Biggleswade 1st XV back to winning ways in final home game of season16th April 2018
Biggleswade bounced back from last week’s defeat to beat Stockwood Park 36-14 in Midlands 3 East (South) writes Nigel Aldis.
On the warmest day of the year so far Biggleswade entertained the shirt-sleeved crowd to five tries and a few alarms along the way. Both sides were guilty of some wayward passing which led to tries against the run of play, but Biggleswade started and finished the stronger and always seemed to have the edge.
Paul O’Sullivan back from a break in New York returned to the side along with Gavin Taylor and Elliot Tunstall. Coach Shane Manning normally a hooker started at number eight retiring to catch his breath after thirty minutes on the park.
Biggleswade took an early lead after a kick into the corner near the clubhouse. As the driving maul went over the line flanker Liam Dunne had the ball in hand for the touchdown. Luke Haverly added the conversion from near the touchline. The warmer weather seems to suit his game as landed four conversions, a penalty and generally kicked well from hand.
The Biggy pack was on top in the set scrums and more than held their own at the lineout. But any thoughts of an easy win were shattered when a stray pass was intercepted by a Stockwood player. He ran sixty metres to open the visitors account. The conversion over it was seven points all.
Stockwood Park threatened to add to their tally but a try saving tackle from full-back Elliot Tunstall turned the tables. Centre Michael Hall assisted and went the length of the pitch to score at the other end. Some Park players were so stunned they did not join their team mates behind the posts for the conversion.
Biggleswade stretched their lead with a third try after a patient build up. The ball was recycled time and again across the field until flanker Liam Dunne got his second try of the afternoon for not the first time this season.
Luke Haverly stretched the lead with a penalty from in front of the posts. But as the half-time break loomed Stockwood Park hit back with their second try.
But the visitors were scoreless in the second half as Biggleswade added to their total to secure a bonus point and make the score line reflect their dominance.
Biggleswade emptied their bench at the start of the second half bringing on Aaron Pickering to replace Paul O’Sullivan and Gavin Taylor for Elliot Tunstall.
Having grabbed a try to an interception it was the visitors’ turn to unwilling repay the bounty. Winger Tom Flather was the lucky player and he made no mistake to record his fifth try in seven matches all played when not at university.
The last touchdown was scored by a more reluctant try scorer. Michael Haddow who took twenty-two matches to open his points profile added his second of the season when the forwards turned up the power to full throttle. The Biggy pack put in a massive shove on the Park’s put in at a five metre scrum. Number eight Michael Haddow fell on the ball as it crossed the line.
The result means that Biggleswade are certain of at least finishing in sixth place with one match left to play. This is a trip to Blaby in Leicester to take on the Vipers who need a point to be absolutely certain of being promoted.
Squad: Dom Nott, Sacha Heath, Jimmy Caulfield (Shaun Munday), Paul O’Sullivan, Gareth Rutt, Liam Dunne, Michael Haddow, Shane Manning (Aaron Pickering), Zac Pates, Luke Haverly, Tom Flather, Michael Hall, Ieuan Evans, Jacob Grabowski, Eliot Tunstall (Gavin Taylor).
Biggleswade Rugby Club would also like to thank our two new sponsors, Woods Bakery and Bartram.