at Beveridge Park
BIGGAR’S start, on what quickly became a quagmire, was disrupted by an early injury to Robbie Lavery, the centre picking up an ankle injury and which, when combined with injuries to Ewan Stewart and Alan Warnock, will further test Biggar’s resources in the weeks and games to come.
Gregor Stewart came off the bench to replace Lavery.
Playing ‘downhill’ Biggar began well knowing that they would have to keep the big Kirkcaldy pack on the move if they were to win.
Despite the conditions Biggar handled well to take play into the home side's half where a penalty award saw Aird Jardine kick a successful goal for 3-0.
Enjoying most of the possession highlights came from a great link between the Jardine brothers who opened up a big gap in the Kirkcaldy defence, and from a driven maul which it seemed had ended in a try until the referee adjudged the Biggar ball carrier to have crossed, a clearing penalty to Kirkcaldy the result.
In a see-saw match Kirkcaldy came right back into things with Notman then sent to the bin for what was seen to be a repeated offence of handling the ball on the ground.
Reduced to 14 Biggar had to defend well to keep the hosts out but within minutes the steam rolling back took ball over the line for a try to Owen Bonner, converted by Craig Letham.
Under pressure again Biggar struggled to extricate themselves from their half but they also defended well and on the stroke of half time were awarded a penalty just inside their half.
With the seconds ticking down Orr took a quick tap to turn the home defence.
Having done this and having gained an extra 10 metres when Kirkcaldy were slow to react Biggar gained a lineout inside the Kirkcaldy half.
Ball won was then hit up through the middle by Stuart Hull who found Stewart in support. The centre made ground before converting the 2 on1 and freeing Notman for a sprint to the line for a try converted by Aird Jardine to take Biggar in at half time 10-7 to the good.
Kirkcaldy exerted some real pressure on the Biggar scrum earning a penalty on the restart. Interference by Jardine earned him a yellow and Biggar were back to playing a man short.
Having regained possession Biggar the put the home side under pressure, Warnock going for another quick tap to again turn the Kirkcaldy defence. Having made ground Alisdair Sinclair put in a neat grubber kick but this was gathered and the possession lost.
Notman combined well with Andrew Jardine but a knock on saw this move falter, coach Mercer then fielding Tom Steele for Stewart, this necessitating a switch with Hull coming in at centre. A huge drive by the home pack took play deep into the Biggar half but this attack came to grief as Kirkcaldy knocked on.
Aird Jardine engineered a magnificent 40 metre line break but he elected to grubber to the line when an inside pass to the supporting Hull might have been a better option although the kick did see Biggar get a great field position just 5 metres from the Kirkcaldy line.
Maintaining their field position Biggar then camped in the home 22 setting up attack after attack but without creating that all-important score which would have put them clear.
Kicking the penalty might have been the better option in retrospect as if Biggar are to convert from close range they need to be more dynamic in the line charge.
As it was they gained field position but failed to convert this pressure into points and then the inevitable happened – just as it has several times before!
With a series of attacks coming to nought Biggar lost possession in a turnover and found themselves chasing back to mount a rear-guard defensive effort.
This they largely managed to do well although at a similar point to Biggar’s score just before half time, the Fifers eventually managing to break through and over the line for the match-winning try.
This was a disappointment for the Biggar squad who probably just shaded the contest overall.