Biggleswade 1st XV slip down the table after loss to Casuals19th February 2018
Northampton Casuals 22 Biggleswade 1st XV 0 Midlands 3 East (South)
Biggleswade lost to Northampton Casuals in their latest Midlands 3 East (South) match by twenty-two points to nil.
But as they had been seventeen points down by half-time Biggleswade did very well to keep the hosts restricted to just one score after that.
There was little wind but the pitch was tacky and hard to turn quickly on with any confidence. The conditions underfoot saw both winger Shane Austin and flanker Liam Dunne limp off with leg injuries, although Dunne hopes to be fit for next Saturday’s cup match.
In the home tie back in early November Biggleswade competed well until the last quarter when Casuals made certain of victory with a couple of late scores. On this occasion they secured victory with three first half tries but had to wait until the seventy-sixth minute to score the bonus fourth try.
Once again Biggleswade seemed to fall foul of the referee far too often giving away penalties for avoidable penalties. Also their first time tackle count was not as good as the high standard that they normally set themselves. Luckily Casuals first choice kicker was having a bad day missing the first four kicks before being replaced.
Casuals scored their first try when they ran the ball from the half-way line. The second from a catch-and-0drive after a penalty kick to the corner. The third try which was converted came after a kick to touch to clear the looming threat failed to cross the line.
There were some good moments. Euan Evans at full-back was sound under the high ball which he ran back deep into the Casuals’ defence. He was well supported by Will Simkins who also made some searing runs stretching his long legs with good effect. Alex Borg on the right wing also threatened but all runs started too far out to reach the try line and a score.
With Sean Hopper unavailable Michael Haddow played number eight with Gareth Rutt on the flank. Sean Munday had another run out and again looked solid taking the ball forward into contact. His fellow lock Paul O’Sullivan went closest to scoring a try just being edged out inches short after a move at the front of the lineout.
The result sees Biggleswade slip to seventh place in the league table. Next up is Northampton Men’s Own at home in two weeks’ time. Biggleswade won the away tie 44-15. The visitors are the basement boys and Biggleswade should be confident of a good win again.
Team: Jimmy Caulfield, Shane Manning (Sacha Heath), Dom Nott, Paul O’Sullivan, Sean Munday, Liam Dunne (Aaron Pickering), Gareth Rutt, Michael Haddow, Zack Pates, Luke Haverly, Alex Borg, Will Simkins, Michael Hall, Shane Austin (Gavin Taylor), Ieuan Evans.
Next up though is the rather important matter of a Bedfordshire Cup semi-final tie against Midlands 1 East side Leighton Buzzard. In recent years the two clubs paths have not crossed. The last recorded game was a tie in the Intermediate Cup in September 1997.
In 1991 when Biggleswade won the Cup for the first time Leighton Buzzard were downed in extra time on their own patch. That the game as a draw at the end of full-time allowed your correspondent then Chairman of the Playing Committee to get across to the ground. In the morning there was the South Beds Mini Festival being played at Langford Road. Biggleswade went on to appear in the East Midland’s Final losing to Towcestrians.
In their last league match Leighton lost to Huntingdon and is currently mid table. Every minnow has its day! The match is preceded by a buffet and kicks off at 2.15pm.