Biggar 13

Lasswade 19

Al Stewart

at Hartree Mill

ON the back of three, five point wins Biggar were in relatively confident mood going into this one.

In blustery conditions Lasswade were quickly on the attack, though, notching their first try within the first five minutes - scored by winger Matthew Smith.

Andy Bell converted for a 7-0 lead.

Against the strong wind there were few opportunities and little point in kicking clear, so Biggar employed their pack and ball-carriers to take them upfield.

This proved fairly successful but there were occasions, however, when Lasswade managed to either strip the ball carriers or contest on the ground to slow play up.

On balance Biggar did enjoy good territorial position, running ball back to Lasswade whenever they could.

Alistair Sinclair and Aird Jardine combined well after one Lasswade clearance to take play up the left wing.

A couple of passes later and Jamie Orr burst clear to cross from some 40 metres out.

Carne Green was off target with his conversion attempt and then again some 10 minutes later when a penalty rebounded out off the upright.

Able to maintain the pressure Biggar should probably have added to their tally especially when Lasswade had a player sin-binned for failing to retreat at a Biggar penalty.

Biggar were then forced onto the defensive.

A barnstorming run from lock Stephen Hunter took play to the Biggar line, winger Ross Bradford just getting the big man down inches from the line. Recycled ball was quick however and Ritchie was on hand to pop the ball to hooker Darren Tiffney who crashed over from a few feet for a try which, when converted by Bell, put Lasswade ahead at 14-5 with just minutes of the half remaining.

Biggar needed a quick riposte that this they got within minutes of the restart. Now with the wind on their backs play was quickly taken into the Lasswade 22.

From a scrum Moffat, Peacock, Orr, McDonald and Nimmo all made good ground before play was switched right for Bradford making another burst. Revive fed Green who popped the ball inside to Stewart who crossed for the try.

Green’s conversion attempt was wide but at 14-10 Biggar were back in the mix.

Almost directly from the restart Biggar had another opportunity, as another inside pass to Green found Stewart who broke the line to set off on a long run.

But the off-load failed to go to hand and Lasswade fullback Niall Gray was able to secure possession.

Green did kick a penalty for 14-13 as Lasswade were again reduced to 14 men.

But Lasswade cleverly took a stranglehold on possession. Biggar unable to get their hands on the ball and reduced to defensive tackling.

As the half wore on it became clear that with just one point separating the sides the next score would most likely be the winning one.

Unable to sustain possession in their opponents half things were not too positive for Biggar although there was always the hope that they would eventually break free, even just to win a penalty.

It was not to be however and having taken play back into Biggar’s 22 another series of probing runs shed ball for Ritchie who fed centre Wilson. There appeared to be cover but his pace took him clear and over for what turned out to be a decisive try.

There was at least eight minutes on the clock but with their tails up there was much less chance of Lasswade conceding possession now.

A Biggar penalty saw Green kick to some five metres out but having found the visitors adept at the maul and driving play Biggar’s line drive faltered giving Lasswade the scrum and a chance to clear.

Biggar journey to Fife on Saturday to face league leaders Kirkcaldy.

Biggar: D. O’Connell, E. Stewart, A. Nimmo, J. Orr, A. Peacock, A. Warnock, C. McDonald, A. Orr, D. Reive, C. Green, A. Sinclair, R. Moffat, R. Lavery, R. Bradford, A. Jardine. Reps: G. Kelly, K. Robison, G. Stewart, C. Lavery.