Biggy edged out in end to end Casuals encounter

Rugby SUS-150618-153432001
Rugby SUS-150618-153432001

Biggleswade shared 60 points with Northampton Casuals on Saturday but narrowly lost 29-31 in an end to end match.

Biggy almost snatched victory but a penalty attempt with just two minutes left on the clock just scraped past the upright on the wrong side.

Conditions were ideal for rugby with a drying pitch, warm sunshine and a cross wind. This added some spice to catching high balls swirling in the wind from out of the blinding sun.

Alex Borg was back in the side after many months away exploring the Far East. As a natural centre he has been missed but he quickly got back into the swing of things being a supporting player in Biggleswade’s first try.

This came in the second minute. A Luke Haverly kick from his 22 bounced awkwardly for the Casuals defence which panicked as the pair of Borg and Tunstall bore down on them. The dropped ball was swept up by Will Simkins who crossed the line.

Luke Haverly added the conversion to give Biggleswade a seven point lead but it did not stay that way for long. Casuals kicked and chased and too were rewarded with a try although unconverted.

This was the pattern of the game. The drying pitch saw the ball stand up if a kick was not collected on the full allowing the attacking player to run on and gather the ball. The sound footing allowed many a player on both sides to elude the grasping hands of a potential tackler.

The result was a fast paced game with plenty of action, strong running and good looking tries. Casuals took early advantage to add another couple of tries for a 17-7 lead. It looked ominous for Biggleswade but they refused to lie down and came back strongly.

Newly married Shane Austin, back from his honeymoon, scored Biggleswade’s second. He then celebrated by scoring a second to level the scores. Luke Haverly added the conversion to put Biggy in front.

Casuals secured their bonus point for four tries as they slipped through the Biggy defence before the break. They then added another at the start of the second half to go past 30 points.

The fightback started. First as a rolling maulappeared to be on the point of stalling Liam Dunne emerged with the ball and started the charge to the line.

“I came through and under the maul and the ball popped into my hands” he explained afterwards with an impish smile on his bearded face.

Elliot Tunstall rounded off the move with Biggleswade’s fourth try earning then a bonus point too. With the clock into the last ten minutes giant striding Will Simkins scored his second try. Unfortunately the conversion attempt which would have brought the scores level drifting wide.

Biggleswade slip to tenth but are well clear of the relegation zone. There are now just three matches left in the league. Next up is Northampton Men’s Own who Biggleswade beat away from home in a match played in constant rain.

It will be preceded by a Past Players’ Reunion Lunch.

After a week off Biggleswade travel to St Ives and then finish the season as they started playing St Neots at home.