Biggleswade Men's 1sts upset the form book with away win

Strong away performance as Biggleswade beat top three team Rushden & Higham
Gav Taylor about to ground his try (Photo by Lisa Dillinger).Gav Taylor about to ground his try (Photo by Lisa Dillinger).
Gav Taylor about to ground his try (Photo by Lisa Dillinger).

Rushden & Higham Men’s 1st XV 25 - 29 Biggleswade Men’s 1st XV

Biggleswade upset the form book this week on their trip to Higham Ferrers on Saturday 12 February. The third placed Northamptonshire outfit received a real shock with only two late tries making the scoreline more respectable for them.

Playing up the slope, the visitors were dominant in the first twenty minutes, tearing Higham’s defence to shreds and shocking the home crowd into silence.

“You’ve got them rattled now, Biggy!” was the Biggleswade sideline shout, with a Higham old-timer muttering in agreement: “Yes, you have!”

Biggleswade threatened an early score, and it soon came. A penalty kicked into the corner led to a catch & drive, with Ben Yates at the bottom of the heap as the pack drove over the line.

A Rushden penalty at the other end for one of a series conceded at the scrum was soon cancelled out by a second Biggy try. It came in similar fashion, with centre Gav Taylor - still a flanker at heart - claiming the score.

Rushden kicked another penalty in a vain attempt to stay in touch, but it just resulted in another Biggleswade try. Again, it was the forwards who turned up the gas and muscled their way over the line. Lock James West, who enjoyed many a run with ball in hand, had the strength to get over the line.

The game was only twenty minutes old and Biggleswade had struck three times. Influential prop Dom Nott was unavailable for the game, but Biggy welcomed back the experienced Kyle Loan who helped the pack dominate.

Jack Sharp moved to scrum half to replace the unavailable Quentin Heath. Always quick to the breakdown, he recycled the ball with speed and accuracy.

The team had one notable change from the published team sheet with coach Matt being replaced by the considerably younger Kareem Davies. The Sam Whit schoolboy showed his considerable pace chasing kicks ahead. He had a couple of good runs when the ball reached him on the wing.

Biggleswade’s bonus point try came from a storming run by centre Ollie Vagg. He burst through the Rushden line from 10 metres out, brushed off a couple of would-be tacklers and headed for the posts. Kicker Sam Woods added a third successful conversion to leave Biggleswade 15 points ahead at the break.

Biggleswade dominated thirty minutes of the second half, camping in Rushden’s 22 but only added a solitary Woods penalty to their tally.

In the final ten, the home team managed a couple of converted tries to narrow the gap. But Biggy finished the match battering away at Rushden’s try line. Final score 25-29.

Team: Ben Yates, Luke Dillinger (Matt Cowley), Kyle Loan, James Emerson, James West, Jason Beal (Jamie Alford), Elliot Tunstall, Del Tribeck, Jack Sharp, Sam Woods, Kareem Davies, Ollie Vagg, Gavin Taylor, Jacob Grabowski, Rich Sinclair, Chris Horgan.

MATCH REPORT: Nigel AldisPHOTO: Lisa Dillinger

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