Improving Biggy agonisingly close to shock Market victory

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Biggleswade lost narrowly to second placed Market Harborough in their latest Midlands 2 East (South) match going down 18-15.

Biggleswade were in with a real sniff of a shock result taking the lead with just two minutes on the clock. But it was not to be and with just seconds left Market Harborough scored in the corner to settle the match.

At opposite ends of the league, Harborough in second place and Biggleswade second from bottom, it certainly didn’t show. With seven changes from last week Biggleswade put in a solid performance and were very unlucky to come second.

There were some great individual performances which inspired many to raise their game. Tall centre Will Simkins put in another quality performance filling the role as fly-half. He made one interception which led to Biggleswade’s opening score and kicked very well from hand.

Biggleswade had a bad start conceding a try in the first couple of minutes when just one early tackle was missed. But Biggleswade fought back and were rewarded with a penalty in front of the posts which Will Simkins slotted home.

Michael Haddow had again to don the number nine shirt while Michael Hall was in the centre. Second team captain Liam Price was once more drafted into the side. This week he played on the wing after second row last week! Such is the versatility of modern players.

Forty-nine year old Ian Flack started at second row after his surprise recall three weeks ago. He took on a managerial role at rucks and mauls giving advice to his younger colleagues as where best to expend their energy to the greater good.

After soaking up everything that Harborough threw at them in front of a large crowd swelled by a pre-match lunch Biggleswade spoilt the party atmosphere. As the home side were again pressing hard there came the magic moment as the speed of Simkins grabbed the interception putting Alex Borg in for a try. Simkins then added the conversion to put Biggleswade 10-5 ahead.

Biggleswade led for a long time until just before the break when sustained pressure by the home side led to them getting a try in the corner. Having had the fresh easterly wind in their favour in the first half Biggleswade may have feared an onslaught after the break. But inspired by skipper Dom Nott who seemed to be restored to his rampaging best they continued to make the hosts work hard.

A score looked likely on several occasions but determined Biggleswade defence kept them out. But one burst of over enthusiasm led to a penalty for Harborough to take the lead.

Biggleswade rang the changes bringing on forward replacements James Ramsey and Jack Lamb to provide fresh legs and give new impetus to the cause. As the clock ticked down Biggleswade was awarded a penalty which Will Simkins sent far down field. The ball was recycled a couple of times and the burly Michael Hall burst through the defence for the touchdown to give Biggleswade the lead.

From the restart a clean catch and hoof to touch was the best option. But with a wet ball and a greasy pitch this was never the simple choice. Instead Harborough fired up by the possible infamy of a defeat by the basement boys stung them to harry Biggy’s defence and just squeeze over in the corner for the decisive score.

Apart from the disappointment of the result which earned Biggy a losing bonus point for coming within seven points of the victors there was also a serious injury to winger James Woodfield.

If an ambulance had been available he would have gone in that to hospital with a suspected broken leg. It was later learnt that he had chipped a bone. The club sends their best wishes to him.

Biggleswade: D Nott, E Schneider, J Caulfield, I Flack (J Lamb), S Bukowski, L Dunne, S Heath, K Loan (J Ramsey), M Haddow, W Simkins, L Price, M Hall, A Borg, J Woodfield, C Wilson.