A Vase defeat for brave Biggy

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010

Copsewood 25 Biggleswade 20 (aet) Senior Vase preliminary round Biggleswade fell at the first fence in this national competition but it was an encouraging performance away from home with many first choice players unavailable. They travelled with just 15

Copsewood 25

Biggleswade 20 (aet)

Senior Vase preliminary round

Biggleswade fell at the first fence in this national competition but it was an encouraging performance away from home with many first choice players unavailable.

They travelled with just 15 players and coach Peter Biernis to Coventry and almost snatched victory.

Copsewood (formerly Coventry Marconi) play in Midlands Four West - the same level eight as Biggleswade - so there was hope of doing well.

Certainly the opening exchanges were all in Biggleswade's favour with Mark Rastrick opening the scoring with a well-struck penalty.

The forwards were in control at the tight scrums with veteran Stan Matthews taking three against the head. James Bakewell and Nathan Thoday dominated the lineout despite the presence of a giant in Copsewood's pack.

But Biggleswade slowly surrendered the initiative. They let Copsewood take control to score a try in each half and a penalty to lead 15-3 with 15 minutes to go.

Biggleswade played their Joker and brought coach Biernis on instead of Matthews. This needed a rearrangement of positions but the move worked wonders as Biggleswade started going forward with more vigour.

Finally after several close calls winger James Young crossed for a try that was unconverted. In the closing minutes centre Tom O'Connor went over too. The conversion kick from near the touchline brought the scores level and took the game into extra time.

Almost at once Copsewood scored a penalty and a converted try soon afterwards appeared to be enough.

Brave Biggleswade battled back and O'Connor went over for his second try and the side's third.

With the conversion missed Biggleswade had to score another try for victory but this they were just not able to do.

The league campaign starts with a trip to Brackley this Saturday.

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