Last-gasp win for An­nan

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - SPORTS -

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.

This week­end

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.

Youth rugby

An­nan U14s are away this Sun­day to Strathaven.

All play­ers to meet as ar­ranged

Pic­tured

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