Biggleswade 1st XV fall to league champions in dying moments9th April 2018
Despite being ahead for most of the match Biggleswade finally went down to St Ives the league leaders by 23-33
After the cup match against Bedford Athletic Biggleswade had to make several changes with Matt Hill (Reading) and Michael Kendall (Stamford) returning to their current clubs. Jacob Grabowski and Aaron Pickering came back into the squad after being unavailable last week.
Last season after losing narrowly at home Biggleswade upset the form book by comprehensively defeating St Ives in the away tie. It looked that a similar result was on the cards as Biggleswade started very strongly.
Biggleswade played with the gusting wind at their backs and towards the lower end of the pitch. Normally a very wet tacky surface the newly installed transverse drains were still visible as they were filled in with sand had clearly doing the job required.
Kicking off Biggleswade took an early lead with the first of three successful penalties from fly-half Like Haverly. He was an important player in Biggleswade’s first try with a well-weighted kick towards the try line. Winger Alex Borg racing up at speed was first to touch the ball down just ahead of the covering defender. It was his fourteenth try of the season.
St Ives stung by this early reverse and urged on by their loyal crowd soon had their first points on the board. Biggleswade tackled hard but were over-whelmed by a relentless barrage of blue shirts and the try under the posts was inevitable.
After one optimistic attempt from over forty metres out Luke Haverly increased Biggleswade’s lead with another successful penalty. He also added the conversion of a try from flanker Gareth Rutt who used his speed to burst through the defensive line.
In the last move of the first half St Ives reduced the deficit with another converted try. All Biggleswade had to do was get the ball off the park but when under pressure this is a whole lot more difficult to do.
At the start of the second period Biggleswade stretched their lead with another penalty but couldn’t find a way to add to their try tally.
The scrums were solid but the gusting wind upset the best of throws at the lineouts. Biggleswade’s tackle count was high but St Ives had some bug runners who required two or more players to bring down.
I was not until the last quarter that St Ives finally snatched victory. A piece of brilliant individual play from the St Ives number ten led to one try. The other came from a charge down close to Biggleswade’s try line.
In the post-match huddle skipper Dom Nott expressed the feelings of all when he said that Biggleswade had been in with a shout until the wind advantage finally took its toll.
Team: Dom Nott, Sacha Heath, Jimmy Caulfield (Shane Manning), Shaun Munday, Kyle Loan (Aaron Pickering), Liam Dunne, Gareth Rutt, Michael Haddow, Zac Pates, Luke Haverly, Alex Borg, Michael Hall, Tom Flather, Jacob Grabowski, Ieuan Evans.
Biggleswade play their last home game of the current season on Saturday when they entertain Stockwood Park. On a freezing afternoon in late December they just squeezed home winning 12-10. Then the final match is an away trip to Leicester to take on Vipers. Currently second with equal points as Casuals they may well need a five point win to secure promotion