Biggleswade lost their third league match 15-3 to Stewarts & Lloyds in Midlands 3 East (South) on Saturday but they gave a good account of themselves
It was two tries in two minutes late in the first half that separated the sides.
After recent rain the pitch was very green and lush. But a deluge throughout the match made ball control a lottery and ruined it as a spectacle for the supporters.
There was an early exchange of penalties with Luke Haverly doing the honours for Biggleswade.
The match was billed as the battle of the big packs and it lived up to expectations. Biggy ex-winger Gareth Rutt, now revelling in his new role as a forward, won good ball in the lineout but just as things were going well he had to leave the pitch with a shoulder strain.
Biggleswade also lost the services of second row Paul O’Sullivan who needed a hospital visit to check on his faculties after being dazed, although released later the same day. Luckily Andy Burke and Kyle Loan were on the bench so there was little weight loss. But Kyle too had to leave the pitch, ten minutes in the bin for repeated ‘professional’ fouls.
It was in the quarter of an hour before the break that the game was really lost. Stewarts scored two tries. The first was wide out on the right in the corner. The second came from a number eight pick up at the base of the scrum feeding the number nine and creating an instant overlap. This was very like the tactic used by Michaels Hall and Trigg for Biggleswade in past seasons.
Having escaped fairly lightly up the slope Biggleswade were expecting to score some points of their own but it was not to be. Despite a great deal of endeavour the second half was a nil all draw. Both sides had a man sent to the bin – once again it was ex- hooker Sacha Heath for Biggleswade.
Flanker Michael Kendall was drafted into the side to play in the centre. Despite being up against a National 3 level player recruited by Stewarts earlier in the week he put in a solid performance.
Pundit Gavin Taylor, a former first team winger before injury interrupted his career, praised Michael for his efforts. He also complimented Will Roake who cheered on by his fan club on the sidelines put in crunching tackles. He also showed some dainty foot-work in the occasional burst with ball in hand.
But Gavin’s main praise was reserved for fly-half Michael Hall who once again stepped up the mark with a typically courageous performance.
Biggleswade drop to third behind Northampton Casuals. Next they travel to Daventry who are eighth. The last time Biggleswade went to Daventry in 2013 they lost 15-21, but the return tie in January saw a cracking 39-14 win.