A New Year but the same result as Biggleswade lost their first game of 2016 by 24-8 to Belgrave in Midlands 2 East (South).
But there were green shoots of a revival in Biggleswade’s fortunes according to club captain Dominic Nott. “The boys did well and worked hard for each other. It has laid a foundation for our next games this month.”
Biggleswade had a dream start with an opening try on the board in the first two minutes.
The kick off was miss-read by Belgrave who lost their ball at the opening lineout. Biggleswade went through a couple of phases before right winger Gareth Rutt scored in the corner. It was his second try in successive matches.
Although the forwards were fairly evenly matched it was through their pack that Belgrave struck back. After a series of lineouts and scrums close to Biggleswade’s line Belgrave finally snuck through a tiny crack in the defensive wall. The conversion was missed so the score was five points each.
Belgrave’s rugby correspondence made the trip to Langford Road. He had researched that the music hall comedian Charles Penrose was born in Biggleswade (1873). But Mr Richard Pollard was completely unaware of Dan Albone (1860) the inventor of the light farm tractor and the Ivel Safety bicycle! The tractor invention being of far more interest to local horticulturalists of the area than the pen of Penrose.
On the field Biggleswade regained the lead through the boot of Will Simkins who slotted home a penalty. Will who was playing just his third game for Biggleswade is a very tall centre. He and mid-field partner Alex Borg had a busy afternoon tackling hordes of opposition players who threatened to overwhelm the Biggy line.
In the closing moments of the first half Belgrave was pushing hard for a try near the clubhouse but determined defence from the home side seemed to be keeping them out. But just as the tide appeared to have been stemmed the referee decided that an infringement by Biggleswade stopped a certain score so he headed for the posts to award a penalty try. The simple conversion over Biggleswade was down 12-8 at the break.
The second half was much more of the same with Belgrave able to finish off attacks just that little bit better than Biggleswade. They added two tries and one conversion while Biggleswade were unable to add to their tally. The Biggy Boys tried hard and were in with a shout several times but just lacked that bit of magic to find a way through the packed Belgrave barrier.
Biggleswade played 20 minutes of the second half without the services of first Michael Hall (repeated offence) and then Michael Haddow (tackle on non-ball carrier) who were both sent to the bin for ten minutes. Earlier scrum half Michael Trigg had been forced off with an injury so that Haddow and then Michael Kendall had to fill in at number nine. For Michael Haddow it was the first time that he had been shown a yellow card which is fairly unusual for a flanker.
Cameo moments for Biggleswade included right winger Gareth Rutt kicking for touch with his left boot and making a good job of it. Lock James Ramsey also put boot to ball which was not such a pretty sight.
For the next two Saturdays Biggleswade is in Leicester. First up is Vipers who Biggleswade beat at home 35-29. Then it is Leicester Forest when Biggleswade went down by three points 10-13 in what was seen then as a shock result.
Biggy: D Nott, S Heath, J Caulfield (A Burke), J Ramsey (K Loan), S Bukowski, M Haddow, M Kendall, M Hall, M Trigg (G Williams), M Hill, E Tunstall, Will Simkins, A Borg, G Rutt, K Lofty.