Biggleswade 1st XV 19 - 0 Northampton Mens Own
Northampton Mens Own were sitting at the top of the league before Saturday’s game at Biggleswade, but a great team performance from Biggy’s 1st XV ended the visitor’s unbeaten league run.
It took just 10 minutes for fullback Chris Simons to put Biggleswade on the score board with a try, setting a good platform.
Mens Own came back fighting, winning their own lineout on the half way and attacking the Biggleswade defensive line. Strong tackles from Gavin Taylor kept the visitors outside the Biggy 22. Olli Vagg led the defensive structure from the centre and brought the Biggy line up with speed, ensuring the Mens Own back line had no room to react and attack. When the visitors did manage to get the ball out wide to their winger, Tom Anderson stopped him in his tracks, tackling him into touch.
Mens Own kicked a penalty to within 15 metres of the Biggy try line. The lineout was caught and quickly shipped out to the waiting back line, only to be stopped again by the quick-off-the-mark Biggy defence. The pressure paid off as Biggy won the ball back through some strong forward rucking to enable the clearance by Taylor up to half way.
Aaron Pickering came on for the injured Jack Diemer.
Mens Own looked to get the ball out wide to their quick wingers but superb tackling from Anderson and Jakub Grabowski stopped them getting through to score. Wave after wave of attack was absorbed by the Biggy defence with Kyle Loan eventually turning the ball over for the Biggy boys to clear.
Mens Own showed strength to push Biggleswade off the scrum, allowing the visitors to kick towards the touch line just inside the Biggy 22. The ball was passed wide to the Mens Own wing who off-loaded to a bigger front row player to break the Biggy line but the determined home forwards won the turnover and cleared well.
A lineout 10 metres out from the opposition’s try line saw a strong catch and drive from Biggleswade. Several pick and drives from the forwards drew in the defence enough for Jake Devereux to crash over the line for Biggy’s second try of the day, making the half time score 12-0.
Biggy were in the groove and put pressure straight back onto the Mens Own winger after the break as Taylor kicked over the top for Grabowski to chase. The resulting lineout went to ground for Andy Burke to fly hack the ball through which he chased himself making 30 yards and collecting the ball 5 metres out. However, a penalty conceded by Biggy allowed the opposition to clear.
A lineout was caught and driven well by Biggy but a penalty was awarded for not being bound onto the ruck correctly. Mens Own kicked into touch close to the Biggleswade try line. But again the home side’s defensive pressure forced an error from the visitors and they knocked on.
A great break from Taylor saw him run the ball out of the Biggy half and draw the infringement, allowing a kick to touch just inside the opposition half. But when the Biggy throw did not travel 5 metres Mens Own chose to take the line out and make a quick kick over the defensive line which Chris Simons gathered and ran back.
Biggleswade absorbed the growing pressure from Mens Own and refused to let them through. A scrum just outside the Biggy 5 metre line saw Number 8 Loan make a strong pick and go.
Biggleswade were now looking to finish the game off. An infringement from the visitors and some back chat saw them lose another 10 metres. A drive from Biggy gained more ground but Mens Own won the free kick allowing them to clear - but only as far as Anderson who ran the ball back into their 22.
Biggy caught lineout ball against the head and set up attack after attack from the Biggy forwards, who were tying in the Mens Own defence. The pressure paid off with Grabowski running in Biggy’s third try of the afternoon under the posts (converted by Vagg) bringing the final score to 19-0 to the jubilant home side.
A superb performance by each and every player, all playing for each other and the honour of playing for their club.
Photos by David Kay