Last-gasp win for Annan
Annan 1st XV played their first home league match of the season against Garnock at the weekend and secured a five-point win.
After last week’s great away victory against Dalziel, hopes were high that Annan could get a second win under their belt, however, Garnock had inflicted one of Annan’s heaviest home defeats last season so an interesting match was in prospect.
For the first quarter of the game it was defences on top and it wasn’t until the 22nd minute that the whitewash was crossed, when from a ruck on the 22 the ball was spun out to centre Alex Halliday who split the visiting defences to score his second try of the season.
Standoff Craig McCann added the extra two points.
But as sometimes happens when you score, the opposition hit back straight away and it was 7-5 a few minutes later.
And it was looking like that was going to be the half-time score but a well worked Garnock move resulted in an unconverted try to take it to 10-7 with a few minutes until half time.
To make matters worse for the hosts, winger Andrew Jancey was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on and from the resulting lineout, the Garnock pack drove over the line and it was 17-7 at half-time. Not a great last five minutes of the half.
Annan realised that a big second half effort was required, especially being down to 14 men for a good eight minutes or so.
The half time team talk paid dividends, when from a lineout on the Garnock 22, the ball was fed along the back line where fullback Josh Whiteside, coming into the line at pace, cleaved the visiting defensive line in two and crashed over the line to score his second try of the season. Craig McCann added the conversion to make it 17-14 and game on.
Just when Annan got back to 15 men, Garnock scored their fourth converted try to take the score to 2414.
The home side were next on the scoresheet when, from deep in the Annan half and with Garnock attacking, their inside centre spilled the ball which was quickly recycled along the back line with replacement Adan Torbet making a fine break down the touchline. Action from Annan’s win over Garnock at Viloetbank at the weekend
He found lock Michael Thompson on his inside who, with an overhead basketball pass, found prop Ryan Hetherington who crashed over the line to score to take it to 24-21 on the 60th minute.
Craig McCann converted and as the game went into the final quarter it was still anyone’s game.
Annan came close on numerous occasions but the Garnock defence held firm and it looked like the game was going to end in a glorious defeat for Annan.
However, with the last play of the game following a quickly taken penalty award, the ball was floated out to fullback Josh Whiteside who ,with a great run, crashed over to take the score to 26-24 and a five-point win.
All in all, a terrific win for Annan with the star of the show fullback Josh Whiteside – not only the youngest player on the field but also the club’s top points scorer to date.
Annan 1st XV: R Glass, K Warrick, R Hetherington, N Coupland, M Thompson, D Nordon, D Barnes, S Haren, H Houlday, C McCann (C), A Jancey, J Callaghan, A Halliday, J
Kirby, J Whiteside. Replacements: A Torbett, C Bell (both used).
Annan 2nd XV 34 2nd XV 32 Whitecraigs
After a fixture cancellation last week, Annan 2nds got their league off to a start at home against Whitecraigs 2nds.
After suffering a loss in this fixture last year and with a strong squad to select from, Annan were determined to start with a win.
The first 25 minutes was a tight affair with both defences holding strong, though Annan made the breakthrough when, after a bursting run through the centre from David Wyllie, Stewart Livinstone ran in under the posts which Ross Brown converted 7-0.
This seemed to spur Whitecraigs on and they soon pulled the game back to 7-5 when they crashed over after a couple of tap penalties on the Annan line. Though both teams had chances before half time the score remained the same till the end of the half.
At half time the coaches warned the squad about the lack of reaction and players turning their backs on the ball when penalties were being awarded against them, so it was disappointing when three minutes into the second half, after a penalty went against Annan that a Whitecraigs player was able to tap and go, run past three players with their backs to him and score in the corner 7-10.
Credit to the Annan players though as they instantly regained the lead when James Bingham crashed over the line 12-10.
Annan then scored a further three tries in the space of 10 minutes from debut boy Scott Nicholson, winger Callum Grant and David Wyllie. Andrew Alison added one conversion. 29-10.
Halfway into the half and Whitecraigs reduced the difference to 29-15 and 65 minutes into the match Annan increased the score to 34-15 when Andrew Alison danced his way past a couple of defenders to dive over into the corner.
With a lack of fitness/concentration from the Annan side and a resurgence from their opponents in the last 10 minutes of the game, a somewhat comfortable win was made very difficult when the away side scored three tries with one converted, 3432. That is how the match ended as a spectacular half for any neutrals was brought to an end.
Annan team: S Nicholson, S Livingstone, M Crombie, D Robson, Z Lockerbie, W Gray, C Smith, I Thorburn, R Brown, J Bigham, J Ogilvie, D Wyllie, D Ferguson, C Grant, M Thorburn. Subs: F Laurie, A Alison, L Johnstone, D McClure, B Conroy (all used).
Special mention to debutants Scott Nicholson and Ben Conroy as well as a return from Danny McClure after a long term injury.
The next match is away to Strathendrick with all players encouraged to make a bigger effort to attend training.
The club would like to thank Colin Warrick for stepping in and refereeing the match.
Other results: U15 Hornets 5 Caithness U15 57; U18 Hornets 24 v Caithness U18 83; Annan U14s 19 Waysiders Drumpellier U14s 13.
The 1st XV are off to play Strathendrick at Fintry, the West 2 Champions.
Bar their blip last week against Allan Glens, they are having a great start to the season and have hammered both Stewartry and East Kilbride (in West Shield) on their Fintry home ground.
Annan 1st XV squad: M Crombie, K Warrick, R Glass, N Coupland, M Thompson, D Nordon, C Bell, S Haren, A Jancey, C McCann(C), J Whiteside, J Callaghan, A Halliday, J Kirby, J Bigham.
Replacements: C Smith, D Robson, K Watret, D Ferguson
Meet 11am at clubhouse for a 3pm kickoff. Transport : bus.
Annan 2nds join the 1st XV on the road to Fintry to take on Strathendrick 2nd XV in West 2 of the Tennent’s Regional Reserve Leagues.
Annan 2nd XV Squad: TBC. Meet at clubhouse at 11am for 3pm kick-off. Transport : bus.
Annan Warriors welcome Watsonians to Violetbank in Premier League.
After last week’s game versus Hillhead Jordanhill Ladies had to be conceded due to injuries and unavailability, the Warriors host Watsonian Ladies on Sunday.
Annan Warriors squad: 1 M Parker, 2 L Moffat, 3 E Jardine, 4 Abbie Clark, 5 C Clark,
6 A McWilliam, 7 N Barnes, 8 C Barnes (c), 9 N Barlow, 10 M McGeoch, 11 K Barlow
12 A Armstrong, 13 C O’Connell, 14 R Armstrong, 15 K Taylor
Replacements: 16 M Alexander, 17 J Dalgliesh
Meet at Violetbank at 12.30pm for a 2pm kick-off.
Annan U14s are away this Sunday to Strathaven.
All players to meet as arranged