Gala 21

Biggar 24

Al Stewart

at Netherdale

ON three occasions and with just minutes left on the clock Gala opted to go for the lineout and try rather than the penalty at goal, three points and a deserved draw.

Biggar however, stuck to their task and time after time were up to the mark defensively, demonstrating a determination to hold their line intact.

And the four-try bonus point win is a fantastic result and ensures Biggar retain their fourth place slot behind Melrose, Highland and Heriots.

On the Netherdale turf Biggar endured a torrid start to the match as Gala threw everything at them, their big pack making inroads and Dean Keddie orchestrated things well with some deft off-loads and some very accurate angled kicks.

It was from one such forward drive from a lineout and then a great cross kick which allowed Simon Fairbairn to score the opening try.

While Keddie missed the conversion and a penalty just minutes later he was on target in the 11th minute with a penalty to put his side 8-0 up.

A penalty award taken quickly by Luhann Kutze took Biggar into the Gala 22 for the first time in the match.

Some great handling which swept play right and then left stretched the Gala defence and created just enough space for Robbie Orr to draw the cover before feeding Mark Bertram who crossed for a cracking opening try.

Gala replied with Gregor Mein at centre pushing Biggar back into their 22 but a blindside break featuring Robbie Lavery and Kutze took play back into the Gala half.

Conor Lavery kicked a penalty to within five metres of the Gala line where a textbook take by skipper Euan Sanderson led to him scoring.

The half was not quite over however and an offside gave Keddie the chance to regain the lead for Gala at 11-10.

Despite now having the benefit of the breeze Biggar found themselves almost immediately back in defence for the opening minutes of the second period,

But two timely turnovers relived the pressure.

The second, coming from a poor pass, gave Mark Bertram the chance to take ball upfield. Although tackled, he found Rowan Stewart in support, the centre making a great run before feeding Milligan to go over under the posts for a crucial score.

Lavery converted to restore Biggar's lead.

Gala then regained the lead after another series of errors from Biggar which saw Douglas Voas forced to concede a five metre scrum.

After several attempts it was Fairburn again who burst through for the score.

Gala were now 21-17 in front with 25 minutes remaining.

The winning try came from what was essentially a defensive scrum on Biggar’s 10 metres line.

The ball was passed swiftly through the hands to Orr who, having committed two men, found Bertram with an off-load. The winger put in a neat grubber kick which Gala replacement Struan Mitchell managed to run into touch.

From the resultant lineout a forward drive was halted but a neat backs move saw Lavery find Orr with a wide pass, the fullback staying strong to carry the ball over the line.

The stand off kicked for 24-21.

There was now just under 10 minutes remaining and what a fraught 10 minutes they turned out to be as both sides did their utmost to win the game.

But Biggar held firm while Gala opted to kick penalties for touch.

Biggar will now regroup and prepare for the visit of Dundee.

Biggar: R. Orr, M. Bertram, R. Stewart, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, C. Lavery, L. Kutze, D. Voas, D. Voas, R. Basset, C. Borthwick, J. Campbell, E. Sanderson, C. Milligan, R. Jackson. Reps: P. Davidson, J. Orr, A. Warnock, J. Barr and E. Bogle.