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ANNAN WARRIORS v WATSONIAN LADIES
TENNENT'S PREMIER LEAGUE
16TH SEPTEMBER 2018
BETTER PERFORMANCE FROM THE WARRIORS
Report by Colin Warrick (Match Photos (opens in a new tab) / Match Highlights ))
The Warriors welcomed Watsonians Ladies to Violetbank for their 2nd home game in the Tennents Premier League.
After having been unable to field a team last week due to a catalogue of injuries & unavailability the Warriors welcomed back Kayleigh Warrick & Megan Alexander to the squad with Megan having the unenviable task in only her 2nd game at hooker of playing against one of Scotlands 8 Professional Women Players Lana Skeldon.
The game started with the Warriors playing into a stiff breeze & couldnt have started in a worse way with Watsonians scoring a converted try after 41 seconds.
No to be outdone & with the Warrior spirit that has become part of this team the Warriors brushed it aside & tried to make their mark on the game.
From the kick off Watsonians pushed again & from a turnover at the back of a scrum from Nicole Barlow the ball was moved quickly through the backs hands for full back to make the 1st charge through the opposition defence, with the ball recycled quickly Abbie Clark surged forward offloading in contact to sister Correy Clark who in turn offloaded to Allana McWilliam all within their own 1/3 of the pitch, with a mix of ball being offloaded in contact, good swift hands & efficient quick rucks the Warriors ate up the ground for 2nd row to burst onto the ball just inside the opposition half to hand off the remaining two defenders & win the race to the try line scoring under the posts with the conversion being kicked by Mally McGeoch.
All this within the 1st five minutes so the crowd were being royally entertained.
The Warriors retained the kick off & went on the charge again with renewed confidence, only to after several phases lose the ball with the Watsonians 10 driving their team forward to score two quick tries, to extend their lead to 7-17.
For the remainder of the 1st half both teams had opportunities to score but good scramble defence saved the day with the whistle going the half time score Annan Warriors 7 v Watsonians Ladies 17.
With the elements behind them the Warriors kicked off hoping to get a bigger foothold in the game in search for further scores to bring the score closer.
The 2nd half followed a similar vain to the 1st with both teams going hard at each other & defences nullifying each other out. The Watsonians replacement number 8 giving them some major go forward breaking the Warriors line at will to set up one try & score a 2nd herself.
Not to be outdone the Warriors kept going & charged full on into the Watsonians team, from a pressurised clearance kick from the Watsonians 10, Annan fullback Kim Taylor fielded the ball then went on the attack beating the 1st defender before passing to supporting 2nd row Abbie Clark who charged through the Watsonians defence with three now trade mark hand offs to score her 2nd try of the game, again converted by Mally.
So, with 20 minutes to go Annan were 15 points down & with renewed confidence still hoped to claw their way back on the scorecard.
With both teams pushing hard, the game went back & forwards, Watsonians gained the upper hand as the Annan team tired scoring a further 4 tries before the final whistle.
Full time score: Annan Warriors 14 v Watsonian Ladies 55
The score didnt truly reflect the game with the Warriors giving by far their best performance of the season pushing their far more experienced opponents hard in both attack & defence.
Best in the forwards were Nadine Barnes, Correy Clark & Allana McWilliam with forward of the match going to two try scoring 2nd row Abbie Clark.
In the backs Mally McGeoch, Ciara O'Connell & Kirsty Barlow stood out with full back Kim Taylor winning back of the match.
So onwards to this week with an away trip to play Cartha QP Ladies hopefully with another couple of bodies back into the fold & another hard week at training under their belts.
Annan Team: Nadine Barnes, Megan Alexander, Eilidh Jardine, Abbie Clark, Correy Clark, Linden Moffat, Allana McWilliam, Chelsea Barnes, Nicole Barlow, Mally McGeoch, Rachel Armstrong, Abbi Armstrong, Ciara O'Connell, Kirsty Barlow, Kim Taylor
Replacements: Kayleigh Warrick, Julie Dalgliesh
CORSTORPHINE COUGARS v ANNAN WARRIORS
TENNENT'S PREMIER LEAGUE
2ND SEPTEMBER 2018
ANOTHER TOUGH GAME FOR THE WARRIORS
Report by Colin Warrick (Match Photos (opens in a new tab) / Match Highlights )
The Warriors set off to Edinburgh to face Corstorphine Cougars on a damp Sunday morning only to find it to be a glorious day on arrival at Union Park.
Buoyed by a larger squad of players the Warriors hoped to see an improved performance & hopefully gain a win.
The Warriors kicked off deep into the Cougars half but straight from the kick off & unusually for the Warriors the linespeed & intensity in defence seemed to be missing, the early exchanges were fairly even until the Cougars 8 slipped a tackle to burst through the Annan defence, the ball was recycled quickly & the 1st try of the game was scored in the corner.
From the kick off again deep into opposition territory the Cougars returned once more gaining yards into the still sleepy Annan defence only for a penalty to be conceded on half way by Corstorphine. Mally McGeoch kicked for touch & territory with resulting lineout on the 5m line. From a sharp lineout the ball was riven towards the line by Captain Chelsea Barnes where it was recycled for Abbie Clark to drive over from close range.
With a renewed confidence the Warriors collected the kick to go on the charge once more only to be repelled by the strong opposition defence, the Warriors working hard to string phases together.
The Corstophine team managed to snaffle the ball in the ruck & with a swift counter attack scored out wide once more. The remainder of the half seemed to follow the same trend with Corstorphine scoring a further two tries both from turnovers.
Half time: Corstorphine Cougars 22 v Annan Warriors 5
With optimism the Warriors retook the field for the 2nd half making a couple of changes to freshen up the team hoping to retain the ball for longer periods & with improved line-speed put more pressure on their more experienced opposition.
Alas it was not to be with the Edinburgh side scoring at regular periods throughout the half, the Warriors cause not helped by a dubious Yellow card for centre Jane Stewart.
The one high point of the half was an interception from well within her own half by hooker Allana McWilliam who was caught meters from the line by the speedy Cougars winger.
Final score: Corstorphine Cougars 62 v Annan Warriors 5
Once again the Warriors worked hard throughout the game with the toll of having to make repeat efforts in defence draining the energy by late on. In attack when we controlled possession the Warriors looked dangerous.
Standouts for Annan in the forwards were Allana McWilliam & the Barnes sisters & Mally McGeoch & Jane Stewart in the backs.
Forward of the match went to Chelsea Barnes
Back of the match went to Nicole Barlow.
A special mention to Eilidh Henderson in her 1st game for the Warriors.
It certainly is big test to the Warriors morale but the steep learning curve that is Premier rugby was always going to be testing.
This week the Warriors are on the road once more away to last years Champions Hillhead Jordanhill which will be another tough test especially with a few sore bodies after a tough couple of weeks. But the Warriors will go into it with enthusiasm & put another week of hard work in.
Annan Warriors team: M Parker, A McWilliam, E Jardine, Abbie Clark, C Clark, N Barnes, S Grainger, C Barnes (c), M McGeoch, C O'Connell, A Armstrong, J Stewart, R Armstrong, K Taylor
Subs: L Thompson, E Henderson, L Vevers
LISMORE GIRLS v U15 & U18 HORNETS
26TH AUGUST 2018
U15 Report by Neil Bell
On Sunday, 12 U15 hornets travelled up to Edinburgh to play Lismore in the Mirage League.
Due to sat nav error, Annan only had a 10 minute warm up before they were then straight into the game.
Lismore were first to score from the Hornets not committing enough bodies at the breakdown, as Lismore stole a lot of the Hornets possession during the game.
By half time the Hornets were down 42-0 but the girls had been close to scoring a few tries, only for Lismores strong defence and some try saving tackles stopping the Hornets from scoring.
From the start of the 2nd half Annan came out fighting but alas it was Lismore who scored again.
Then Annan got a break with some passing to the right wing Olivia McQueen who ran a good 50 metres to just about score when she got tackled a metre short of the try line by a really high tackle and the referee awarded a penalty try.
For the next 15 mins there was some really good rugby being played. Next to score was Erin Ewing but Lismore had the last say and scored again in the last minute of the game.
Final Score: Lismore 54 v Annan 12
Hornets you are a credit to everyone for not giving up and trying your best. There was some really good rugby being played.
Annan Hornets were: Eva Graham,Kara Jamieson, Eve Jackson, Olivia Marczac, Skye Watret, Lucy Stevenson (capt) Abby Norman, Olivia McQueen, Omelia Szelag, Sarah Hunter, Isla Cooper and Erin Ewing
U18 Hornets Match Report by: Billy Henderson
With a small squad of 8, the U18 Hornets traveled up to Lismore for a development game. The Hornets had very little time to warm up due to Lismores ground being rather hard to find.
The Hornets borrowed a player from Lismore to match at 9 a side. Many thanks to Lismore.
From the beginning Annan were strong and tried to find gaps and weaknesses upon the opposing team and when Lismore had the ball, Annan were quick to adapt and stop any advances made by the opposition.
With some great tackling from all the team especially Lexie Steel, Kirsty cooper and Lily Glendinning, the Hornets kept Lismore at bay.
Annan scored 10 tries: 3 by Kirsty cooper, 2 by Lily Glendinning, 1 by Lexie Steel, 1 by Lexie, 1 by Emily Hunter, 1 by Ellie Henderson and 1 by Jenna Patterson. Jenna also converted 4 of the tries.
The senior girls that were the stars of the game were: Kirsty Cooper, Lexie Steel and Lily Glendinning with good carrying and determination while attacking the opposition.
Kirsty Cooper made great work out of the rucks and mauls.
Katie Sherry, one of our newer player made great improvements in the game and is continuing to become a valued player.
ANNAN WARRIORS v STIRLING COUNTY LADIES
TENNENT'S PREMIER LEAGUE
26TH AUGUST 2018
PREMIER DEBUT FOR THE WARRIORS
Report by Colin Warrick (Match Photos (opens in a new tab) / Match Highlights)
On a very damp Sunday the Annan Warriors made their debut in the Tennent's SRU Womens Premier League against Stirling County.
Having worked hard over preseason following on from winning the Division One title last season the Warriors were up for the challenge ahead, even though a number of players were unavailable due to a combination of injury & other commitments.
Annan kicked off playing away from the clubhouse & were immediately put under pressure from the well drilled more experienced Stirling side. With big carriers across the team the Annan defence was stretched to & fro holding firm for the opening period.
Stirling opened the score after 6 minutes with a well taken try from their powerful centre, not to be outdone following a few big carries by the Annan players they were unlucky not to score in the corner after some good interplay by Jane Stewart & Rachel Armstrong, & some hit ups by the forwards.
Stirling gained the upper hand scoring a further three tries before half time.
Half time score: Annan Warriors 0 v Stirling County 26
After the half break & pep talk the Warriors stepped back onto the field determined to continue the hard work put in in the 1st half.
With the 2nd half underway Stirling scored a couple of quick tries during a period when the Warriors communication dropped.
From the kick off Annan were determined to get back into the game & following an improved period of defence gained a turnover & following a big carry by centre Lorna Vevers the ball was recycle for Jane Stewart to burst through the line & round the full back for her 1st try of the season & continue her league scoring streak scoring at least one try in each of the last 26 league games. This try was converted by Mal McGeoch
As the Annan players tired after their tireless efforts Stirling scored a further 3 tries to put the game beyond doubt. Within the final few minutes from a quick tap penalty the ball was chipped into the Stirling 5 m line for them to concede a penalty which was tapped quickly by hooker Allana McWilliam to dive over for a consolation score.
With the final play of the game Stirling had the final say where there strong running centre burst through to score.
Final score: Annan Warriors 12 v Stirling County 70
A really tough baptism for the Annan ladies against a well drilled physical team, who had the benefit of having a full bench compared to Annans one.
The Warriors defended the hearts out & put in a big 80 minutes shift which am sure will benefit them going forward & the Warriors will improve going forward.
Players of the match went to Allana McWilliam in the forwards & Mally McGeoch & Jane Stewart in the backs & you could have picked any number of players.
Annan Team: M Parker, A McWilliam, E Jardine, Abbie Clark, C Clark, L Moffat, S Grainger, N Barnes (cc), N Barlow, M McGeoch, R Armstrong, L Vevers, J Stewart, K Barlow, K Taylor
Sub: L Thompson
Its onwards & upwards for the Warriors for an away trip to Corstorphine Cougars who went down to Watsonians at the weekend.
CARLISLE COUGARS v ANNAN WARRIORS
21ST AUGUST 2018
3 TRY WIN FOR THE WARRIORS
Report by Colin Warrick
In the final act of pre season the Warriors headed off to visit Carlisle Cougars for some valuable game tie in preparation for the start of the Premier League this Sunday.
Having lost Caroline Aitken & Lyndsay Kyle to injury away from rugby Annan started with a new look front row & Megan Alexander moving from the backs to play hooker.
The game started of physically with the Carlisle team banging at the Annan door only to be rebuffed by strong Annan defence, after the 1st 10 minutes of rustiness was despatched Annan began stringing together some good play driving the Cougars back into their own half.
From a turnover the ball was shipped wide for Mally McGeoch to weave her way past a couple of defenders to score under the posts, which she converted.
With both teams working hard in both attack & defence but making a few simple errors the game was a bit scrappy with from the Annan point of view more scrums than they wanted.
The game continued to to & fro with Annan defending well & attacking well with the ball being recycled quickly to play a high tempo game.
Following another period of play last seasons top try score Jane Stewart got in on the act breaking through the line to step the full back & score under the posts for the 1st of many tries this season I am sure.
The final Annan Score came late on in the final period of the game when after Annan made several breaks & from a scrum standoff dived over from close range & converted the score.
Final score: Carlisle Cougars 0 v Annan Warriors 19
A valuable bit of game time to get the final rustiness out of the systems with lots of positives to be taken, with defence being very pleasing & workrate of players quite high. The scrum which was under pressure & an ultimately injury to Megan Alexander being the only negatives.
Until her injury Megan Alexander showed she is adapting well to hooking role, debuts in the Warriors for Ioni McPherson & Kirsty Barlow & a return for Sarah Grainger to the pack were all good to see.
Thanks to Carlisle for the game & the refreshments afterwards.
So onto the start of the league campaign where Annan face Stirling County Ladies this Sunday at Violetbank in their 1st ever Womens Premier League game, this is a big shorter season due to the reorganisation of Womens rugby so its good start with a home game in front of the Warriors faithful fans.
WARRIORS AT THE MOFFAT TENS
28TH JULY 2018
FINAL FOR THE WARRIORS
Report by Colin Warrick (Match Photos (opens in a new tab))
For the 1st team in the new season the Warriors on the road to local neighbours Annual 10s tournament where for the 1st time a Womens tournament would run alongside the long running mens competition.
Unfortunately due to late call offs from Wigtownshire & Biggar only the teams from Stewartry Sirens & Oban Ladies joined the Warriors in a round robin format with each team playing the others 3 times with the top two going forward to the final.
First up for the Warriors was local Premier league rivals the Stewartry Sirens who had players from Carlisle & Greenock helping to swell their numbers. In a very physical closely contested game both teams were evenly matched. With the scores still even going into the last minute a break up the wing from Abbie Clark saw the ball recycled for Sarah Grainger to crash over from close range, with Allana McWilliam converting to take the tie 7 - 0
Following a quick change of pitches the Warriors took on Oban for the 1st time, again the game was nip & tuck but the Warriors with a little bit of rust out if the system started to string some good rugby together to take the lead with a try from Abbie Clark which started on their own line following Nicole Barlow running down Obans Scotland U18 7s player to make a try saving tackle & force a turnover.
This was quickly followed by the Warriors 2nd try from debutant Kirsty Barlow who with her 1st touch as a Warrior romped in from just inside the Oban half. Annan sealed the game on the stroke of 10 mins with a try for Jane Stewart who with her usual burst of speed broke away to score.
After a small break the Warriors them took on the Sirens for the 2nd time, Annan seemed to be a bit sleepy & gave the Sirens far too much freedom to play rugby, however from a quick turnover in centre field the ball was moved wide for Rachel Armstrong to speed away from the Sirens defence to score. From the kick off Stewartry went back on the front foot & broke through to score with the conversion given but with a certain amount of doubt as both touch judges adjudged it hadn't been converted.
Annans sleepiness seemed to still be there in the 2nd game against where the Oban ladies took a comfortable 12-10 win with Annans tries coming from Abbie Clark & Chelsea Barnes.
So as the final games played out the Warriors new the needed to win at least one game to make the final. First up against Stewartry the game was to & fro with both teams pushing hard for the win. The game was once more physical with the Warriors taking the lead with a well worked try from Nicole Barlow only for Stewartry to score & convert with the final play to take the win 7 - 5.
The final game between the Warriors & Oban quickly followed with both teams going for the win & but Annan playing well took a two try lead going into the last minute both of which were from the rampaging Sarah Grainger. The Oban consolation score proving crucial as it took them into the final ahead of the Sirens on the number of tries scored.
So, with 30 minutes break to refresh & rejuvenate the Annan Ladies took to the main pitch against Oban Ladies for the fourth time. As with all the previous games there was nothing between the teams with both teams having chances to break the deadlock before Oban broke through the Warriors staunch defence to score out wide. Not o be outdone the Warriors upped the pace of the game & from a break by Abbie, Jane broke free & sped away from the defence to score under the posts which Allana converted. With the game entering the final minute it was Oban that had a final chance with following an offload out of the tackle the Oban Ladies scored under the posts to take the tie 12 - 7.
All in all, a good day at the office for the Warriors with it proving a worthy exercise to get the cobwebs out of the system & the extra game time will always benefit.
Thanks to Moffat for the invite & hospitality.
Annan Squad: C Barnes, L Moffat, N Barnes, S Grainger, Abbie Clark, Ashley Clark, N Dobie, N Barlow, A McWilliam, L Vevers, J Stewart, K Taylor, K Barlow, R Armstrong