U14: Biggleswade 12- Kettering 3131st January 2018
The Under 14`s put up a spirited performance going down 31-12 to a strong Kettering side. On balance the opposition probably deserved the win, but it was a far closer match than the scoreline suggests. Kettering started strongly, going through several phases of play to continually press the Biggleswade line, but the home sides defence held strong as they resisted the early threat.
Biggleswade grew into the game and gradually got a foothold in the match with several phases of possession in the opposition half. Just when it looked like Biggleswade were the most likely to score, Kettering turned the ball over and exploited a gap on the wing to run in the opening score.
Things got worse for the home team as Kettering quickly added a second try. Biggleswade steadied the ship and started to win plenty of the ball at the breakdown, something that has been missing from our recent games.
Just before the break, Biggleswade were rewarded for their efforts as they forced a penalty near the opposition line. A quick tap and go followed with Ben Yates driving over to narrow the deficit. A tactical reshuffle saw Luke Howells moving into the pack from centre and several positional changes amongst the backs. Biggleswade coped well with the changes, with the pack more than holding there own and the backs able to nullify the threat of the strong running Kettering back line.
With the score at 12-5 at the break , Biggleswade were right in the game. Unfortunately we were slow to react from the restart as Kettering gathered the ball in there own 22 to score an excellent breakaway try. Once again Biggy fought back, with scrum half Quinn Heath a constant thorn in the opposition side with his trading sniping carries.
Biggleswade now started to find a bit of space out wide getting decent ball to Adam White who looked to go exploit space down the left wing, but the opposition defence stood firm nullifying the speedsters threat with several last gasp defensive tackles.
Eventually pressure told for the home side as they gained a scrum on the opposition 22. A good shove by the pack put pressure on the scrum allowing Ben Y to pick up from the base. With a 2 on 1 against the opposition winger, he sold him a dummy pass to Adam before quickly changing direction to wrong foot the defender, going through and scoring beneath the posts. A routine conversion from Ollie Pike followed to narrow the gap to 19-12. This was the closest that Biggleswade got to the opposition, but still had plenty of chances. A strong carry by Kai Collinson looked particularly threatening, but unfortunately the ball was turned over, allowing Kettering to score another breakaway try. With the match now won, Kettering added another score to run out 31-12 winners in a tough well contested game. In territory and possession terms, Biggleswade at least matched their opposition, but the guile and linkwork of the opponents was the deciding factor on the day.
With the luxury of 2 subs, Biggleswade were able to rotate the squad to cover injuries and freshen things up. This showed in our performance, as despite facing a big well drilled squad Biggy competed well in every facet of the game and can hold their heads up high through strong workrate all round, especially in the pack.
Man of the match jointly went to Luke Howells and Ben Yates.