Biggar 31

Stirling County 15

Al Stewart

at Hartreemill

BIGGAR opened up a five point advantage at the top of National 1 on Saturday.

Kicking off up the slope Biggar could not have had a better start when within two minutes they opened the scoring.

Mark Bertram was set free by Lewis Stewart to cross under the posts.

Andrew Jardine converted and was on target again some five minutes later to add the conversion to Chris Mulligan's try.

Having barely begun to sweat, Biggar could have been forgiven for thinking that it was going to be all plain sailing as Stirling had hardly had the ball.

This feeling was quickly dispelled however as the visitors, enjoying their first real possession, managed to string a few phases together and to put Biggar on defensive chores.

A penalty kicked by Craig Robertson brought the score to 14-3.

Because of an unusually high penalty count against Biggar referee Fergus Collins showed Jamie Orr being a yellow card at the start of the second quarter.

With a one man advantage Stirling were quickly back on the attack via some good hard runs combined with some great running lines and angles.

The Stirling pack were a robust lot and a rhino-like charge from prop Benjamin Mace resulted in their first try.

Robertson added the two points from the conversion.

What was needed from Biggar before the half time whistle, was another score.

And with the clock approaching the 40 minute mark they duly obliged as Luhann Kutze initiated the move after he collected a loose Stirling clearance to begin a counter attack.

His run created space but his vision to throw a pass to Rowan Stewart saw the winger take the ball at almost full speed and around the stretched cover defence for a try.

Jardine again converted for 21-8 at half time.

Biggar were restricted to playing in their own half at the start of the second half as Stirling managed to retain possession.

A number of timely interceptions, some good solid tackling, allied to some equally poor decisions from the Stirling side when in possession, contrived to keep Biggar ahead.

With some 30 minutes of what had become a fairly bland period of play Jardine kicked a penalty for 24-8.

Almost immediately and clearly spurred on by this, Stirling hit back with their second score, credited to replacement George Breese who was in possession when a driven maul took Biggar back and over their line.

Robertson added the conversion for 24-15.

With less than 10 minutes remaining a wonderful sleight of hand from Kutze Rowan Stewart to hit the line at cracking pace and into a gap to cross untouched from some 20 metres out.

Jardine added the conversion for 31-15.

In the end another great result, though a little scrappier than had been the case against both Melrose and Heriots.

The surprise defeat of Melrose by Cartha was a big ‘lift’ for Biggar as it allowed them to increase their lead at the top of the division.

Biggar: R. Orr, R. Stewart, R. Hutton, A. Jardine, M. Bertram, C. Lavery, L. Kutze, D. Voas, E. Stewart, P. Davidson, C. Borthwick, J. Orr, C. Mulligan, L. Stewart, R. Jackson. Reps: A. Warnock, A. Lyon, A. Peacock, R. Bradford, R. Lavery.