Biggleswade cut down to size in Forest reverse

Leicester Forest v Biggleswade. PNL-160127-123614002
Leicester Forest v Biggleswade. PNL-160127-123614002

Biggleswade’s trip to Leicester Forest on Saturday ended in another defeat in Midlands 2 East (South), going down by 23-7.

At half-time Biggleswade were still in with a shout with the scores seven points each.

But another gifted try from an interception and a string of successful penalties saw their hopes evaporate.

Unfortunately losing is now becoming a habit and the drop down a league looks a real possibility.

With skipper Dom Nott out with a back injury and several more changes, Michael Hall and Michael Kendall teamed up in the centre. Michael Haddow had to play scrum half again and Curtis Wilson started as number ten for only his second game this season.

The changes saw some uncertainties in the midfield and led to two soft tries for the home side.

The match also marked a second appearance of Dave Chesterton at loose-head prop. At 41 he is no spring chicken but as he said: you are a long time out of the game. He certainly gave it his best shot and was often to be seen leading the charge with some determined carries.

After last week’s postponement because of a frozen ground in Leicester, the pitch was heavy and greasy which made a quick turn at pace a lottery. But it also inhibited rapid acceleration so even if the first tackler failed to fully arrest a danger the cover was still able to mop up the threat.

Alex Borg who started in the back-row soon moved to the centre. He and fellow centre Michael Kendall (also a converted flanker) put themselves about tackling hard in defence and making some telling breaks.

It was Michael Kendall who scored Biggleswade’s only try after some good off-loads by several of his team-mates. Curtis Wilson added the conversion.

The score was then equal at seven points each. Earlier Biggleswade had gifted Leicester Forest a soft score when a floated pass was intercepted on the halfway line and run in under the posts.

The same thing happened at the start of the second period when Biggleswade had high hopes of using the slope to their advantage. The home side added three penalties as Biggleswade’s indiscretions were punished.

Unluckily Biggleswade lost the services of large Graham Williams who had started at number eight. The weight loss and stability at the back of the scrum was certainly noticed. Tudo Scheibner came on as hooker with Sasha Heath filling the number eight slot for possibly the only time in his rugby career. He still threw in at the lineouts which were their usual steady supplier of ball. But the scrummage was shakier.

The Forest did spurn a couple of kickable penalties in the first half to try and use the slope to score a try from the lineout. But Biggleswade were equal to the challenge and made sure that there was no way there to score.

Cameo moments included the chip kicks over the top from number nine Michael Haddow, the gritty tackling of Liam Dunne restored to the side after four weeks and the darting runs from Karl Lofty. On the negative side was another yellow card for Taig Norman with just two minutes on the clock. He was more sinned against than the sinner.

Next week Biggleswade are at home to Lutterworth who were a handful away from home and a big effort will be needed to get a decent result.

Biggleswade: D Chesterton, S Heath, J Caulfield, K Loan, S Bukowski, L Dunne, M Hall, G Williams (Tudo Scheibner), M Haddow, C Wilson, T Norman (W Roake), M Kendall, A Borg, G Rutt, K Lofty (L Haverley).

P W D L PF PA Bns Pts

Melton Mowbray 14 13 1 0 523 173 12 66

Mkt Harborough 14 12 0 2 419 200 11 59

Lutterworth 13 10 0 3 444 212 12 52

Oadby Wyggs 14 10 0 4 390 201 6 46

Belgrave 14 7 2 5 309 277 7 39

Oakham 14 7 0 7 261 306 6 34

Peterborough 14 5 0 9 305 354 6 26

Olney 14 5 0 9 259 469 4 24

Leicester Forest 14 5 0 9 196 435 2 22

Biggleswade 13 3 0 10 169 335 5 17

Vipers 13 1 2 10 194 353 9 17

Rushden & Higham 13 1 1 11 216 370 8 14