Biggleswade bounced back to winning ways with an emphatic 50-32 win over Leicester Forest by 50-32 in Midlands 2 East (South).
There was a much more determined spirit in the camp on Saturday and even when Biggleswade suffered setbacks they kept bouncing back.
Star of the afternoon was fly-half Luke Haverly who scored two tries, kicked six conversions and a penalty for a personal total of 25 points.
After a run of three league losses Biggleswade were reinforced by the return of Paul O’Sullivan in the second row, Ian Robinson at number eight and Gareth Rutt on the bench.
Player coach Shane Manning was forced to sit out with his calf injury from last week still a prolonged problem.
Biggy kicked off down the slope and started with serious intent. But it was the hosts who had the first early chance. Biggleswade conceded far more penalties than is good for them as is often the way when they visit Leicester.
But the threat was snuffed out and determined defence rapidly turned into a full bloodied attack.
Skipper Jimmy Caulfield gave the off-load which led to a try for Matthew Horgan on the right wing which Luke Haverly converted. It was Luke who added the second try looping round to be the extra man on the outside. In between the Forest kicked a penalty.
After a shaky start Biggy were stronger in the scrums, often shunting the home team back. The lineouts too were largely better with ball won in attack and defence. Even coach Manning praised the long throw ins of his replacement Sacha Heath back after a short break in Greece.
Forest cut the deficit to two points before there was more magic from the Biggy Boys. Flanker Michael Kendall led a break out which swept down field. Luke Haverly playing his first game at fly-half since he was seven chipped over the top, gathered the ball and touched down adding the conversion for good measure.
But Forest quickly struck back with another converted try after Biggleswade conceded yet another penalty to leave the game all to play for at the break. The visitors had to play ten minutes without the services of veteran prop Andy Burke who was despatched to the bin after a professional foul to slow up the release of the ball.
To say that the second half was all Biggleswade would be an exaggeration although they did score four tries to two. First though they fell behind as Forest went ahead for the only time in the match kicking another penalty.
Undaunted Biggleswade played some truly magnificent rugby with Elliott Tunstall, Paul O’Sullivan, Michael Kendall and George Tiley all running in tries. Paul’s came from the interception of a floated pass which was the scenario which helped to sink Biggy last time that they played on the ground. History repeated itself for Michael Kendall who scored a year ago in similar fashion.
Forest clung on, getting a couple of tries including the last one but in between the boot of Luke Haverly had put Biggleswade up to 50 points for the first time since March 2014.
The game marked the debut of Zak Pates at scrum half. He did all right but needs to eat more red meat so that he can be a bit feistier. Simon Darville, probably the best scrum half who ever played for Biggleswade had many tricks up his sleeve to frustrate and annoy his opposite number.
Coach Shane Manning was full of praise for his troops at the post match huddle. He told them that they had tackled hard and been in the faces of their opposite number.
“They had used their brains to create attacking options and quick footwork had created space to exploit the openings,” he added. All in all it was an excellent win.
On Saturday it is a home tie against Long Buckby at Langford Road at 2.15pm. Buckby are third in the table with five wins and one loss.