1st XV defeat Birstall10th January 2019
Biggleswade 45 Birstall 10
Midlands 3 East (South)
Biggleswade soundly thumped sixth placed Birstall overturning a big defeat in the away tie winning 45-10 in Midlands 3 East (South).
Back in September Biggleswade had lost by thirty points in their biggest defeat of the season. The suspicion that Birstall do not travel was borne out by this morale boosting victory.
Individually number eight Sam Watson was the star of the show with three tries out of seven but there were excellent performances from so many others.
Birstall kicked off and were quickly awarded a penalty. It was the first of many but the only one converted as Biggleswade again gave far too many away.
Their lead was short lived as Biggleswade swept downfield from the restart, Birtstall had some large lumpy forwards but they were no match in the scrums against a well co-ordinated Biggy Eight. The years of experience of the front row of Dave Tysom, Sacha Heath and Jimmy Caulfield were immense.
With this control it gave a sound platform for Sam Watson to pick up and go at a couple of scrums to power over from short range. He also made some rampaging charges which went over half the length of the pitch one of which lead to his hat trick try.
Zack Pates back after eight weeks out with a knee injury took on fly-half duties which allowed Tom Flather to regain his favourite position of centre. Flather tackled strong and scored a try under the posts when he deftly nipped down a worm hole in the Birstall defence.
Another to catch the eye was Elliot Tunstall who made some powerful runs from full back. He had a successful afternoon with the boot landing five conversions from seven attempts.
Tom (aka Luke) Nixon at flanker had a good game as did Jack Diemer in the second row. Every time the big lock was on the charge his loyal group of supporters went into raptures loudly applaud his try from short range.
Michael Haddow was rewarded for his immense amount of work with a try when he charged down an attempted clearance kick by Birstall on their try line. It was just his first try of the season.
Winger Tom Anderson was the other try scorer showing not only a clean pair of legs in the chase but also a safe pair of hands.
Late on Biggleswade used their bench to close out the game. Coach Will Wheeler replaced the captain at prop and the ever youthful Ian “Robbo” Robinson Tom Nixon on the flank. But even he was younger than the third replacement Steve Bishop who has not played first team rugby in this century!
The result moves Biggleswade up one place in the league table over Rushden whose own game was abandoned for unknown reasons. Biggleswade travel to Bourne for their next match on Saturday. The home tie was a comfortable 29-0 win but Bourne is a much tougher outfit at home. They are currently at the bottom of the table so this is an important match.
Team vs Birstall: Dave Tysom, Sacha Heath, Jimmy Caulfield (Will Wheeler), Jake Deveraux, Jack Diemer, Tom Nixon (Ian Robinson), Michael Haddow, Sam Watson, Luke Gadsby, Zack Pates, Tom Anderson (Steve Bishop), Tom Flather, Tom Seabrook, Shaun Munday, Elliot Tunstall.
Photo credit to David Kay