AS is so often the case, fixtures arranged for the festive period promise more than they actually deliver and the two sides which travelled south to Dumfries on Saturday were scratch sides rather than those the club had hoped to field.

The players who travelled however deserve credit for their efforts and enjoyed the day nonetheless.

Dumfries are currently in relegation place in the Chamiponship and are suffering much as Biggar are in the National League save of course for the fact that there is no relegation for Biggar.

Both clubs have a promising squad of Colts, however, with the Dumfries side opting to play in the National Youth League where they managed a very creditable fourth place finish.

At top team level Biggar travelled to Dumfries with a scratch squad, but talent throughout. The youthful mix of seconds and firsts created a spirit in the team not seen for sometime.

The first half was dominated by the wind, Dumfries kicking off with the wind on their backs and taking the game to Biggar. The Biggar defence was immense; Dumfries then tried kicking to the corners this, however, was folly as all their efforts were kicked long resulting in a scrum(s) back.

The relentless defensive work told and with Dumfries somewhat frustrated Biggar drove to the home line and with the home pack sucked in, Biggar swung play wide for the newly returned Christopher “Truck” Lawrie to go over in the corner.

The score was converted by Craig McDonald. Biggar 7, Dumfries 0.

Biggar were buoyed at half-time and, after a rousing talk from coach Darren Burns, they went out believing the win was achievable with a similar workrate.

Dumfries, however and had other ideas. Their replacements were older and wiser and took the ball straight at Biggar. With the visitors tackling not being as intense, this allowed Dumfries in behind and the scores came; four tries and two conversions, taking the score to 24-7.

Biggar were not done however and rallied late in the half to look more like the side that started the game, driving hard and deep into the home half and camping on the line. The continuing pressure eventually told with a cracking try scored by Danny Beagan, who had played most of the game on the wing!

The conversion was unsuccessful; the final score 24-12. The boys who turned up should take great heart from the overall performance and the spirit shown in difficult circumstances with only 15 players available.

Many congratulations to coach Derek Armstrong whose wife gave birth to baby Jess on Saturday morning. All doing well and best wishes to the new arrival and Armstrong family.