friday night had relented sufficiently by Saturday and while the pitch wasn’t playable at the time of the 10am pitch inspection, there was sufficient ‘warmth’ in the air to suggest that things would be fine for the 2pm kick off. Referee Morrison took a little time before he was completely satisfied that play should go ahead but happily he gave the thumbs up and play got under way.

 

West had a marginally better record going into this match having most recently accounted for Dumfries while Biggar with 0 from 3 were desperately looking for what this season is a rare home win.

 

Playing away from the clubhouse Biggar opened their account with a penalty from Carne Green after just 2 minutes. This set the tone for the much of the rest of the match, Biggar enjoying a barrow-load of possession and territory and exerting much pressure on the visitors. In the first quarter Biggar scored tries from Ewan Stewart (the hooker rounding off a sparkling move begun deep in the Biggar half) and Callum Braid (this a terrific pick and go from some 10metres), both converted by Green who had a faultless display with the boot to claim a personal haul of 22 points.

 

Aside from the restarts after Biggar scores, almost 20 minutes had elapsed before West managed to get the ball into the Biggar 22.

 

With pressure maintained Biggar also had their fair share of good fortune, a West grubber kick in attack being blocked by Green and seeing the ball hacked forward by Bradford. The winger almost made the line, but was held short, Green’s clear out spawning ball for Warnock who crossed for try number 3.

 

A brilliant combination of support and good passing between Green and Euan Sanderson should have seen the latter claim Biggar’s 4th try but the ball just eluded the flanker with the line in his sights.

 

West hit back following a Green clearance and an opportune step by fullback Mark Sim who saw a gap on the wing. He burst past Alistair Sinclair and although the winger got back to make the tackle Sim scored the try.

 

This try heralded a slightly better phase for West who saw more of the ball as Biggar struggled to maintain their earlier control. The Biggar pack enjoyed the better of the tight scrum exchanges while the lineout continued to stutter – neither side able to take quality ball from this set piece.

 

Biggar’s aggressive defence and abrasive loose play was a feature of the game, this a most welcome sight after the most recent matches when Biggar have come off second best to for example Kirkcaldy and GHK. Campbell and Braid were to the fore in this respect although all played their part, Andrew Nimmo and Sanderson others to consistently make yards.

 

With half time approaching Biggar needed another score and this they duly got, Jardine taking ball on the West 22 before stepping his way through the cover to cross under the posts for the all-important bonus point try which was then converted by Green.

 

The kick off took play back to the Biggar half but an electric breakout started by Sanderson saw play quickly transferred the length of the pitch. Bradford was taken high and from the resultant kick to touch lineout ball won by Sanderson paved the way for Nimmo to make a charge for the line. West’s Thomson made the tackle and while Nimmo was over the line the ball was held up and referee Morrison brought play to a halt.

 

With injuries besetting the West pack the decision was taken to make scrums uncontested. This was unfortunate as Biggar had been in the ascendancy in this area but Biggar had found themselves in a similar position against Kirkcaldy and there is sometimes no option. As it was Biggar had an early opportunity to add to their tally a great breakout off a weak West clearance seeing play swept upfield via Robbie Lavery, Braid and Ryan Moffat. Nimmo took the ball on further and found Sanderson with the offload. The flanker looked to be home and dry but a fortuitous tap tackle put him to the ground with the ball squirting frustratingly from his grasp.

 

The position was maintained however as Campbell charged down the West clearance. A second attempt got to touch but Euan Bogle (who had replaced Sinclair at the break) took a quick lineout, and with ball advanced further to towards the West 22, Moffat popped the ball to Bradford who stepped his way to the West line. Green’s conversion took the Biggar total to 38-5.

 

As had been the case before half time, West claimed a try, this initiated from a well-controlled driven line out. Ball was passed right and then back left and Thomson all but made the line before stand off Fisken picked to cross at the corner.

 

Back on the attack West escaped as a pass to Bogle was deemed to have been forward but another phase saw West infringe and with the penalty advantage, Green dropped a neat goal from some 30 metres to take Biggar’s total to 41.

 

Lavery was the next to rue a dropped ball, he latching onto – almost – a kick ahead by Green which had it stuck would have seen the centre over for a try.

 

Looking to run the ball from everywhere and anywhere and enjoying the opportunity to do so – clearly a spin off from how Scotland played against Australia - some excellent interplay between Peacock, Reive, Warnock and Nimmo saw the latter cross from 10 metres despite the attentions of the cover defence.

 

Green added the conversion to this and then to a score from Andrew Orr who managed to retain possession in a maul which was on the line before spinning free to dive over under the posts. Having taken the restart Biggar mounted another attack immediately, Andrew Peacock who had previously replaced Orr at lock, setting off upfield for some 20 metres before feeding Sanderson. The flanker then passed inside to Ewan Stewart who sprinted clear for his second try.

 

Green’s 22 point tally took him beyond the 100 point mark for Biggar this season – well done to him for that but well done to the squad as the sides Points Differential at 109 is now the best in the Division!

 

All in all a great performance from the 19 involved. West were clearly not at their best however and the test to be posed by Hamilton on Saturday will require another step up in terms of ball security and offensive defence. That said it was great to see the team running and passing and making good ground as well.

 

Man of the match was deservedly awarded to Ewan Sanderson who put in a power of work in both attack and in defence although he was one of several who could also have taken the honours.

 

Biggar

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

 

Another blank weekend for the 2nd XV who will surely get back to the pitch and some long awaited action on Saturday when they host Dundee High.


McPhail Scholarship in full

The Macphail Scholarship was established in 2005, as a partnership between The Robertson Trust and Scottish Rugby.

Created in memory of John Macphail ex-Scotland Internationalist (1949-1951), the scholarship was initially developed for talented young players however, since 2011, it has been extended to support coaches with Iain Monaghan, Ben Fisher and Chris Paterson being recent recipients.

Scottish Rugby Technical Director, Stephen Gemmell, added: “Thank you to the Robertson Trust and Macphail family for their continued support of Scottish Rugby and in helping us send some of our most promising young players to other parts of the world to further their development in new environments, with different coaches, fresh challenges and at world-class facilities.

“The Scholarship has played an important role in a number of our current professional and international players’ careers and will provide a launch pad for Angus, Andrew and Guy to accelerate their development as part of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy.”

Kenneth Ferguson, Director of the Robertson Trust, said: “Guy, Andy and Angus have exceptional potential and I’m in no doubt all three will prove to be worthy recipients of the scholarship.

“The launch of the new programme makes this year’s announcement particularly exciting, and I, along with the Macphail family and all at The Robertson Trust, look forward to hearing about the players’ progress throughout their time in South Africa and beyond.

“Through the John Macphail Scholarship, The Robertson Trust has assisted in the development of some of Scotland’s brightest young rugby talent for over 13 years. We are proud of this legacy and believe the programme’s new setup, and all the experiences it will bring, will help to accelerate the development of even more professional and international players going forward.”

John Macphail Rugby Scholarship recipients:

2017: Angus Fraser, Andrew Jardine and Guy Kelly

2016: Patrick Kelly, Ross McCann, Mike Blair (coach) and Calum Forrester (coach)

2015: Callum Hunter-Hill, Ben Robbins, Ben Cairns (coach) and Duncan Hodge (coach)

2014: Adam Ashe, Ewan McQuillin, Don Caskie (coach) and Kenny Murray (coach)

2013: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Finn Russell, Shade Munro (coach) and Alex Duncan (coach)

2012: Jonny Gray, Gregor Hunter, Chris Paterson (coach) and Ben Fisher (coach)

2011: Grant Gilchrist, Harry Leonard, George Turner and Ian Monaghan (coach)

2010: Finlay Gillies

2009: Lewis Niven

2008: Roddy Grant

2007: Kevin Bryce

2006: Graham Hogg

2005: John Barclay 


Kirkcaldy pack too strong for Biggar

Kirkcaldy 40 Biggar 13

With several regulars unavailable and with a number carrying knocks the League break for the Autumn internationals has come about a week too late for Biggar. It is also an indication of how small the senior squad is although very pleasingly, a side did represent the 2nds as they travelled to Musselburgh. While they too, returned defeated, there was plenty to suggest that a full, fit XV would have made it a real contest. As always all credit to those boys who managed to play and who worked so hard in the contest.

 

Biggar’s front row comprised two 18 year olds and a 22 year old while the absence of recognised ball carriers was always going to make this a really tough ask – especially against a side reknowned for having a big pack and playing almost throughout, to that strength. Biggar’s cause was not helped by inmjury during the warm up to Calum Braid, his failure to make the kick off compounded by the fact that Biggar’s bench was also deprived and therefore an even greater strain was placed on the squad of 18.

 

Having faced a well-drilled Lasswade pack last week, there was going to be no surprises at Kirkcaldys choice of tactic for this encounter, and so it proved, Biggar on the defensive for long periods of the match and, while all stuck to the task of tackle, tackle and tackle again, there was an inevitability that Biggar’s line would be breached.

 

An early penalty from Carne Green gave Biggar some hope but they were soon under the cosh as Kirkcaldy gave their visitors little respite, each and every penalty – and there were plenty awarded – seeing the Fife side kick for territory and then drive for the line. Biggar have been so much better with regard to on-field discipline this season but it all seemed to go wrong at Kirkcaldy, referee Iain Morrison finding fault on a very regular basis with penalties awarded for offside and no release. That he is the sole judge and arbiter is not in question, but there seemed far too many occasions when the 50-50 decision went to the home side. There were some questionable decisions against Kirkcaldy too however, with one penalty in particular, awarded against the home side for not retiring in time advanced at least 20 metres further up the park than it should have been!

 

After long periods of play when a side is struggling to get possession seem to be relieved by a good turnover, which is then penalised, it is hardly surprising that players get frustrated.

 

Hooker Greg Wallace was the first to cross, his angled run from some 5 metres almost impossible to halt while on a good day with the boot, fullback Finlay Smith added the conversion, this the first two points of what was to become a handsome 10 point total.

 

With just over a quarter of the match gone No8 Dayle Turner rounded off a scrummage drive to touchdown and then jastb after the half hour flanker Rhys Bonner took the Kirkcaldy try tally to 3. A half time score then of 19-3.

 

With a swirling wind which rarely gave either side a real advantage Biggar were now ‘uphill’. Guy Kelly who had engineered a couple fo great ‘steals’ at the breakdown then succumbed to another charge and was forced from the field. With the Kirkcaldy front row comprising of some real old heads – prop Mangalo weighing in at some 24 stone – it was hardly surprising that the Biggar youngesters would creak. Not that any of the side could be criticised for lack of effort, the tackle count indicative of that effort. Everyone played their part but credit to hooker Ewan Stewart who put in a huge shift, the aforemontioned Nimmo and Kelly who belied their youth, captain Alan warnock who stood strong despite a 3 week old nose break and to flanker Lewis McLachlan who made his first appearance this years and who typically ran himself into the ground with a prominent role in both attack abnd defence. The backs contributed consdierably although they were employed primarily in defence. When given the opportunity they ran some good lines and asked some questions of the Kirkcaldy defence which was pleasing to see and suggsted that with more and especially ‘go-forward’ ball, that they might have had more success.

 

Scrums were then uncontested, much to Kirkcaldy’s chagrin and while this was unfortunate and certainly not what Biggar wished, the ‘cheat’ jibes from some of the home support were equally unfortunate.

 

Cousins Conor Lavery and Gregor Stewart were introduced to the action, they replacing Aird Jardine and Kelly respectively. Uncontested scrums are not particualrly helpful to either side as although possession inevitably goes with the put in the defending sides back row are always primed and ready to pounce. This was much the case, both sides running at pace and making some big hits. The fact that Kirkcaldy possessed the much heavier pack menat that they were usually able to make inroads through Biggar’s first line of defence or at worst force Biaggr to hastily regroup. This again took its toll with wallace notching try number two within 5 minutes of the restart.

 

This was of course the 4th and bonus point try and so in a sense it was ‘job done’ for the league leaders.

 

This did seem to coincide with a much better passage of play for Biggar as they managed to retain possession over a number of phases. On a good few occasions it was only some stout Kirkcaldy defence which prevented Biggar from scoring although when a side is desperate to score, chances must be taken and Biggar, on another day, might have scored from two opportinities but passes which should have been made weren’t, while others ended in errors. This only added to the frustration.

 

Biggar vaired their attack with a selection of chips and grubbers in their attempts to breach the Kirkcaldy line but in the absence of any real ball-carryiong forwards the Kirkcaldy defence was able to string itself across the pitch. This proved pretty efective and it denied bIggar a try when they so desperately deserved a score.

 

Forced back and conceding possession, Kirkcaldy engineered a breakout and after a series of probing runs and thrusts, scrum half Gavin McKenzie burst through Biggar’s stretched defence for another try to take the Fife total to 33.

 

There were several Kirkcaldy tackles which seemed high some of which were unpunished so it was harsh to the Biggar support at least when perhaps the first such high tackle by Biggar resulted in Andrew Peacock being shown a yellow and confined to a 10 minute watching brief.

 

Unsurprsingly, Kirkcaldy added to their tally from the penalty award.

 

Now leaving nothing in the locker, Biggar opened out throwing the ball about in an attempt to break through, their reward eventually coming as Ryan Moffat crashed over for a try. With limited time remaining, Green opted for the drop goal attempt, this going wide.

 

Back on the attack after the restart, Biggar nabbed s scond score, winger aloistauir Sinclair latching on to a Green grubber kick to cross in the corner. Greens’ conversion rebounded off the upright and shortly afterwards referee Morrsion brought the contest to an end, much to the jubilation of the home side.

 

This was Biggar’s first defeat away from home! This is an astounding statistic and a really odd one at that, especially as most club’s approach is to win the home games and sneak a few away wins! It’s the opposite for Biggar in this campaign as the home record of played 5 won 2 lost 3 does not make very good reading, and especially when compared to their away record of played 5 won 4 lost 1!

 

The league now breaks for the Autumn international series. That will hopefully allow all those who are carrying knocks to recover and re-energise before the visit of West of Scotland. The Glasgow side rocked the boat a bit on Saturday when they recorded a surprise win over Dumfries.

 

With Lasswade winning Biggar drop to 5th spot, 10 points behind Kirkcaldy but just 7 from Lasswade in 2nd place. There is still everyhting to play for then and lots of good rubgy to come from this side.

 

Biggar

A. Nimmo, E. Stewart, G. Kelly, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, A. Orr, L. McLachlan, D. Notman, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine Reps: C. Braid, K. Robison, G. Stewart, C. Lavery.

 

Post script

Among Biggar's usual travelling support were Peter and Sandy Green, parents of stand off Carne. On a holiday/business trip from New Zealand they were able to spend some time in Biggar with Carne as well as seeing some of Scotland. Steeped in rugby with the Petone club from Wellington, they were disappointed they did not see Biggar win but they enjoyed their stay in the town, leaving on Sunday for Edinburgh and then south to England to catch up with Sandy's family. Haste ye back!

 

As previously mentioned the 2nd XV succumbed to Musselburgh. In second bottom spot of National Reserve League 2, Biggar face an uphill struggle to retaining their place in this division but again there is still a lot of rugby to be played.


Biggar lose at home to Lasswade

Biggar 13 Lasswade 19

On the back of three, five point wins Biggar were in relatively confident mood going into this They were well aware however that the visitors, in the shape of Lasswade, had been going particularly well as well, their win over top of the table Kirkcaldy the previous week giving plenty indication of a side playing to their strengths, namely their pack.

 

Biggar welcomed back hooker Ewan Stewart for this match and were forced into a change in the back row, Euan Sanderson having been concussed last week at PL and replaced by Craig McDonald who had taken over from Sanderson. In the backs Ryan Moffat returned to replace Gregor Stewart who took his place on the bench where he was joined by Guy Kelly, Kev Robison and Conor Lavery, the last two having joined the fray from the 2nd XV match against Hawick Force which kicked off at 2pm.

 

In blustery conditions Lasswade were quickly on the attack, notching their first try within the first 5 minutes, This was scored by winger Matthew Smith who came onto a good line from some 5 metres out, wrong footing the Biggar defence. Converted by Andy Bell, Lasswade were 7-0 ahead.

 

Against the strong wind there were few opportunities and little point in kicking clear and so Biggar employed their pack and ball-carriers to take them upfield. This proved fairly successful and Biggar were able to work their way upfield with some good work from all. There were occasions however when Lasswade managed to either strip the ball carriers or contest the ball on the4 ground this slowing play up or ending in penalties which the visitors used to return play to the Biggar half.

 

On balance however Biggar did enjoy good territorial position, running ball back to Lasswade whenever they could.

 

With good ball provided by the pack, the backs all made good ground, Alistair Sinclair and Aird Jardine combining well after one Lasswade clearance to take play up the left wing. A couple of passes later and Jamie Orr burst clear to cross from some 40 metres out and by beating the cover defence on the way. Kicking into the wind was always going to be tricky in the conditions and so it proved as Carne Green was off target with his conversion attempt and then again some 10 minutes later when the ball rebounded out off the upright.

 

Able to maintain the pressure Biggar should probably have added to their tally especially when Lasswade had one of their number sin-binned for failing to retreat at a Biggar penalty which Green ran. It was not to be however as Lasswade were very competitive at the breakdown and in mauls, their persistence paying off well as they frustrated the Biggar attack.

 

Having had the better slice of possession Biggar were then forced onto the defensive as visiting scrum half Daniel Ritchie put in a nice wee grubber kick to the Biggar 22. The follow up was deemed illegal by referee Fergus Collins and Green kicked for the lineout. A rare error on the take spawned ball for Lasswade and a barnstorming run from lock Stephen Hunter took play to the Biggar line, winger Ross Bradford just getting the big man down inches from the line. Recycled ball was quick however and Ritchie was on hand to pop the ball to hooker Darren Tiffney who crashed over from a few feet for a try which, when converted by Bell, put Lasswade ahead at 14-5 with just minutes of the half remaining.

 

Having conceded a try just before the break Biggar needed a quick riposte that this they got within minutes of the restart. Now with the wind on their backs play was quickly taken into the Lasswade 22.

 

From a Biggar scrum Moffat, Peacock, Orr, McDonald and Nimmo all made good ground before play was switched back right Bradford making another burst. Revive fed Green who popped the ball inside to Stewart who crossed for the try. The try-scorer had earlier been on for Jamie Orr who sustained a shoulder injury and while the big man returned he was clearly not at full strength and Stewart, normally a centre joined McDonald, another whose preference is in the backs in the back row. Green’s conversion attempt was wide but at 14-10 Biggar were back in the mix. The try and Stewart's all-round combatative play throughout the match - particualrly in defence - was a major factor in his selection as Biggar's man of the match.

 

Almost directly from the restart Biggar had another opportunity, another inside pass to Green finding Stewart who broke the line to set off on a long run. Running into the Lasswade defence the off-load failed to go to hand and Lasswade fullback Niall Gray was able to secure possession on the ground from which Lasswade engaged their pack on what was to become standard fare for the half, the pack picking and going as they strove to get out of their half.

 

A knock on ceded possession to Biggar and after a neat interchange between Ewan Stewart, Peacock and skipper Alan Warnock the big lock was set free into the Lasswade 22. A last ditch tackle from centre Mark Wilson saved the day although he was adjudged to have prevented fair release, Green kicking the penalty for 14-13 as Lasswade were again reduced to 14 men.

 

And that was almost that! Having enjoyed their fair share of possession and territory both now virtually ceased as Lasswade cleverly took a stranglehold on, in particular, possession. Using the short pass to pods of two or three scrum half Ritchie popped the ball left and then right and the left again. Without gaining many yards this proved to be very effective, Biggar unable to get their hands on the ball and reduced to defensive tackling. There seemed no way to get possession back, later criticism suggesting that the offensive defence was too passive but every time a Lasswade player was tackled their body position was low and gong to ground was easy, the ball then efficiently sealed off by the support. Pretty it was certainly not, but it was frustrating for the home side.

 

On the rare occasion Biggar did get the ball they were able to kick clear, one good tackle chase by Sinclair seeing Lasswade knock on at the ruck base but an altercation between Robbie Lavery and Ritchie saw the decision reversed allowing Lasswade to kick clear.

 

Guy Kelly became the 3rd Biggar replacement (for O’Connell) , Robison having earlier replaced McDonald. Lasswade then exerted huge pressure on the younger Biggar front row, this enabling them to spoil possession for Biggar.

 

As the half wore on it became clear that with just one point separating the sides the next score would most likely be the winning score. Unable to sustain possession in their opponents half things were not too positive for Biggar although there was always the hope that they would eventually break free, even just to win a penalty.

 

It was not to be however and having taken play back into Biggar’s 22 another series of probing runs shed ball for Ritchie who fed centre Wilson. There appeared to be cover but his pace took him clear and over for what turned out to be a decisive try.

 

There was at least 8 minutes on the clock but with their tails up there was much less chance of Lasswade conceding possession now. A Biggar penalty saw Green kick to some 5 metres out but having found the visitors adept at the maul and driving play Biggar’s line drive faltered giving Lasswade the scrum and a chance to clear.

 

Throughout there had been penalty awards to both sides which were difficult to understand and there were a couple in the last few minutes which went against Biggar but Lasswade rode their luck, the final award seeing them tap and kick to touch to end the game.

 

Massive disappointment then for Biggar, tempered only by the fact that they at least won a losing bonus point. Having last season had a difficulty in winning ‘on the road’ Biggar’s home record is the much poorer this season, their 3 defeats all being at Hartree. There would be huge satisfaction if their winning run away from home were to continue this Saturday when they journey to Fife and league leaders Kirkcaldy.

 

There seems every chance that Biggar will have to endure another match with a forward pack adept at the pick and go as the Kirkcaldy side are well known for this approach. It promises to be another difficult day!

 

Please note that while the kick offs are now scheduled for 2pm, Kirkcaldy have requested a 3pm start, and this will in fact be the case.

 

Biggar

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

 

Perhaps the best news of what turned out to be a challenging weekend with all League sides on Saturday losing out – and indeed all boys youth sides on the wrong end of the score line on Sunday – was the re-appearance of the 2nd XV. This has been a challenging few weeks as there have been a number of regulars unavailable due to injury and work commitments. Importantly however the ‘call to arms’ was answered on Saturday and a side was fielded. This included several who were making a return to the action with all to be congratulated on their considerable efforts.

 

Of these Callum Taylor deserves praise while Robison and Lavery who both played for almost the whole game then turned out for the 1sts on the bench.

 

That the 2nd XV faced runaway league leaders Hawick force did nothing to east the situation, the Border side running out winners by 38-6 win.


PL put to the sword

Preston Lodge 6 Biggar 62

There were two issues plaguing Biggar’s statisticians in the aftermath of this match. When did Biggar last defeat Preston Lodge at Pennypit and when did Biggar last record three 5-point wins on the bounce?

 

The first of these was slightly harder as Biggar’s last win at Pennypit is believed to have been in the last century (early 1990’s) while ‘never’ was the simplest and easiest answer to the second question. This latest result and others elsewhere which saw both Kirkcaldy and Dumfries defeated and Hamilton without a match, means that Biggar jump to joint second top spot, just behind Kirkcaldy and still level with Lasswade. The exciting prospect of course is that Biggar meet these two sides in the next two weeks and so come the league break Biggar should know whether or not they are in real contention for one of the two promotion spots – although there is obviously still an awful long way to go in the league programme.

 

Biggar fielded a similar XV to that which played last week against Whitecraigs, save that in the pack Kevin Robison started the match, Andrew Orr reverting to the back row with Alan Warnock and Euan Sanderson, Douglas Notman unavailable due to a hand injury. Andrew Peacock came into the side at lock.

 

In the backs, Gregor Stewart started in place of Ryan Moffat who was doubtful due to shift work, (although he did in the end make the game, coming on after the break) while Ewan Bogle, who was down to start in place of Alistair Sinclair, pulled out during the warm up with asthma. Craig McDonald joined Andrew Nimmo on the bench, the young prop making a welcome return to action after a month out. These three were joined by Conor Lavery who was making a return to action for Biggar after several seasons with Aberdeen Grammar.

 

The match itself saw Biggar put an injury-ravaged PL to the sword with a sound display of running rugby which resulted in a 10-0 try count, PL’s points coming from a penalty and a drop goal, both credited to scrum half Brian Walls.

 

That Biggar ‘played’ for the full 80 minutes was as pleasing as the result, recent games seeing the side stutter for at least a half of each match. Not so on Saturday when they controlled things pretty well throughout, save perhaps for the opening exchanges when, as expected, the home side enjoyed the territorial advantage and ran with some conviction, only stout defence and a couple of handling errors denying them a score.

 

The East Lothian side were not helped by an injury to lock Jonny Sked, the big man twisted in a tackle and sustaining a neck injury, this the third such injury in as many Biggar games. On this occasion, while an ambulance was immediately summoned, there was a delay of just over an hour with the match official Ramsay Darroch making a decision to continue only after the paramedics had assessed Sked and were prepared to have him stretchered off the pitch. This is never a nice situation for any team and the best wishes of Biggar go to Jonny who is by all accounts recovering.

 

With some 7 minutes remaining of the half, Biggar were reduced to 14 men just after the match restarted, Andrew Peacock shown a yellow and the side had to defend hard to keep PL out. This achieved, they managed a crucial try of their own just before the break.

 

This was their third score and Nimmo’s second and was converted by Carne Green for a 17-6 half time lead, the first two scores credited to Sinclair and of course Nimmo who certainly made an impact when he came on for Dan O’Connell. Both of the first scores were long range efforts involving good passing and real pace.

 

Neither side had found the re-start after such a long delay easy and they were then brought o a halt again as the usual half time break was called. As time was marching on the PL club had their floodlights primed for the second half.

 

Having just stretched ahead Biggar could not have wished for a better start as almost directly from the kick off a Green kick had PL fullback Jonathan Brash in bother. The resultant scrum provided good ball for scrum half Davy Reive who fed Green. The stand off made one of his trademark miss passes to find Aird Jardine. The fullback popped the ball to winger Ross Bradford whose pace took him clear of the cover and over for a try which Green converted for 24-6.

 

Robison thought he was over for a try after a lineout error but play was pulled back, this coinciding with the return of Peacock. PL had a period of better play when their pack went for a lineout drive, this eventually brought to an end as referee Darroch, having issued an instruction to ‘use it’ had no option as the pack retained possession, to blow for a Biggar scrum.

 

Having extricated themselves from their 22 Biggar scored their 5th try through Sinclair, the winger benefiting as Jamie Orr took a ball from the PL throw. Green’s conversion struck the upright before bouncing out.

 

Makeshift flanker Craig McDonald, who had come on in the fist half after a clash of heads between Warnock and Calum Braid left the former with an ugly cut to the nose, was next to cross. Taking a neat off load he bundled his way over from some 10 metres showing great determination in the process.

 

The next three tries went to Green in what was a remarkable 10 minute spell for the Kiwi stand off. The first saw him make a neat dummy before sprinting past the missing PL defence, the second after he won the chase to his own neat grubber kick and then the third after he took an interception pass from PL stand off Chris Dixon who was gamely looking to keep play moving. PL’s was a tired and disheartened back division however and the very same fate befell Dixon’s next movement, Robbie Lavery nipping in to take another interception to run in from half way. Green’s tries and conversions left him with a personal tally of 27 points.

 

That Biggar won was due in no small part to the relentless driving and carrying play of the pack. All 8 were involved and this meant that PL were as often as not on the defensive, two players or more comitted to pulling the Biggar players down. Add some genuine pace and a little confidence and the win was there. PL were not the worst side Biggar have played to date and they did pose problems while Biggar should have scored at least two other first half tries, these coming to grief as errors were made and balls dropped.

 

There was a great deal of satisfaction at this comprehensive victory however, one which the very welcome travelling support thoroughly enjoyed and which put to bed somewhat the recent poor set of results and performances Biggar have endured at PL’s hands.

 

The surprise results from Dumfries and Kirkcaldy made the win all the sweeter of course.

 

Next up is a home match against Lasswade. A big support would be most welcome, so if you can, please get along on Saturday. KO 3pm

 

Of course as delighted as the club was at this result and the league position, there was a cautionary tale as for the second week running there was no 2nd XV. Tup sales, holidays and injuries have taken their toll but it is really important that the club gets a 2nd XV out. To that end all players are asked to make themselves available for this Saturday when Hawick Force make the trip to Hartree Mill.

 

Biggar

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


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 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…..


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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Biggar RFC Second XV

This season 2014/15, Biggar 2nd XV will compete in the Edinburgh RESERVE LEAGUE 1. A good blend of experience and youth allows us to compete well with teams who have far greater resources.

The team is manged by John Bogle and Malcolm Bruce and if you would like to play or assist with the team please contact our Playing Convenor, Ian Notman 07899803916


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

Membership rates and packages are as follows:

 

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

 

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

 


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