Preston Lodge 29-50 Biggar: Champions reach 101 points with win

Preston Lodge players applaud champions Biggar Rugby Club onto park before start of Saturdays match (Pic by Nigel Pacey)
Preston Lodge players applaud champions Biggar Rugby Club onto park before start of Saturdays match (Pic by Nigel Pacey)

After three previous postponements this last league match was finally played and with the win Biggar achieved their target of 101 National 2 League points, writes Alistair Stewart.

This is a truly magnificent total and one which not even the most optimistic would nhave dreamt possible as the season outset in August.

That 29 points were conceded was frustrating – this the highest number of points conceded by any opponents this season – but given that there was nothing really at stake and that the match had an ‘end of term’ feel to it this is perhaps not so surprising.

In addition the markedly much more pleasant conditions (a warm sun in Prestonpans where there were only clouds and rain in Biggar) only enhanced the desire to play open rugby.

Biggar were able to field a pretty much full 1st XV save for the absence of Ewan Stewart, Davy Reive and Rowan Stewart.

A very unfortunate accidental collision during the warm up involving Gregor Stewart and his brother meant that the centre lasted just a couple of minutes before being forced off the pitch.

Robbie Lavery started at scrum half but with Stewart’s retiral Luhann Kutze made a long awaited return from injury to play at scrum half with Robbie Lavery moving to centre and with Conor Lavery taking over at fullback from the bench.

There was a very nice touch accorded the Biggar side as they were clapped onto the pitch by their hosts in recognition of their Champions status.

Biggar opened the scoring after just four minutes. The side’s ability to attack from anywhere and particularly when a turnover is secured has been a feature of the Biggar play this season and so it proved on Saturday with several tries coming as their hosts had the ball in attack.

A loose pass or ball spilled in contact was quickly snaffled up and with pace and angles of running the PL defence was bamboozled and found wanting.

There was a tit-for-tat spell for the best part of the match with no fewer than 13 tries scored, four for the hosts and eight for Biggar.

PL kept in touch with Biggar with the half-time score of 24-17 meaning that the game was still very much for the taking.

An early Biggar try was immediately cancelled out by a brace from PL and so at 31-29 there were just two points sepwerating the sides.

Biggar were able to up their game however and a hat-trick of tries for Matthew Stewart took them clear at 50-29.

Matthew had a personal tally of 25 points and a season total of 191.

This was very probably his last game for Biggar as it his intention to move to Glasgow Hawks next season and test himself in the new Premiership.

Points on Saturday went to Ross Bradford, Kutze, Lewis Stewart, Conor Lavery, Matthew Stewart (three tries, five conversions) and Ewan Sanderson.

So champions Biggar ended the 2018-2019 Tennent’s National League Division 2 campaign with 101 points after winning no fewer than 21 of their 22 league games this season.