Hamilton suffered their 2nd defeat in as many weeks losing narrowly to Biggar 23-18. A late couple of penalties from Biggar saw Hamilton surrender the slenderest of leads that they had fought hard to gain in the 2nd half.
Biggar got the match underway kicking straight to Chris Thomson who ran at the Biggar defence with menace and made good ground before being halted by more than one tackler. This positive start was short lived and it wasn’t long before Biggar regained possession and looked confident with ball in hand. Hamilton struggled to live with a few of the stronger runners in the Biggar side who moved the ball quickly and scored early on in the corner with little resistance from the Hamilton defence. 5 minutes played, 5-0 Biggar..
Russell Virtue kept his composure to narrow the deficit by kicking a relatively straight forward penalty to make it 5-3 only for Biggar to score a try minutes later gifted by some woeful tackling in the Hamilton backs. The lead was stretched only slightly as the Biggar kicker failed to convert after a bizarre incident of him tripping over the physio’s bag on his run up. The referee ordered the player to kick the ball again and the pantomime continued as he slipped on wet grass during his 2nd approach 10-3.
After some stern words from Richard Maxton, Hamilton started to play with greater urgency and subjected Biggar to a prolonged spell of pressure deep in the oppositions half. During this spell Hamilton pulled a score back through some quick ball generated by the forwards which was moved quickly into the corner for Andrew Robertson to collect Richard Maxton’s pass and dive into the corner to bring the score to 10-8.
Minutes before the close of the 2nd half Biggar were on the score sheet again after finishing off a well worked move from the back of a scrum to make it 17-8 going into the 2nd half.
Hamilton seemed to be galvanised by coach David Gemmell’s half-time words and made an encouraging start to the half playing with more vigour and determination. Hamilton were awarded for their efforts early in the 3rd quarter as Biggar surrendered a penalty which Russell Virtue slotted to make it 17-11.
Still early in the 3rd quarter, Andrew Robertson made an excellent run from inside his own half beating a couple of men on the outside before being tackled in the oppositions 22. The collision from Roberston’s run forced Biggar to make a change as the man who made the tackle knocked himself out in the process.
However, Robertson would grab his 2nd score of the afternoon after Richard Maxton made an excellent steal at the lineout which Hamilton moved quickly wide for the pacey winger to round his man and score near the sticks enabling Virtue to convert and give Hamilton the lead at 17-18.
However, Hamilton were unable to hold on and relinquished their short-lived lead to a Biggar drop-goal and penalty in the last 5 minutes. Hamilton fought to the last and were unlucky not to score in the dyeing seconds had it not been for some solid Biggar defence right on their line. The final score read 23-18 Biggar.