Biggleswade lost in the last minute of the game going down 18-23 at home to Olney in their latest Midlands 2 East (South) match.
Once again it was a case of what might have been as the long awaited victory was snatched away in the last few minutes. Last season Biggleswade had two convincing victories putting over 30 points on the board in each game. The fixture marked the debut of Tudo Scheibner at hooker and the first points for centre Will Simkins who made his first appearance last week.
Conditions for flowing rugby were not good with a strong gusty wind but the Biggleswade pack had the ascendancy all afternoon. It was very disappointed to be on the losing side yet again. It is now seven defeats in a row after winning the first three league ties.
Regular spectators who watched the debacle at Oakham last week when apparently Biggleswade did well to get nil in a 26 point defeat said that this was a much better performance. But the early loss of York university student Tom Flather back for the Christmas break was another blow to a three-quarter line which has struggled for much of the current campaign. Carl Lofty came on as a replacement and as always showed a smart turn of pace turning desperate defence into feisty forays.
It was Olney who opened the scoring taking full advantage of a missed tackle to put seven points on the board with a converted try. But the deficit was quickly reduced with a successful penalty kick from Will Simkins.
Biggleswade took the lead when number eight Jonathan Hamilton finished off a good move with a try in the clubhouse corner. It came at the end of a flowing move which was started off by second row Kyle Loan and involved several pairs of hands. The conversion was missed as was a difficult kick in the tricky wind. Olney though were more successful regaining the lead with a three point kick for a penalty awarded against the Biggy backs for being off-side.
But Biggleswade bounced back to regain the lead just before the break. Carl Lofty had a run with Michael Hall making a break with a powerful surging burst. Alex Borg crossed for the try and Will Simkins added the conversion.
Turning round just ahead with the wind now more of an asset Biggleswade fancied their chances.
Olney cut the deficit with another penalty when Biggleswade were adjudged to be ‘holding on’ after a tackle. Tudo Scheibner replaced club captain Dom Nott to make his debut with Sasha Heath moving to prop.
If players at level eight had electronic tags on their backs like top line players it might have been possible to give the tackle count which would have been very high. But it is the few missed ones which can have a greater bearing on the outcome of games. It was a couple which allowed Olney to regain the lead with another unconverted try in the corner.
Biggleswade seemed to be in with a shout of earning two points for a draw as Will Simkins kicked a penalty in front of the posts. But it was not too be and as tired limbs could not be forced to make one more effort. Olney snuck in for the winning try down the right flank. With seconds on the clock Biggleswade could not find the inspiration for getting another score.
On Saturday Biggleswade travel to Peterborough for the last of the first 11 matches in the league. After a poor start the hosts are now in seventh place, two above Biggleswade with four wins against Biggleswade’s three victories.
Biggleswade: D Nott (Tudo Scheibner), S Heath, A Burke, K Loan, S Bukowski, L Dunne, M Haddow, J Hamilton, M Trigg, T Flather (C Lofty), T Norman, Will Simkins, G Rutt M Hall, Will Roake, A Borg.