Biggleswade made it two wins on the trot with a hard fought 19-3 victory over Dunstablians in Midlands 3 East (South) – the match doubling up as the first round of the Bedfordshire Cup.
Saturday’s pitch was in excellent condition but the blustery wind made handling and kicking a tricky business. Biggleswade were the better side but lacked the killer instinct which could have brought them several more scores.
Biggy put out an almost unchanged side with winger Matt Horgan in for the unavailable Shane Austin letting Ieuan Evans move o full-back.
Dunstablians scored first with a penalty with just two minutes on the clock. Biggleswade were judged guilty of “holding on” after a tackle. They really need to try and cut down on the penalties as it often lost them good attacking positions.
The line-outs were much more secure than last week. When Dunstablians over threw it was invariably a Biggleswade back row player who came away with the ball.
The scrums though were bossed by the larger home team who had some old hands with more weight. That said when the opposition did try to batter their way through the Biggleswade line there was some courageous tackling. Michal Haddow won the coach’s praise for an excellent all- round afternoon.
Biggleswade’s first score came from a quick tapped penalty taken on by the mercurial Michael Hall who so often leads the charge. A Colonel Sharpe figure re-incarnated. Jimmy Caulfield straightened up the move and centre Alex Borg went over the line for the touchdown. Luke Haverly added the conversion to put Biggleswade in front.
The second try came from a break by number eight Michael Hall. The ball went through several pairs of hands until centre Gavin Taylor crossed the line and dotted the ball down with the minimum of fuss. Conversion over, Biggleswade were comfortably ahead .
Half-time saw Biggleswade get the advantage of the wind but were forced to defend hard as the home team spurred on by their partisan crowd threw everything at them.
But Biggleswade were up to the challenge and soaked up the pressure putting in many a covering tackle to save the day.
Having weathered the storm and thanks to an extra ten metres awarded for back-chat to the referee they advanced into the corner.
It then became a simpler task to catch and drive from the line out. Liam Dunne was the last man to have his hands on the ball as the pack crossed the line.
The hosts brought out an even larger but older player in a last ditch effort to wrest the game away from the visitor’s clutches. But any ground he made was from a long way out and Biggleswade just kept tackling their hearts out.
The win moves them to fifth place in the table with Leicester Forest the next league opponents in two weeks’ time.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Biggleswade are on the road again as they travel the 63 miles to play Kesteven in the second round of the Senior Vase having had a bye in the first round. Kesteven are in Midlands 3 East (North) and lie in second place in their league having played four matches and lost just once. A tight game could be on the cards for the game which kicks off at 3pm.