Biggar stretch lead at the top
BIGGAR ............................. 45 FALKIRK ............................... 5 Biggar made a dream start to 2019 with a comprehensivetennent’s National League 2 win over Falkirk, stretching their lead over idle Highland to nine points.
The two will clash head-to-head on January 19, and while the Inverness side have a game in hand, Biggar have points on the board, meaning it’s up to Highland to catch them.
Falkirk enjoyed good possession and territory in the opening exchanges, but when they tried to make an assault on the line, Jamie Orr intercepted and took play swiftly away from the danger area.
Subsequent handling errors put Falkirk under more pressure, but a rolling maul which was deemed to be a case of obstruction allowed them to clear.
Another line drive with flanker Chris Mulligan in the van was eventually brought down, but with possession retained, Biggar stand-off Conor Lavery drifted through the splintered defence for a try under the posts, which Matthew Stewart converted for 7-0.
On the half-hour mark Biggar doubled their lead after winger Ross Bradford glided through the Falkirk defence to set up a fine attacking position.
Matthew Stewart and Orr continued the good work, which prompted Lavery to release Ross Jackson for their second try of the game, again converted by Matthew Stewart.
Prop Donald Voas was next to cross the whitewash, his powerful run from some 30 metres out seeing him go round, through and over the stretched defence for a try in the corner, and a 19-0 lead.
Falkirk hit back on the stroke of half-time, when a penalty was advanced for chat, which set them up for a lineout close to the Biggar try line. Ball was driven by the pack, before play was spread right, where Conor Faulds offloaded to his brother Glen to cross in the corner, reducing the deficit to 19-5.
A hamstring problem robbed Falkirk of Conor Faulds, and while the injury isn’t too serious, it helped Biggar’s cause as he had been presenting problems for the defence.
Biggar claimed their fourth try with less than 10 minutes of the half gone, when, after several attempts had been repelled, Lavery took advantage of the stretched defence to touch down for 24-5.
Falkirk tried to attack and a promising move was ended as Ross Bradford stuck out a hand, grabbed the ball, and set off on what was a 90-metre sprint for the line, beating the cover defence to score, with Matthew Stewart’s conversion stretching the lead to 31-5.
Five minutes later and it was Matthew Stewart who managed to beat the Falkirk defence and get on the end of a neat Lavery chip to get between the Falkirk cover and score, with Matthew Stewart slotting the extras.
Biggar were keen to increase their tally and they should maybe have done so sooner, but accuracy let them down with the line in sight on a few occasions.
The final score of the afternoon fell to Chris Mulligan, who benefited from Davie Reive’s hassling at the scrum base. The ball popped up nicely for Mulligan, who attacked the line at full pace to cross untouched for a try, converted again by Matthew Stewart.
First foot Conor Lavery scored Biggar’s first try of 2019 in their 45-5 win at Falkirk (Pic by Nigel Pacey)