GHA RFC MATCH 105: BIGGAR RFC 13 – 36 GHA RFC
2006/2007: Scottish Premiership Two
|Notman||Try||Harkness, Rushforth, Welsh, Penalty|
|Sharman (2)||Pen||Noonan (4)|
A larger than usual crowd gathered at Hartreemill for this Premiership Division 2 clash, the numbers boosted by many founder members and ex-players there to pay tribute to David Robertson, Biggar’s first captain and a founder member of the club.
The two teams and Biggar’s seond team, of whom David Jnr. is a prominent member, lined up pre-match to observe a minutes silence in memory of a man who contributed much to the developent of the club. As a result of their continuing injury crisis Biggar showed several changes with Reive, Watson and McKeand staring in the back division and Fowler int he forwards.
As has become customary, Biggar started well and should have taken the lead after four minutes when following huge drives, firstly by the forwards, then by Logan with the line beckoning a dropped pass allowed GHA to clear and the chance was lost. Despite the advantage of the slope and breeze this was to prove the last spell of concerted pressure applied by Biggar during the first half and indeed following a twelfth minute penalty for GHA the next incident of any note came in the 27th minute when, following four phases of play the GHA stand-off kicked wide and a kindly bounce allowed Rushforth to cross untouched, with the consistent Noonan adding the conversion.
Worse was to follow when following a deliberate knock on Manwatti was, rather harshly, yellow carded and the resultant kick to the corner was won by the GHA pack and driven over the Biggar line to give them a lead of 15-0 at half time.
The second half started with McAlpine coming on in the back row. However, his first contribution was to be sent from the field following an incident missed by many, including the referee, who had to rely on his touch judge before flashing a red card for an alleged punch. Now down to six forwards the Biggar defence was severely stretched and despite holding up the huge GHA pack on three occasions the referee, almost inevitably, awarded a penalty try giving GHA a 22 point cushion and putting them virtually out of reach.
However, showing great spirit and with Manwatti back on the field the Biggar forwards upped their game and two Sharman penalties were scant reward for a good spell of pressure. With 15 minutes remaining, and the short handed Biggar forwards visibly tiring, GHA were able to kill the game off with a push over try credited to their number eight and converted by Noonan.
Despite an excellent late try by Notman this was to prove no more than a consolation and the game came to an end leaving Biggar to face up to the fact that they are now deep in a relegation battle and cool heads will be required over the next few weeks.
Source: The Scotsman, Sunday 22nd October 2006 & The Peebleshire News, Thursday 26th October 2006