Biggleswade 3rd XV overturn half-time deficit11th October 2017
Biggleswade 3rd XV 47 –24 Milton Keynes 3rd XV
This week Biggleswade 3s entertained Milton Keynes 3s whom they had played in their opening game of the season. With the season in full swing and a cancelled Vets game, the side had an experienced feel to it.
With Liam Price facing his old club- rightly chomping at the bit to get stuck in- there was a focus to put right the loss that Biggy 3s suffered on the away leg. It was also a notable occasion for Gareth Jones who made his 3rd team debut; hopefully this is the first of many.
With another week where substitutes were available it was only right that something didn’t go to plan. Milton Keynes had turned up with only one front row player, so had to borrow three Biggy players to allow contested scrums to go ahead. This created an interesting matchup in the front row with captain Dave Tysom volunteering as tribute. Liam Price also swapped sides to wear the MK jersey once, helping to set up the head-to-head battle he termed as “the old versus the new” against Jack Unite.
The first half was a reasonably even affair which resulted in Biggleswade actually going in at half-time 14-7 down. With some regular players unavailable Jimmy ‘The Eel’ Young stepped up to be Biggleswade’s sole jumper. This worked to great effect with Jimmy using his slippery skill set to fox the opposition jumpers to secure regular ball alongside doing a good job disrupting the MK lineout.
Milton Keynes did, however, manage to gain an upper hand due to their better discipline. This meant that, although Biggy 3s played some good rugby, they regularly saw their hard work go to waste by giving away penalties. On one such occasion, with the 3s defence asleep, the MK openside took a quick tap and sped through to go under the posts.
Biggleswade’s return effort was a silky affair. Jimmy Young broke from the back of the scrum, in turn feeding Nigel Hutchison, who then looked for support only to find them held back by the opposition. With no other option he chose to take the direct route and beat the full back. With little left in the tank, a pass was made to Jimmy Young who had tracked well, catching the pass and winning the race for the white line to the delight of the assembled faithful.
In the second half Biggleswade sharpened up putting in a big defensive shift. Although permeated by a few too many penalties for Captain Dave’s liking, when combined with an increased amount of turnovers the 3s were able to run riot.
Particular highlights include Jakub Grabowski’s direct running style, taking advantage of MK’s need to kick for territory; he regularly returned it with interest. One such encounter saw Jakub run from the 22 all the way to the other end of the pitch, only to be tackled at the last moment. Unsurprisingly, being ten metres out, Jimmy Hart was on hand to stroll over the line.
Not to be outdone Shane McNeill, a new addition to the 3s team this season, returned the following kick off straight back. Evading several MK defenders to go over for his first of what we are sure will be many tries.
Next week the 3s look forward to a league match at home against Letchworth 3s. With the attacking flair on show again, and an improved defensive performance, the onus will be on cutting out the penalties if the 3s are to get back to winning ways in the league.
Tries: G Taylor x4, S McNeill, J Hart, J Young
Conversions: Made by a variety of players, although G Taylor missed the last one to ruin the 100% record.
Biggy 3s: A Applegate, J Unite, R Arnold, I Flack, Mark Robinson (D Tysom), Callum W, Jimmy Y, J Davis; Nigel Hutchison (D Rogers), J Hart, Michael Showell, Gavin Taylor, Shane McNeill, Gareth Jones, Jakub Grabowski
Players given to MK: M Salter, L Price, D Tysom