Good spirit shown

Oundle 42 Biggleswade 23 Midlands Five (East) South Biggleswade scored first and last in this league fixture but Oundle got six in between. In a side much reduced by unavailable players, there was a good spirit that kept going right to the end. The home

Oundle 42 Biggleswade 23

Midlands Five (East) South

Biggleswade scored first and last in this league fixture but Oundle got six in between.

In a side much reduced by unavailable players, there was a good spirit that kept going right to the end.

The home tie earlier in the season had been a draw so hopes were high of a good result.

The pitch was sticky but pocket handkerchief size. Conditions were ideal for running rugby with warm sunshine and a dead calm.

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Biggleswade survived early pressure as Oundle kicked off.

Getting up the opposite end they scored as early as the seventh minute. Fly-half Matt Smith sliced through the Oundle defence for a try under the posts that he converted.

But early optimism rapidly evaporated as Oundle struck back strongly with three well-worked tries to take a commanding lead.

Smith reduced the deficit with two penalties as Biggleswade dug deep to prevent more tries that would effectively end the match as a contest.

There was a strong lecture at half-time from coach Stan Matthews.

He had to don his boots as no other hooker was available. But the pep talk seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as Oundle scored another try right at the start of the half.

Mark Rastrick, who has been such a key player in Biggleswade's defence, was forced to retire with 'creaking bones'. He was replaced by the highly mobile Gene Bunting-Grey at full-back.

Two more Oundle tries followed separated by another Smith penalty before Biggleswade rallied for a grandstand finish.

A strong forward try led to Dom Masinio being at the bottom of the pile as the pack trundled over the line. Smith added the conversion as the final whistle went.

Biggy have a key game against St Ives at home this Saturday.

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