Cartha QP 26

Biggar 43

Al Stewart

at Dumbreck

THE five points won on Saturday at Cartha brought to an end the first half of the league season - a near perfect series of 11 games for Biggar with 50 points garnered from a possible 55, only the defeat by Highland a blemish.

The opening minutes at Cartha saw Biggar get off to a dream start with a penalty kicked by Conor Lavery to the Cartha 22 followed by a text book driven lineout.

This swept the Cartha pack back at an unhealthy rate, referee Matt Duncan taking no time to penalise the home pack as they collapsed the maul by awarding Biggar a penalty try.

On the 10 minute mark Biggar stretched their lead to 14-0 when Jamie Orr rounded off another lineout, which he himself had won, by crashing over at the back of the pack as it once again drove to the Cartha line. Jardine added the conversion.

Unfortunately Biggar then ‘gifted’ their hosts a first try. An error on the restart saw Cartha gain the initiative while a couple of slipped tackles allowed them to gain a foothold in the Biggar 22. It was their turn to use their pack and so they did with Michael Robertson scoring, Burrows converting the try for 14-7.

In a tit-for-tat eight minute spell Biggar scored their third try almost directly from the restart. Another series of forward drives featuring some tidy work at the breakdown created a gap for Craig Borthwick who dived over from close range, with Jardine again on target with the conversion to make it19-7 to Biggar.

Cartha's second score came after a defensive mix up gave winger Sam Harrison and then full back Graeme Docherty far too much space which they exploited well to create a try for the latter, this under the posts and making Burrows’ conversion a formality.

Another penalty to Biggar saw Lavery kick to the Cartha 22.

The familiar forward orientated option was taken again and ball was moved via some good work by Borthwick, Ewan Stewart and Ross Jackson ever closer to the Cartha line. On this occasion however, play was swept right with Rory Hutton latching onto Jardine’s inside pass to cross under the posts.

Jardine added the conversion to this bonus point try, and then to Biggar’s fifth score after Chris Mulligan crashed over for a try which had almost been scored a moment earlier as Bassett seemed to be over the line.

Referee Duncan brought the half to a close at 33-14 to Biggar.

The second half was a very different affair, as Biggar seemed to fall off the pace and lose control of proceedings.

Cartha of course deserve credit for their efforts as they strove to get back into the match.

Things had begun pretty well though with Ross Jackson rounding off another patient passage of play. Jardine was just wide with the conversion.

But Cartha replied with a try of their own from Docherty.

Both sides were given opportunities via penalty awards to get into promising positions but handling errors, interceptions and sound defence prevented any further scoring.

The stalemate was eventually ended as the 70 minute mark approached.

A chip and chase saw Hutton do just enough to out-pace the Cartha defence for the score.

At 43-21 the game was all but done but Cartha kept plugging away and were rewarded as they gained a penalty in the Biggar 22.

A Burrows chip over the advancing Biggar back line saw Calum Dickson win the chase to the touchdown. Burrow’s drop kick conversion was virtually the last passage of play although the game.

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