Biggar 52


Al Stewart

at Hartre Mill

BIGGAR took another step closer to the Division 2 Championship with an eight try to one win over GHK.

With Highland conquering Lasswade the celebrations are on hold for another week at least as Biggar require a minimum of one more point to secure the title.

Playing away from the clubhouse and in front of a very good crowd, Biggar and GHK opened up strongly and the early passages of play were long and at times frantic.

Dropped passes and good defence, though, prevented any scoring.

Both sides were relatively successful in gaining good yards although neither were able to breech their opponents' line until, that is, the 10th minute when Matthew Stewart made a great run to the line after being set free by stand off Conor Lavery.

The youngster, who was imperious at full back, was making his last appearance at Biggar this season as he sets off for New Zealand next weekend for six months.

Matthew Stewart added the conversion for his try but it was not long before GHK replied.

After a lineout and driving maul took play within metres of the Biggar line, a series of close pick and goes followed before prop Andrew McCulloch eventually got over the line.

This tactic might have provided more points had they been able to use it more often but possession dried up somewhat after this score.

As it was, not only did GHK score but an altercation after the try saw Biggar centre Robbie Lavery shown a yellow card.

Reduced to 14 men there was worse to come as referee Stuart Burns restarted the match with a GHK penalty on halfway.

Biggar prop Donald Voas has been in fine form of late and this continued on Saturday when on at least three occasions he made huge line breaks on the wing.

After the second of these bursts, possession was retained and a neat inside pass from Conor Lavery to winger Rowan Stewart saw the youngster slice through the GHK defence for a fine try. Matthew Stewart’s conversion made it 14-5.

Lots of possession followed for Biggar but against the stiff breeze they struggled to make further inroads until, that is, the final minute of the half, when, after several promising forays, Robbie Orr made a fantastic run, evading at least four would-be tacklers to crash over in the corner.

Half time was 19-5 to Biggar.

It was not long before Biggar were back on the attack at the start of the second half, with Voas getting the credit after yet another destructive touchline breenge.

Matthew Stewart kicked an excellent touchline conversion for 26-5.

Tries were to come at fairly regular intervals now as Biggar increased the pace of the match and as GHK tired in the face of continually having to defend.

Next up was that man Voas again who collected his second after another touchline run.

James Orr then made way for Andrew Peacock, another who announced his presence in the best possible manner, by latching on to another Lavery pass to sprint clear and past the stretched GHK defence with a neat change of pace. Matthew Stewart converted.

Skipper Euan Sanderson rounded off another passage of play deep in the GHK half with a good score.

Matthew Stewart’s conversion was followed swiftly by his second score and then his sixth conversion.

All Biggar could and had to do was win the match, preferably with a four-try bonus so from that point of view at least it was a case of mission accomplished.

The news from Lasswade was relatively predictable and so the SRU Rep Graham Scott who was on duty with the Cup should Highland have tripped up, will be back at Peebles on Saturday to – hopefully - carry out the honours then.

Biggar: R. Orr, R. Bradford, M. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Stewart, C. Lavery, D. Reive, D. Voas, E. Stewart, F. G. Kelly, J. Orr, A. Warnock, E. Sanderson, C. Mulligan, R. Jackson. Reps: A. Peacock, P. Davidson, G. Stewart, I. Renwick.