Club News and what’s on this weekend - April 26/27th
On Friday evening (Fri 18th) the Girls U-15 team travelled to Glasgow and Scotstoun to take part in the guard of honour prior to the Glasgow/Ulster match in the RaboProdirect match.
Having fulfilled a similar role the previous week at Edinburgh but having returned slightly disappointed by their reception, the Girls were delighted at the response in Glasgow on Friday when they played a match at half time and after the game met many of the Glasgow players. A great honour! Did you spot them on the BBC Alba programme?
The girls are also hosting a dominoes fund-raiser in the Cross Keys on Saturday for their tour to Stornoway. Entries are almost all complete but speak to Charlotte Court for details.
In what is another fantastic opportunity the players of the P6/7 mini section will be in attendance at Scotstoun on Saturday 26th when they form the guard of honour prior to the Glasgow/Edinburgh 1872 clash.
Paula Yardley is keen to know the names of all those who are able to attend so if you haven’t replied please do so asap so that arrangements can be finalised.
Twenty years ago almost to the day Biggar’s then U-18 side managed a historic National Cup final win when they defeated Kelso Harlequins in a match played at Boroughmuir’s ground in Edinburgh. That win will be celebrated on Saturday when almost all the winning side will gather at Hartree Mill for a 20th anniversary lunch. With players parents and now their own children in attendance it’s expected to be a fun affair, rekindling many memories from the 1990’s. There may still be some room left so if you haven’t managed to secure your place please speak to Stuart Harrison asap.
This coming weekend is another very full one with the following games scheduled.
Saturday U-15’s at Scotstoun VII’s – this is a repeat of the competition which was held back in January prior to the Glasgow/Edinburgh clash but which was eventually postponed after the pitch became flooded.
P3 at Stirling County tournament ) Coaches will be in touch re-times.
P4-7 at Currie tournament )
U-16 v Portobello in Edinburgh Cup final – Dunbar KO 3.30pm (this venue is still to be confirmed)
Senior VII at Peebles Sevens 1st tie v Howe of Fife KO 1.30pm (approximately)
Story date: 21/04/2014
Youth results from the weekend
Gala Wanderers Under 18 Sevens Tournament
Biggar – Runners up
Biggar Colts travelled down to Gala confident that this current squad could be a match for any other sevens team. This was again proven with Biggar just losing out in the final, not to a club Colts team but to George Watson's School who have arguably been the best School and Under 18 team in Scotland in the last few years. In February 2014 they convincingly won a play-off against Ayr Under 18.
The sevens final lived up to its billing as a clash of two top Scottish teams and it did not disappoint anyone. Biggar lost by 29 points to 12 but the scoreline does not reflect just how close it was right to the final whistle. Watson's knew they were in a final and were full of admiration for Biggar. Biggar had the superior skill level but could not match the fitness and stamina that Watson's had in the 2nd half. These boys train each day and are all put on fitness programmes .
Biggar Colts have gained many admirers throughout Scotland this year and it was nice to hear some of the Border teams remarking how impressive the sevens team is and how the Borders sides who play regular sevens are finding it hard to, at times, compete against our boys.
To get to the final Biggar put in impressive displays against Hawick Wanderers, Berwick and then beat Jed comfortably in what was a cracking encounter. in the last few weeks opposition have been finding it hard to get a hold of Reiss Cullen who continually cuts holes in defences easily.
So Biggar Colts have played in 3 tournaments so far this season, winning one and runners up in two. Gavin, Muz and Yogi hope it is 3rd time lucky next week at Selkirk!
The only problem lies in that the pitches are now getting so hard - this is having an impact with more injuries occurring and so stretching the squad.
Squad- Reiss Cullen, Stevie Campbell, Ali Sinclair, Gregor Stewart, Jack Warnock, Danny McAllister, Ryan Anderson, Kevin McCarry and Peter Miller.
Gala Under 16 Sevens Rugby Tournament
Biggar Under 16 – Runners up
Biggar Under 16 wanted to get one step better than last year at Gala where they were runners up to Stirling. Biggar could not better this but equalled last years’ result as they again ended up as runners up on Sunday to Melrose. In a thrilling final Biggar were 3 tries in front but then Melrose came back into the game to level the scores. Biggar went ahead again only to be pulled back before Melrose finally got in front and won the encounter by just 3 points.
Nobody present knew how this final was going finish until right up to the final whistle. It was easily the best final of the day and it certainly entertained the crowd.
However the day did not start off so well.
Biggar were in a pool of Melrose, Lasswade and Peebles so guaranteeing each team 3 games. Interestingly Biggar’s first tie was against Melrose, the two sides who eventually contested the final. Biggar just lost out against Melrose. They just could not get into the game of sevens and often wanted to play more like a fifteen aside game in areas such as wanting to take the contact and not passing quick enough.
It was hoped the cobwebs would be shrugged off before the second game against Lasswade but it was not to be and they struggled to cope with a fast, fit side and so lost out narrowly. Positive decision making was not happening.
A few positional changes and a few choice words from Gavin, Steve and Aird were made prior to the last game.
Biggar started to play better sevens against Peebles who they just managed to defeat. Stuart Affleck was certainly making an impact on the wing which ultimately was crucial for the win.
Biggar then surprisingly found themselves in the semi-final as Peebles, Lasswade and Biggar had won one game each but Biggar had the better points difference so going through with Melrose.
Biggar finally clicked in the semi-final and won comfortably over hosts Gala to set up a final against previous opponents Melrose.
But it was Melrose who won the final. Again Stuart Affleck, who moved to the wing early on in the day, was very impressive for Biggar with a number of tries and he was well backed up by Andrew Jardine who made some telling breaks to open games up.
All the boys put in a big shift on the day and with the hard ground meant they all had sore bodies at the end. Henry Adams took and injury in the semi-final which has effectively finished his season.
Squad- Ross Jackson, Mark Harrison, Ryan Ferguson, Martin Hunter, Craig Shearer, Stuart Affleck, Scott Thomson, Simon Denholm, Jack Court, Henry Adams and Andrew Jardine
PS – Many thanks to everyone texting me with encouraging remarks (aye right !!!!!!!!!!) on my recent coaching record over the last 2 weeks of being in 3 finals (2xU-18's and 1x U-16's) BUT not winning any. Just one win, in Peebles Colts event, one month ago. Cheers and thanks, Gavin!
A BIG thank you to Gavin for his match reports. Writing match reports to both Colts and U-16 matches adds an extra hour or so onto his weekend. Any volunteers to help him next season?
S2's at Gala
What a day! Beautiful sunshine and hard pitches...surely not I hear you say! Well it's true.
Conditions were ideal for some 'running' rugby of the sevens variety at Netherdale. To compete in these kinds of tournaments is all well and good but to win against some serious opposition is another thing entirely.
And guess what, Biggar S2 did, and did it well.
We could go on all day about the neat footwork and determination of Kotze, the pace of Forrest and the Stewart boys. Not to mention the commitment from Connelly and overdue scores from Ball and Wallis. Cottam, Hodge and Orr managed to give everything they had too.
Game 1 - Biggar 28 Lasswade 24
A slow start meant Biggar were chasing the game early on but managed to keep the heads up to win through more conversions than their opposition.
Game 2 - Biggar 31 Musselburgh 12
Biggar were on top of this game from the outset and had the lions share of the ball. Linking early and running for the space coupled with some neat support play saw them comprehensively over the line.
Game 3 - Biggar 12 Gala 31
Gala were a big, pacy side and proved a tougher nut to crack. With 7's pedigree showing, they put Biggar on the back foot. Gaps in S2's defence were caused by a loss of structure that Gala pounced on. No lack of effort though.
With two wins under their belts Biggar progressed to the Semi-final against the winner of the opposite pool, Kelso. Kelso defeated the tournament favourites, Melrose, earlier on in their pool match and proved to be a sharp side with good hands and plenty of commitment.
Semi-Final - Biggar 29 Kelso 14
What a Result!
Biggar got off to a flyer and ran in a score from the Kelso kick-off. Great start.
They quickly worked out that if they got 'In their faces' and put them under pressure, Kelso didn't fancy it much and started to wobble. Handling errors started to creep in and Biggar took full advantage. Kelso knocked out. Much to the surprise of their coaches. So there you have it. Biggar into the 7's Final!
Final - Biggar 0 Gala 50
Unfortunately Biggar had nothing left in the tank at this point. But who could blame them? The boys put everything into getting to the final. Gala proved just too strong in the end and ran out deserved winners.
Biggar S2's achieved something that many others before them have not. Playing in the final of a tournament on the famous Netherdale main pitch.
The boys should be extremely proud of themselves for their commitment and hard work in what was a great day to remember for team, individuals and Biggar RFC. Well done to all.
Biggar S2 - Stuart Forrest, Charles Connelly, Matthew Stewart, Lewis Stewart, Niall Ball, Shawn Cottam, Sam Wallis, Andrew Hodge, Robbie Orr, Luhann Kotze.
Story date: 21/04/2014
Biggar High School Win Lanarkshire Plate
Biggar High School ended a nearly 2 year wait for 15 a side rugby silverware with an U16’s win in the Lanarkshire Plate competition.
Biggar are regular finalists of the 1st tier Lanarkshire Cup competition having finished as runners-up to Calderglen last year, however following an extremely poor display against Duncanrig in the early rounds of this year’s competition they had to settle for competing for the Plate.
The competition culminated in a finals night on Monday 31st March where the finals of the 1st tier Cup, 2nd tier Plate and 3rd tier Bowl competitions were all due to be decided. However following the late withdrawal of 2 teams in the North Lanarkshire side of the draw, the competition was rejigged and Biggar were pitted against regular foe, Cup finalists Calderglen High School in a rematch of last year’s final.
While Biggar were guaranteed the plate and Calderglen were guaranteed the Cup notwithstanding the result of this game, the Biggar team had the opportunity to right some wrongs from last year where they had lost despite enjoying a healthy lead at half time.
Biggar started the game at a fantastic pace with the forwards stamping their authority on the game. Some hard running by Mark Ewart and Ross Jackson set a precedent giving the back line good opportunity to run. Being the faster team out of the blocks paid dividends for Biggar who raced into a 12-0 lead. Like in the two Schools previous meetings, Calderglen came right back into the game. A brace of penalties, a couple of loose kicks and handling error helped Calderglen exert considerable pressure on the Biggar line. While the defence held well 15 minutes Calderglen finally got reward for their pressure going over for a converted try. The remainder of the half passed in an even contest with only an excellent Andrew Jardine penalty adding to the score. Half time Biggar 15 – 7 Calderglen.
Given a roasting at half time Calderglen came right back into the game. With another brace of penalties going against them Biggar were kept pinned in their own 22. Scrum half Douglas Hill, who had come on for Angus Kerr at half time, gave his opposite number a torrid time exerting significant pressure at scrum time. The territorial advantage eventually paid with Calderglen going over for another converted try.
This acted as a wake-up call for Biggar who immediately upped the anti in defence. Credit must go to the Biggar back-row who starved the opposition 10 of time and space creating significant pressure and forcing mistakes. Biggar made the most of this pressure when a flowing back move saw Rory McGinn stopped just short. The forwards were there in number to drive over and finish the move from short range., simon Deholm getting the try.
Biggar added to their lead when William Grieve slid through a gap and sprinted in from 40 metres for a converted try. Calderglen once again came back and saw a flowing backs move finished off in the corner. After this scare the Biggar forwards exerted their dominance once again. From a fantastic kick through by Rowan Stewart, the forwards poured through the resultant lineout to force a dropped ball. William Grieve pounced on the ball to ground it to mark his 2nd try in what was a superb personal performance. Biggar saw out the last 5 minutes to claim their well-deserved 32-19 victory.
Many congratulations to the whole squad who showed a great deal of commitment and effort to shut down what is a strong and well organised Calderglen team. Congratulations also to Ross Jackson who earned the Man of the Match award for his hard running and defence and to William Grieve who earned the Coaches Player of the Match for his hard rucking and work ethic throughout.
Interesting to note that next year only 6 of the squad of 22 players will no longer be eligible for U16 rugby!
Biggar team: Rowan Stewart, Martin Hunter, Henry Adams, Andrew Jardine (c), Mark Harrison, Simon Denholm, Angus Kerr, Mark Ewart, Jordon Gray, Alistair Cameron, Andrew Reid, Guy Kelly, William Grieve, Stuart Affleck, Ross Jackson; Reps: Andrew Hodge, Craig Shearer, Craig Meikle, Lewis Currell, Douglas Hill, Marcus Dobie, Rory McGinn
The team after full time
Collecting their well deserved medals
Ross Jackson collects his 'Man of the Match' Award
Biggar High show of the Lanarkshire Plate.
Story date: 03/04/2014