BIGGAR Rugby Club were heavily defeated 32-10 in their opening National League fixture at home to Kelso last Saturday.
Kelso took control from the start and took an early 7-0 lead when Corey Venus’s seventh minute try was converted by stand-off Ben Cooper.
Further incursions on the Biggar 22 were repelled although on one occasion following a huge forward drive, referee Kevin White blew to award a five metre scrum after Kelso had crossed the line but had been unable to touch the ball down.
A Cooper penalty increased Kelso’s lead to 10-0, before Biggar hit back when centre Bertram latched onto a pass in front of the posts before weaving his way through and around at least five Kelso players to score a spectacular try just to the left of the posts.
Parker converted for 10-7.
Biggar appeared to enjoy a major break when a Cooper penalty had apparently bisected the posts but failed to convince the touch judges.
Biggar escaped before gaining a penalty of their own which Parker duly despatched for a 10-10 half-time scoreline.
There were few Biggar supporters who were unhappy with the score, the performance or the fact that the wind was to blow on the Biggar backs in the second half.
Kelso obviously didn’t read the script however, as their pack came out with all guns blazing and took, via a well-organised and disciplined approach, the game to Biggar from the off.
Biggar’s cause was not helped as Charles Cochrane was forced off the pitch with a badly dislocated pinky finger although he did make a return to action after some delicate manipulation!
Parker was just off target with a penalty award, this another kick which seemed to split the posts to all bar the match officials, before the first score of the second half arrived.
This came after a series of good driving plays from the Kelso pack paved the way for Richard Minto to cross for a try converted by Cooper; 17-10 to Kelso.
On the hour mark Kelso drew blood again with a try from No 8 Michael Robertson, who had been a thorn in the flesh for Biggar for much of the game.
One plus point for Biggar was the performance of flanker James Simpson, who took man-of-the-match honours thanks to a display which saw him make some spectacular hits on the Kelso carriers.
After Parker had come agonisingly close to scoring a Biggar try, Kelso ran in another score when centre Dom Buckley rounded off a very good breakout from lock Donald Seed. Cooper was off target with the conversion.
Ewan McAlpine then took the field alongside Harrison who had been replaced earlier in the game.
While Biggar were able to exert some good positions, a mix-up between the backs saw the ball intercepted and Gregor Millar ran in for a try which, when converted, ended the game.
There is no doubting the disappointment felt by Biggar. But spirits remain high and there is a definite ‘buzz’ in the dressing room. Defeat will rankle though – the prospect of a trip to Watsonians not being an easy one.