A sizeable crowd watched Biggar lose 23-9 in their home clash against Peebles, with Biggar getting an unprecedented five yellow cards, writes Alistair Stewart.
All of these were for technical offences because while this was a typically hard fought local derby with no quarter given there were no real ‘incidents’ where players were toe-to-toe with each other.
The first half of Saturday’s BT National League Division 2 clash saw a total of 19 penalties, which in a 40 minute half means that there was a penalty on average every two minutes.
Add in lineouts and scrums and there was precious little actual game time. There were only 16 after the break...oh joy!
Aird Jardine’s early penalty for Biggar was cancelled out by a similar effort at the other end by Greg Raeburn, making it 3-3 after 10 minutes.
Robbie Lavery was yellow carded for Biggar, but the hosts went 6-3 up through another Jardine kick.
David Paterson received a harsh yellow card late in the half after allegedly being guilty of slowing play down in the ‘red’ area but Biggar remained ahead at half-time.
The second half had barely started when Biggar’s Ewan Stewart was sin binned for reaching out to catch a wide pass.
Peebles took advantage of having two extra men when lock Ross Brown surged over from 5m. Raeburn’s conversion made it 10-6.
Peebles number five Callum Lecky was then shown yellow for an infringement and Jardine kicked the penalty to reduce Biggar’s leeway to a single point.
But a Raeburn penalty then extended Peebles’s lead before Biggar skipper Andy Dunlop was yellow carded after clinging on to scrum half Anderson. Raeburn extended the Peebles lead to 16-9.
Campbell’s pass was then intercepted by Raeburn who galloped home for a deciding score. His conversion took Peebles clear at 23-9.
There was just enough time for Campbell to dive in to a tackle somewhat rashly, sheer frustration getting the better of him as he became Biggar’s fifth in the sin bin.
So another hugely frustrating afternoon for the supporters of the boys in black and of course for coaches Gary Mercer and Davy Wilson who continue to see their charges give everything they can but fall short as they fall foul of the man in the middle.
Despite suffering four straight defeats Biggar retain seventh spot in National 2.
Facing league leaders Kelso away from home this Saturday might see another loss unless the Biggar squad can repeat their early season feat and defeat Kelso who have since then been unbeaten.
Kelso have recruited heavily as they see getting National 1 status as a priority.