ANNAN RFC IN ACTION

ANNAN U16 41 V CUMNOCK U16 0
SATURDAY 6TH DECEMBER 2003

Annan got back to winning ways in style this weekend running in 7 tries against a big Cumnock team.To their credit Cumnock never gave up but Annan were a more street wise outfit on the day. The tries came from Scott Goodwin(3),Micheal Scott (2),Neal Coupland and Rikki Ogilvie who also slotted three of the conversions.

The Annan forwards had a great game. Hooker Gary Dickman was once again accurate with his throwing in which allowed the Annan lineout to work smoothly. All of the forwards looked hungry in the loose as they snapped up any loose ball. For the backs Goodwin, Waddell and Dunlop shone, while all players worked hard in organising their defence,

This Sun 14th Dec, Annan have another league game when they entertain Paisley at Violetbank. Annan need 3 points from their remaining 2 games to be joint winners of this league and 4 points out of a possible 6 to win it outright. Players meet at 12.00 for a 1pm kickoff.

Annan U16 squad: J Garner, G Dickman, R Gracie, N Coupland, G Keenan, S Rogers, J Callaghan, G Glendinning, A Jancey, D Hunter, R Ogilvie, G. Harkness, C Waddell, C Smith, S Boertien, I Dunlop, E Gemmell, S Goodwin

GREENOCK 5 V DA BLUES 38
SATURDAY 6TH DECEMBER 2003

“The Blues” coach Ian ‘Gut’ Anderson was delighted with the way his side bounced back from last weeks defeat to produce an accomplished 38-5 win away at Greenock.

“The Blues” determination to secure the result was evident from the start, and they took the lead within five minutes when Alex Dunbar sprinted through for the opening score. The second try by Bruce Blower started a purple passage of play, which saw “The Blues” notch up 21 points – including a hat-trick of tries by Martin Smith that established a 33-point advantage by half time.

The score line allowed ‘Gut’ to use all of those on the bench from the start of the second half and make a number of positional changes. This understandably lead to an uncertain start by “The Blues” and together with increased Greenock forward pressure brought a try for Greenock mid way through the half. However, the players grew into their new roles and “The Blues” shook off this setback and closed out the game with a try by Dwayne Barnes. The other scores for “The Blues” were Andrew White (3 cons) and Conor Trant (1 con)

“The Blues” Squad at Greenock were – Alastair, Alex D, Alex H, Andrew, Bruce, Conor, Daniel, Dwayne, Elliot, Evan, Jamie, Lee, Martin, Paul, Richard, Robert, Sam and Stephan.

DA BLUES 3 V HILLHEAD 57
SATURDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2003

“The Blues” faced the league leaders Hillhead/Jordanhill RFC at Violetbank, Annan in their last home game of the season. We quickly learned why Hillhead/Jordanhill are one of the strongest youth sides in Scotland and are unbeaten in the league this year. The visitors came here with more spirit and fight about them and played a smarter game, scoring on the break after 6min and forcing “The Blues” into defensive errors from which Hillhead/Jordanhill profited time after time.

By half time the gap was 21 points (Hillhead/Jordanhill leading 24-3). Within ten minutes of the restart the visitors had scored three tries and were leading 39-3. The gap was to wide for “The Blues” to claw it back, but they kept up the pressure but never created the same kind of clear-cut chances and the visitors never gave them the same kind of opportunity. Hillhead/Jordanhill ended the game on 57 points (10 tries, 1 drop goal and 2 cons) to “The Blues” 3 points (Andrew White first half penalty)

“The Blues” had come on in ‘leaps and bounds’ since the squad joined forces this season, however, Sunday just wasn’t their day and the experience the team got form this game should do them a lot of good. On a more positive note the visitors praised the Club on its facilities at Violetbank and the pitch (especially given the weekend appalling weather) is a credit to Annan RFC and their grounds committee.

ANNAN U16 6 V CUMBERNAULD U16 11
SATURDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2003

Annan started this game well taking the lead with two well struck penalties by Rikki Ogilvie. Cumbernauld got two back and then slipped the Annan defence to score the only try of the game which they failed to convert, making the half time score 11-6 in favour of the home team.

The second half was an evenly fought contest but it was Annan who created most of the pressure and opportunities only to drop the ball at the vital moment or to give away silly penalties. Annan battered away with good driving runs by the forwards and some probing kicks by the backs. Ross Gracie who managed to cross the line was denied by the sharp eyed referee.

Cumbernauld’s defence was tested and stretched but proved to be sound as they hung on to win the match. Despite this defeat Annan are still top of the league but will have to reduce the mistakes if they wish to remain in pole position.The good news is that the remaining three U16 league games are at home against Cumnock Sun 7th Dec, Paisley Sun 14th Dec and Cambuslang Sun 21st Dec

DAZIEL U15 10 V DA BLUES 27
SATURDAY 22ND NOVEMBER 2003

“The Blues” currently second in the league travelled up the M74 to Motherwell to play their eighth league game of the season against Dalziel. “The Blues” was forced to make changes due to illness and the loss of prop Jonathan Crombie during the week with a broken ankle. The pre-match team talk concentrated on “The Blues” doing the simple things right, with Coach Kenny White emphasising that the team should ‘go out and enjoy the game’.

In near perfect playing conditions “The Blues” team spirit and determination to succeed was evident from the outset and the pressure led to an early penalty that was slotted over by Andrew White. Within five minutes “The Blues” had stretched their lead to eight points following a quick switch, which left a huge gap in Dalziel defence that Alex Dunbar exploited for a touch down.

Sensing that the game may be slipping away from them Dalziel raised the pace, and used their height and weight advantage in a sustained effort to power their way eventually to “The Blues” line for a try in the corner and the score remained at 8 – 5 until half time.

Two tries within six minutes of the restart by Stephen Lethardy and Alex Dunbar and one conversation by Andrew White should have been the springboard for “The Blues” leading 20 – 5 to kill off the match, but these tries stung Dalziel into action which saw them narrow the gap to ten points with a further try in the corner (20 – 10). “The Blues” kept plugging away and were rewarded ten minutes from time with their fourth try scored by Jamie Court and converted by Andrew White. With the score 27-10 Dalziel came back with determined and relentless pressure, but Jamie’s try had shut the door on Dalziel hopes and “The Blues” soaked up the remaining pressure with strong defensive team work to win the game.

The players of Dalziel and “The Blues” produced a tremendous game of rugby, played in a true sporting manner, which was supported by an excellent referee (Grant Wilson) who talked to the players during the entire sixty minutes. Both teams are a credit to their clubs.

This Sunday 30 November “The Blues” face the unbeaten league leaders Hillhead/Jordanhill RFC at Violetbank, Annan in what could be the title decider. Kick off is at 2pm and a large crowd of support from both Dumfries and Annan could help “The Blues” clinch a place in the National play offs. Come and cheer the team on.

WHITECRAIGS U15 24 V DA BLUES 22
SATURDAY 8TH NOVEMBER 2003

The DA Blues Under 15s suffered a narrow defeat at a windy Whitecraigs on Sunday by 2 points. The game was evenly balanced throughout the 80 minutes however DA were always playing catch up rugby after going behind to an early try. Unfortunately Alex Dunbar suffered a nasty nose injury early in the game which did not allow him to take any further part in the game. This necessitated a reshuffle in the backline and soon DA were back into their stride.

Before half time tries were exchanged to see DA turn around into the wind trailing 19-15. The second half became a scrappy affair but DA’s task became more difficult when the home side extended their lead by a further 5 points. At this point DA upped their game and their efforts were rewarded and their spirits lifted when they scored a converted try to get within 2 points of the opposition.

With victory in sight DA took the game to the opposition but stiff defence, the odd mistake and some close calls by the referee were enough to see that DA could not cross the whitewash. Although defeated the team never gave up and all the players will learn from playing in hard competitive games like this.

For the record Jonathon Crombie and Andrew White scored two tries apiece with the latter kicking a conversion.

DA Team: Jonathon, Elliot, Robert, Alex, Alistair, Michael, Bruce, Dwayne, Paul, Andrew, Martin, Daniel, Alex, Steven, Conor, Innes, Lewis, Evan, Lee and Sam

ANNAN U16 41 V STRATHAVEN U16 10
SATURDAY 1ST NOVEMBER 2003

This was a day of the prop forwards Jason Garner and Ross Gracie both having splendid games. Garner scoring the first try in both halves, giving him three tries in two matches and Gracie, who was man of the match was simply everywhere.

Strathaven never gave up and scored 2 good tries of their own but Annan did the simple things well and grow more confident by the week. Pick of the backs were Jancey, Ogilvie, Goodwin and Waddel. For the record tries came from J.Garner(2), C. Waddel, N. Coupland, I. Dunlop, S. Goodwin, and M. Scott with R. Ogilvie and Greg Harkness, sharing the kicking duties.

There was one unscheduled moment when the referee stopped play for a helicopter to land on the pitch in order to pick up an injured Strathaven player. The latest news is that he will be OK.

WIGTOWNSHIRE/NEWTON STEWART U15 0 DUMFRIES/ANNAN U15 72
SATURDAY 1ST NOVEMBER 2003

The beginning of November and this was the first game of the season where rain and wind were in evidence. Thankfully it did not cause too many problems as the DA Blues continued their current good form with a victory over the combined team from Wigtownshie and Newton Stewart.

Playing with the wind behind them in the first half saw DA quickly take the game to their opponents and scores soon followed as all players tried to keep the ball alive. An early end to the first half saw the DA Blues turn round 38 –0 in front.

Regular changes throughout the 2nd period gave players and coaches the opportunity to try out new combinations. Although this caused some disruption it did not alter the pattern of play with the DA Blues controlling most facets. The final score ending Wigtownshire/Newton Stewart 0 DA Blues 72.

Tries were scored by Dwayne Barnes(3), Daniell Henderson (2), Alex Halliday, Bruce Blower, Stephen Lethardy, Elliot Smith, Lee Barnes, Jonathon Crombie, and Sam Henderson. Andrew White kicked 6 conversions.

ANNAN U16 46 V CUMNOCK U16 5
SATURDAY 25TH OCTOBER 2003

The omens were not good for this match when four of Annan regulars were unavailable due to sickness and injury, later a phone call confirmed that Cumnock were unable to field a full team at under 16 and would need to boost their side with Colts.

However the teams were evenly matched in the first half with no score after 15 min. It was wing forward Sam Rogers who got Annan’s first with a fine run which broke through the home teams defence. The try was converted by Greg Harkness, Cumnock struck back but failed to convert and the score was seven five.Just before half time Ross Gracie crashed over again converted by Harkness making it 14-5 at half time in Annan’s favour.

In the second half Annans rucking, tackling, ball handling and fitness came to the fore with the whole team playing well. The tries were scored by Danny Black, Darren Hunter, Craig Aird and another 2 from Ross Gracie. Greg Harkness was on target with the boot getting 6 out of 7 conversions making this another convincing win for the U16 squad

DUMFRIES/ANNAN U15 36 V WEST OF SCOTLAND U15 0
SATURDAY 25TH OCTOBER 2003

The DA Blues scored 6 tries to overcome a stuffy West of Scotland XV to continue with their good run in Division 1 of the Glasgow Under 15 league.

Playing with the wind in the first half ensured that DA would spend most of the time in the opposition’s half. After several passages of pick and drive Alex Dunbar was put through a gap to sprint clear and touch down. The same player continued to be a threat to the West defences and it came as no surprise to see him score 2 more good tries before half time. Andrew White converted two of the tries to take the score to 19-0 at half time.

Defending into the wind saw DA reverting to keeping the ball tighter and trying to make sure West did not have a lot of time and space to operate in when they had the ball. A quick score in the corner by the full back Conor Trant just after the restart certainly helped to unsettle the opposition as they tried hard to get into the game.

Although DA made some basic errors they were able to recover quickly and keep the ball away from the bigger West players. This tactic certainly helped as it brought about 2 more tries, the first by Daniel Henderson and the final one by Conor Trant. Andrew White successfully kicked 1 conversion to take the final score to DA Blues 36 West of Scotland 0.

DA had tow work hard to achieve this victory and the players will realise that they will have to cut out some of the basic errors when they play Ayr away at Burnbrae this coming Sunday.

DA Team: Bruce Blower, Elliot Smith, Jonathon Crombie, Alex Halliday, Alastair Young, Sam Henderson, Innes Carruthers, Dwayne Barnes, Paul Anderson, Andrew White, Euan Black, Daniel Henderson, Alex Dunbar, Martin Smith, Conor Trant, Stephen Lethardy, Jamie Court

ANNAN U16 32 V CUMBERNAULD U16 0
SATURDAY 4TH OCTOBER 2003

This game was closer than the scoreline suggests. It was the driving forward play that secured the first and second of Annan tries with No 8 Michael Scott picking up at the back of rucks scoring both. Making the half time score 10-0 in Annan’s favour. The second half saw Cumbernauld compete strongly putting Annan under pressure, however, the Annan defence held firm. Annan eventually got their backs into the game with good tries from scrum half Andrew Jancey and two from winger Scott Goodwin . Neal Coupland scored another good try that was made by a determined run from second row forward Graeme Glendinning. Rickie Ogilvie slotted the conversion to make the final score 32-0.

This result means that Annan are now top of the league having played four won four. This weekend Annan have a break with opponents Cartha not being able to raise a team. The next fixture is away to Cumnock on Sun 19th Oct.

DUMFRIES/ANNAN U15 69 V STEWARTRY U15 0
SATURDAY 4TH OCTOBER 2003

The D/A Under 15’s continued their winning run with a comprehensive victory over a resilient Stewartry XV at Park Farm on Sunday. Although missing four of their regulars Stewartry started strongly keeping the D/A XV pinned back in their own half by using the wind to their advantage. D/A’s defence held firm over this ten minute period and gradually they started to make ground into their opponents half. Eventually a try was scored in the corner from a quickly taken penalty.

Unfortunately for Stewartry they temporarily lost one of their main players at this time and D/A were quick to capitalise on this to score four more tries before the break. D/A made several changes at half time allowing all of their substitutes to play their part. Stewartry continued to defend stoutly. However D/A kept driving strongly through their forwards and backs and then moving the ball into spaces to score a further six tries before the final whistle to take the final score to D/A 69 Stewartry 0

D/A tries were score by Alex Dunbar(3), Bruce Blewer (2), David Henderson (2), Jonathon Crombie (2), Elliot Smith and Andrew White with Andrew White also kicking seven conversions.

Ball handling, contact and decision making skills are showing signs of improvement and it is hoped that this will continue to improve with all players keeping up their commitment to both training and playing in the weeks ahead.

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