National One round-up: table toppers march on but coaches demand more

Third placed Biggar welcome leaders Melrose to Hatreemill next weekend with both sides believing there is room for improvement

Biggar won at Kelso. Image: Nigel Pacey
Biggar won at Kelso. Image: Nigel Pacey

BIGGAR continued their fine form with a fourth win on the spin, this time over Kelso at Poynder Park, to set-up an intriguing match up with Border rivals and league leaders Melrose next weekend.

However, the coaching staff believe there is more to come from their side as they look ahead to welcoming Melrose to Hartreemill, knowing that a win in that match will leap-frog them ahead of the current table-toppers.

Biggar’s tries on Saturday came from Andy Jardine, Robbie Orr, Jamie Orr (2) and Rory Hutton, while Jardine kicked two conversions. Kelso’s try came from Gareth Walker and they weren’t helped by the collection of  three yellows and a red card during the last 20 minutes.

“We have come away with five points against a stuffy Kelso side which we will take positives from, but we are fairly disappointed with large aspects of the performance,” said Biggar forwards coach Craig Borthwick. “As a club, we now have a big couple of games coming up against Melrose and then Heriot’s Blues and we know that we will have to be a lot better to come away with what we are after. We will be working hard in training this week.”


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Melrose made it six wins from six with a 29-15 win over bottom side Dundee HSFP at Mayfield. However, like Borthwick, Melrose head coach Stuart Johnson was not overly pleased with his team’s performance.

“The only positive I can take out of the game is that we got a bonus point win,” he said. “We received four yellow cards, the majority were pretty harsh, but performance-wise we were not where we want to be and we will need to be better against Biggar.

“Injuries are killing us at the moment with at least 10 guys out but that has given a chance to youngsters with three under-18s in the squad and three others making their 1st XV debut.

“We will concentrate on ourselves this week, but if we play as we have in recent weeks at Biggar the we could lose our unbeaten record.”

A converted Lewis Mallin try had Melrose 7-3 up before Donald Crawford was yellow carded for a high tackle. While he was off, his brother Douglas scored a converted try to make it 14-3, but the stop-start nature of the match continued as Richard Ferguson and Thomas Brown also had spells in the sin-bin.

A Craig Fairbairn double saw Melrose home while they suffered one more yellow card to Mallin, and Dundee also saw one player head to the sin bin before the end.

Heriot’s Blues are still second as they picked up five points at home to Gala. Charlie Simpson, John Rae, Cameron Lineen and Craig Robertson got tries in a 53-24 home win, with the Goldenacre men now having scored 292 points in just six games.

Gala secured a losing bonus point through tries from Marius Tamosaitis, Daniel Nicholson, Fergus Johnston and Ross Cooke.

Fourth placed Highland lost for the second week in a row after Watsonians battled back from 7-20 down to win 22-20 at Myreside.

A converted try by Sean Blair put Highland into 7-0 lead in Edinburgh before a converted effort from Kerr Stoddart levelled things up. A Mike Gordon penalty and try by Scott Fraser had Highland 15-7 up before another try extended the advantage to 20-7.

Watsonians came back through a converted try by George Kyriazi before Stoddart’s penalty, after Highland’s Callum Carson was yellow carded, made it a three point game at the break. And with Carson still in the bin, Van Kacori scored Watsonians third try early in the second half and then they held on for the win.

Mid-table sides Ayr and Stirling County Wolves drew 26-26 at Millbrae with the latter the happier having fought back from 26-7 down to grab a share of the spoils.

Ayr’s tries in this one came from Ross McCorkindale, Zac Howard (2) and James Armstrong, and Jamie Bova converted three tries.

County’s points came through Jamie Nixon, Kyle Browne, Keir Singleton and a penalty try, while Craig Robertson kicked two conversions.

Tenth placed Boroughmuir are now eight points ahead of 11th placed Kelso after they edged out Cartha Queens Park 28-24 at Meggetland. Jack Hamilton scored two tries for Boroughmuir with Mark Hare and Gavin Welsh also crossing and Robin Weersma kicking four conversions.

Cartha took two bonus points back to Dumbreck thanks to tries from Lachie Stout, Fraser Paul, Marcus Goodman and a penalty try with Wayne Burrows kicking four points.

National League Division One results –

12/10/19
BOROUGHMUIR28-24CARTHA QUEENS
WATSONIANS22-20HIGHLAND
HERIOT'S53-24GALA RFC
DUNDEE HSFP15-29MELROSE RFC
AYR RFC26-26STIRLING
KELSO RFC5-29BIGGAR RFC

Table as it stands –

Nat 1PWLDFADTBLBPts
Biggar RFC98103471152328040
Highland RFC97203061821246135
Heriot's Blues96303792361438133
Melrose Rugby9720234222125033
Cartha Queens9450335277587124
Gala RFC9441257240175124
Stirling Wolves944123623245124
Ayr RFC9441212240-284123
Watsonian FC9441239283-445023
Kelso RFC9270143307-1642212
Boroughmuir9270142270-1282111
Dundee HSFP9090159385-226101

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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 92 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