National One round-up: Biggar march on with big win on the road

Heriot's Blues and Highland keep the pressure on in second and third place, while Melrose slip back after Border derby loss to Gala

Biggar's march at the top of the table continued with a big win at Cartha Queens Park on Saturday. Image: Nigel Pacey
Biggar's march at the top of the table continued with a big win at Cartha Queens Park on Saturday. Image: Nigel Pacey

BIGGAR brought up the half century in league points gained with a convincing win on the road against Cartha Queens Park on Saturday. They now have a seven point lead at the top over Heriot’s Blues who beat Ayr at Goldanacre, while Gala defeated Melrose in a Border derby.

At Dumbreck, Biggar got off to a great start with a a penalty try from a driving maul, then Jamie Orr, Craig Borthwick, Rory Hutton and Chris Mulligan went over while Andy Jardine kicked four conversions for a 33-14 half time lead. Hutton and Ross Jackson scored Biggar’s tries in the second period as they got home 43-26.

Cartha did manage to take a four try bonus from the game thanks to scores from Michael Robertson, Graeme Docherty (2) and Callum Dickson, with Wayne Burrows converting three.


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Talking points from round ten of the Tennent’s Premiership


“We put Cartha under pressure in the first half and scored a number of good tries, but we didn’t make Cartha work hard enough for their scores,” Biggar player/coach Craig Borthwick said. “The ones we conceded were not acceptable from us as a team and it is something we will be working on this week, but it is nice to be able to be that critical when we still got five points.”

Heriot’s Blues were on top at Goldenacre against Ayr with the hosts running out 38-0 winners. Their tries in a bonus point triumph were scored by Graham Wilson, Danny Dineen, Nick Sutherland, Martin Hughes and Charlie Simpson, while they were also awarded a penalty try and Wilson kicked four conversions.

Melrose are down to fourth place while Gala have sprung up to fifth after the Maroons won a typically feisty clash at The Greenyards. A converted try by skipper Euan Dods put the home side up before a converted effort from James Brown for Melrose levelled things up.

With Melrose’sThomas Brown in the sin-bin, a Dean Keddie penalty made it 10-7 to Gala and they never looked back. Dods scored his second try, which Keddie converted to make it 17-7 at the break, and in the second half a converted effort by Andrew Mitchell completed the victory.

“It was a great team performance from the boys against our old rivals in tough conditions,” Gala head coach Opeta Palepoi stated. “We controlled the ball better an took are chances when they came around. I thought overall it was defence that won us this game.

“Melrose were in our 22 on quite a few occasions, but we stopped them from taking points away and that was pleasing to see. Credit to the captain and the boys for battling right to the final whistle.”

Turnberry Hotel

Highland are third after a bonus-point away win at Stirling Wolves. The Inverness men won 29-22 at Bridgehaugh, with Oscar Baird, Seumas Ross and Rupeni Rokoduguni among their try scorers.

The Wolves took away a losing bonus point from this one after battling back from 29-3 down, scoring tries through Owen Jarvie, Keir Singleton and James Gibson with skipper Jonny Hope kicking seven points.

Watsonians made it five home wins from five in the league with a 24-20 victory over Boroughmuir to leave them 14 points clear of their local rivals. Callum Lauder and Stuart Allison (2) scored Watsonians tries and Kerr Stoddart kicked nine points in tricky conditions as they held on for a crucial four points.

“We were 14-0 up early on and looking good, but ultimately ‘Muir played better in the second half and we struggled to close out the game in appalling conditions,” said Watsonians head coach Bruce Ruthven. “I was please we got the win which we deserved overall.”

Jack Hamilton and John Troxler scored the visitor’s tries with Callum Anderson kicking 10 points as they earned a losing bonus point.

Kelso picked up their third win in a row and are now nine points ahead of the drop zone. Skipper Murray Hastie, Blair Robertson, Mark Wilson and Craig Dods scored the tries as they got a five point win over DundeeHSFP at Poynder Park.

Dods also kicked three conversions in the 26-10 win, while Rhuaridh Hood and Andrew Hamilton went overfor bottom side Dundee, who still have just one point.

National League Division One results –

23/11/19
CARTHA QUEENS26 - 43BIGGAR RFC
HERIOT'S BLUES38 - 0AYR RFC
KELSO RFC26 - 10DUNDEE HSFP RFC
STIRLING22 - 29HIGHLAND RFC
GALA RFC24 - 7MELROSE RFC
WATSONIAN RUGBY24 - 20BOROUGHMUIR

Table as it stands –

Nat 1PWLDFADTBLBPts
Biggar RFC12111046114831311055
Heriot's Blues1293048126621511148
Highland RFC139404062881188145
Melrose Rugby12840286300-146038
Gala RFC12651338285536234
Stirling Wolves1265130429686234
Cartha Queens1358043842998230
Ayr RFC12561271333-626129
Watsonian FC12561278357-795128
Kelso RFC12480219365-1464222
Boroughmuir122100191344-1532313
Dundee HSFP121110193455-262105

Fixtures and results:   Premiership  |  National League 1National League 2  |  Super 6RWC2019


Talking points from round ten of the Tennent’s Premiership

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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 106 Articles
Gary has had a love for both rugby and writing for as far back as he can remember. Having cut his teeth in the ‘real world’ of journalism at the Midlothian Advertiser local newspaper for a couple of years between 2005 and 2007, he has since been kept busy covering sport, mainly rugby. He was a member of the editorial team at SCRUM Magazine for 11 years until recently and now provides regular rugby content to various national and local newspapers, magazines and websites via his company GH Media as well as hosting a podcast. Twitter: G_HMedia

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