Jan 22 2009 by Andrew McGilvray, Hamilton Advertiser
BIGGAR’S winning streak came to an end on Saturday as derby rivals Peebles ran out narrow 12-8 winners in a tense Scottish Hydro Electric Premier 2 encounter.
The Hartreemill side are now perilously close to the relegation spots after results conspired to dump them two places down into 10th in the league table.
While the weather was undoubtedly a massive factor, Biggar couldn’t capitalise on an excellent opening try or the reduction of Peebles to 14 men for a variety of offences on three occasions
However, Biggar were rarely in their own 22, with all of Peebles’ points coming from the boot of stand-off Dan Broughtwood.
Thus, Biggar made costly errors at crucial times and were ultimately denied a vital win by their own indiscipline.
Biggar got off to a dream start by taking the lead after just four minutes. An early penalty led to a lineout in the Peebles half, ball won created a gap for Sam Muir to burst through and he made ground before spinning a pass out to centre Simeon James.
He made ground before being tackled, but was able to free the ball to Muir who crashed over. Chris McKeand had little chance of kicking the conversion into the fierce wind but Biggar led 5-0.
A Peebles penalty award quickly taken by Drew Moore caught Biggar napping and saw the penalty advanced 10 metres, with Broughtwood stepping up to slot for 5-3. Biggar didn’t take heed and three minutes later a similar award put Peebles 6-5 in front.
A foray into the Peebles 22 from a McLachlan pick exerted further pressure on the visitors’ defence, and although a rash kick by Broughtwood was correctly penalised with a yellow card from referee Gus Tweedale, McKeand was unable to score.
A free-kick to Biggar was taken quickly by Muir but knocked on in the resultant move, and ball won by the Peebles pack ended with a high tackle and a penalty. Broughtwood’s return to action was timely, and Biggar found themselves 9-5 down.
An offside yielded another opportunity for Peebles, and Broughtwood put them 12-5 in front at half-time.
The wind intensified in the second half, making play significantly more difficult.
Penalties were being awarded at a steady rate, and a block on Muir saw Peebles’ David Paton sin-binned. This was followed by a series of Biggar penalties, but they couldn’t take advantage.
Eventually, however, as Peebles hooker Trevor Keen was yellow-carded, Notman harnessed the conditions and reduced the deficit to 12-8.
Keen and Paton’s sin-bin stretches overlapped and at one point Biggar were up against 13, but they still couldn’t exert sufficient pressure and were forced to settle for a losing bonus point.
Biggar will hope to get back on track when they travel to GHA. Kick-off is at 2pm.