By Jamie Arrowsmith 25/04 Updated: 25/04 11:52
Rugby St Andrews 22 Biggleswade 20
Midlands Three East (South)
SAINTS ended their season on a high note on Saturday with a hard fought victory over second placed Biggleswade in front of a large crowd of former players.
Both kickers missed penalty opportunities in an even opening to the contest before the visitors were dealt a blow when losing two players to injury inside the first quarter.
That did not stop them taking a 14th minute lead though when Bartlett crossed for a try after they stole possession.
Saints thought they had levelled when Lee Hersey tried to squeeze over in the corner but he was deemed to have been forced into the in-goal area.
The hosts were dominating the scrums and a series of drives should have brought them a score as they forced Biggleswade backwards but the ball was knocked on at the crucial stage.
That gave Biggleswade a scrum on their own line and again Saints applied good pressure which resulted in the ball squirting out to Dave Rudd who crossed for a try converted by Ryan Taylor after 24 minutes.
Biggleswade were awarded a number of penalties in the period of play that followed but they were off-target with all of them.
As a result they decided to kick one final penalty to touch and after winning their own line-out ball they drove over for a converted try from Hamilton and a 12-7 lead at the break.
The third quarter followed the same pattern with Saints forced to make two changes in the backs meaning a reorganisation.
Biggleswade won turnover ball in their own 22 and were quick to spot an overlap which they exploited to the full with Bartlett racing in from halfway to score a try after 58 minutes.
Saints were not prepared to back down though and the forwards took the ball on, setting up a good platform in the visitors’ 22. The ball was moved quickly to the backs and lock Kalum Goodfellow appeared in the centre to crash over, Taylor converted.
The hosts were temporarily reduced to 14 men shortly afterwards and Biggleswade kicked the resultant penalty to stretch their lead.
Saints, however, defended well despite being a man short and Taylor kicked a penalty to move his side back within a score.
With minute remaining, Saints’ pack again demonstrated their superiority in the scrums and the referee finally lost patience with Biggleswade, awarding Saints a penalty try which took them to victory.
THE 2nds were outclassed by Rugby Lions 2nds as they fell to a 62-5 defeat but there was better news for the Colts who won 49-10 to record back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
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