League leaders Biggar Rugby Club further strengthened their title hopes by thrashing Highland 31-0 at Hartreemill on Saturday.
Biggar are now seven points ahead of second placed Heriot’s Blues in Tennent’s National Division 1, after seeing off the only team to have beaten them in the league all season without the concession of a single point.
In very taxing conditions, Biggar produced what many spectators believed to be one of their most complete performances of the season.
A series of early driving plays took Biggar into the Highland 5m area and after a patient build up was thwarted by some stout Highland defence, prop Richard Bassett managed to crash over for the opening score, converted by Jardine for 7-0.
Lock Craig Borthwick was next to almost score, before the penalty try which took Biggar to 14-0 and then to compound matters for Highland, referee Changleng gave a yellow card to Highland’s loose head prop as the scrum continued to creak.
Half-time saw both sides scurry to the changing rooms for shelter and a fresh set of strips while spectators made for the tea cabin and a hot drink.
Thankfully, from a Biggar point of view at least, the wind and rain both eased for the second half.
Another passage of play which had Biggar knocking on the door of the Highland line was rounded off by Ross Jackson who drove over from close range to take Biggar to a 19-0 lead.
Jardine had had a productive afternoon at stand off with some very determined forays into the Highland defence but it was from one of the these that he picked up a shoulder injury – ironically he injured the same shoulder in the first Highland match.
He was replaced by Barr with Rowan Stewart moving into centre and Mark Bertram coming off the bench.
It was the ‘new’ centre who scored the bonus point winning try. Rory Hutton, whose footwork and caused Highland some problems previously, created space with another mazy run and with some options available it was Stewart who snapped up the pass to cross in the corner.
The final try, the last play of the afternoon, came from a lineout.
Ball won by Orr was quickly shifted by Bogle to Peacock who, as he has done oft before, cruised through a big space to dot the ball down.
Bogle’s conversion took Biggar to 31-0 and the success also marked the end of the match.
There was massive satisfaction gained from the performance and the manner of the win.
Biggar: R. Orr, R. Stewart, R. Hutton, J. Barr, R. Bradford, A. Jardine, D. Reive, D. Voas, C. Mulligan, R. Bassett, C. Borthwick, J. Orr, E. Sanderson, L. Stewart, R. Jackson. Reps: E. Stewart, P. Davidson, A. Peacock, E. Bogle, M. Bertram.
This coming weekend Biggar travel to take on Ayr in the league, kick-off 4pm.