ANNAN RFC ACTION

ANNAN S1's v DUMFRIES S1's
SUNDAY 25TH NOVEMBER 2001

Annan's S1 squad suffered a narrow home defeat to local rivals Dumfries at Violetbank on Sunday. The game was always going to be close, with previous encounters seeing only one try separating the teams on both occasions.

Dumfries started with the wind behind them and quickly showed that they had a greater desire to win than their hosts. This determination paid off with two tries, one of which was converted, while the Annan boys were still trying to awake from their slumbers. Turing round at half time 7-0 down they finally woke up. Increased effort from all the players paid dividends with the pack driving over the opposition line for Jonathon Crombie to claim the score which Andrew White converted.

Further pressure was applied by the home pack to the Dumfries line but however the visitors managed to score a fine breakaway try under the posts which was successfully converted. Annan to their credit did not give up and continued to press for more scores. A quickly taken penalty saw the ball being passed along he line for Andrew White to score out wide. Paul Anderson just failed with his conversion attempt to see the game end 11-7 in Dumfries's favour.

Annan players who caught the eye were Elliot Smith & Dwayne Barnes in the pack and Andrew White & Alex Dunbar in the backs. Lessons to be learned from the game are 1) players must start from the first whistle and 2) the ball can be passed along the line.

Annan S1 Squad: L. Jackson, E. Smith, J. Crombie, J. Williamson, A. Halliday, D. Barnes, C. Trant, A. White, P. Anderson, L. Barnes, D. McLatchie, S. Wardlow, A. Dunbar.

SW SCOTLAND & AYRSHIRE MIDI QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
SUNDAY 4TH NOVEMBER 2001

On Sunday the South West Scotland & Ayrshire Midi Tournament for S1 (U13) and S2 (U14) took place at Violetbank and the Everholm.

ANNAN REACH NATIONAL FINALS IN S1 TOURNAMENT

Annanís first game against local rivals from Dumfries turned out to be a very close encounter, similar to their game earlier in the season, with good defence from both teams. It took an excellent individual try from Jonathon Crombie, duly converted by Andrew White, to break the deadlock. This turned out to be the only score of the game to see Annan start their tournament with a win under their belts.

Next up were a combined team from Marr/Irvine. This was a much more open game with Annan running the ball effectively throughout the game. This style of play brought about good tries from Alex Dunbar (2), Andrew White (2), Paul Anderson (1) and Elliot Smith (1). Andrew White successfully converting five of the tries. Again the Annan defence held firm with the opposition failing to cross the Annan try line.

The semi final saw Annan pitted against Stewartry. Knowing that the major threat from Stewartry lay with their big backs the Annan coaches informed the team that good tackling was very important. These instructions were taken onto the field and all players tackled bravely, one particular tackle from Dwayne Barnes being out of the top drawer (He must have been taking lessons from brother Lee!). With all the forwards doubling their efforts good quality ball was produced for the backs to run in five excellent tries. Alex Dunbar and Andrew White sharing two tries each and Paul Anderson scoring one with a 60-metre run. Andrew White successfully converted all five tries and added a well-struck penalty.

The final between Annan and Ayr produced another good performance against a well-drilled Ayr side. Having swept all before them in their pool games Ayr started the final as firm favourites but Annan had other ideas, starting strongly and disrupting the opposition to such an extent that their supporters and coaches started to lose their discipline. Unfortunately for Annan they lost a try on halftime when they stopped in concern for an Ayr player who went down in some pain after a tackle and an Ayr official ran onto the pitch to treat the injured player. However the alert Ayr scrum half picked up the ball and touched it down to score a try.

This disrupted the Annan side but spurred on the Ayr team who score a further two late tries through their strong running backs to secure victory. Although defeated in the final Annan qualify for the National Finals to be played later on in the season, which is a great achievement for the team and their coaches.

Although there are not large numbers of boys playing at this age group at Annan they all are, nevertheless, a credit to the Annan club. Extra training on Monday nights, school rugby on Thursday night and during PE are certainly paying dividends. Keep it up!

The S1 squad who turned out were Jonathon Crombie, Elliot Smith, Cal Conroy, Luke Jackson, Jamie Williamson, Alex Halliday, Dwayne Barnes, Conor Trant, Andrew White, Paul Anderson, Luke Barnes, Alex Dunbar, Euan Black, Michael Thomson, Darren Notman, and Dale McLatchie. All of the squad would like to thank their parents, relatives and friends who helped organise the event and supported them during the games and special thanks are due to Steve Jancey for all his hard work in promoting and organising the tournament.

S2 TOURNAMENT

Annanís first game in the tournament was against the eventual tournament winners Ayr. Annan had a disastrous start leaking tries all over the place to the extremely well drilled Ayr team and were 20Ė0 down at half time. The second half saw a great improvement in commitment by the Annan team with the visitors being tackled with great ferocity by the home side. Annan scored from a fine lineout take at the front of the line by Ross Gracie who charged down the line to score Annanís hard earned points. Ayr replied with a try of their own to take the final score to Annan 3 Ayr 23.

Annan started this game with some fine play with some excellent work in the loose by james Blythe, Jonathan Callaghan and Michael Scott with Andrew Frost and Graham Glendining having good games in the second row.

Some fine kicking by Euan Gemell and Ben Hawthorn kept Stewartry under pressure but Annan were unable to convert this into points. Eventually a tired Annan side lost by four tries to nil. For the record Ayr won the S2 Tournament with Dumfries runners up.

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