Match reports for the 2nd XV

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ANNAN v CUMNOCK
25TH APRIL 2015

GOOD WIN FOR ANNAN

Report by Alan Robertson

Annan welcomed Cumnock 2nds for their last 15 aside game of the season and put on one of their best displays of the season in this friendly at Violetbank on Saturday.

On a surprisingly pleasant afternoon, after the overnight rain, it didn’t take the hosts long to get the score board ticking over when winger Willie Gray sprinted over to score his first try converted by stand off Andy Allison.

Despite struggling a little in the scrums this did not really blunt Annan’s attacking credentials as right winger Max Thorburn ran in two superb tries the second of which was converted by Allison.

The last try of the half was scored by centre Cairn Wallace who scythed his way through some despairing visitor’s defences to score. Allison one again added the extras to take the half time score to Annan 2nds 26 Cumnock 2nds 0.

Annan continued the second half in the same vein as the first with Wallace again outpacing the Cumnock mid field defence to score an unconverted try in the opening minutes.

The hosts were now in full flow and scored a further four tries. The first was winger Gray’s second followed by Andy Copland, Wallace’s third and finished off by Allison.

Wallace added three conversions to take the final score to Annan 2nds 55 Cumnock 2nds 7 but not before Cumnock scored a converted consolation try at the death.

This was a heartening display by Annan’s second string albeit at the end of the season but augers well for next season for the club with so many of this young team showing up well, many of whom will be competing for first team places next season.


ANNAN v CARRICK
4TH APRIL 2015

ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE

Report by Alan Robertson

Annan welcomed the unbeaten league leaders in West 2 of the BT Regional Reserve leagues on Saturday and whilst even the most fervent home supporters expected the home side to struggle against the visitors no one expected them to come within a whisker of causing a major upset.

The visitors started strongly and the signs looked ominous in the opening 10 minutes as Annan struggled to get out of their own 22. Carrick opened the scoring with a well worked try down the left to score in the corner which was converted.

Annan did hit back on their first incursion into the visitor’s halt when they were awarded a penalty which standoff Cairn Wallace converted. It was the visitors who increased their score line with another well worked try (unconverted) to increase their lead to 9 points.

On the stroke of half time, from a Carrick kick out of defence, the ball was gathered by winger Steven Clark who left his opposite number for dead, rounded the visiting full back to score to take the half time score to Annan 8 Carrick 12.

Annan’s tails were up as they realised that their visitors were not invincible and from the restart laid siege to the Carrick line through their forwards. Their dynamic pick and drive game paid off when from a driving maul the ball was driven over the line and grounded and with the conversion by Cairn Wallace Annan took the lead for the first time 15-12.

Their lead was short lived as Carrick hit back with another backs try (unconverted) 15-17. Annan refused to lie down however and Cairn Wallace kicked another penalty award to retake the lead by a single point 18-17 which he increased minutes later by another penalty to take the score to 21 – 17.

Carrick and their vocal touchline supporters were visibly shaken and their frustration at being behind for the first time in the season boiled over which resulted in an unseemly brawl which saw an Annan player yellow carded for a high tackle and a Carrick player red carded for throwing a punch.

The final minutes were nail biting for both sets of supporters as play went from end to end but it took a defensive mistake by Annan in the final minute of the game which allowed the visitors to cross the whitewash to score the final try (converted) to win the game 21-24.

All in all this was a full blooded affair with no quarter asked or given. Annan’s lack of composure towards the end of the game probably cost them the game as white line fever took over in Carrick’s 22.

However this was generally a solid performance from the Annan 2nd string and with one game to go Annan 2nds look to have consolidated their position in 3rd place in the league.

Annan 2nd XV Squad: J Graham, D Ferguson, C Smith, K Watret, N Wallace, S Muir, W Gray, P Scholar, G Smith, M Crombie, L Stannus, C Wallace, S Clark, I Thorburn, M Thorburn, M Carpenter, L Jamieson, S Rogers, L Johnstone,


ALLAN GLENS v ANNAN
14TH MARCH 2015

ANOTHER WIN FOR THE 2NDS

Report by Neil 'Santa' Wallace

Annan made the relatively short trip up the M74 on Saturday in buoyant mood following the previous weeks success against Marr and with only enforced changes due to working patterns (and 1 injury ) were mainly able to field an unchanged team.

Arriving early for the 3pm KO Annan made the best of the pre match time , but come the KO were still put under the cosh by a fired up “Glens team “ who are themselves looking to hit 2nd spot.

For the first 10 minutes Annan were forced into resolute defence in their own 22 before conceding a simple penalty (Offside at the ruck - you know who you are!!) gifting the opening points to the home side who gratefully accepted.

The next 10 minutes were an almost carbon copy of the first with Annan unable to make headway in possession & being bullied back into their own 22 & steadfastly defending looking capable of preventing a try before another error lead to a kickable penalty – again gratefully accepted.

“Glens” did manage to breach the whitewash shortly after this when a well worked move sucked too many defenders into the ruck before the right wing crossed the line untouched to score in the corner, again the kicker slotted the opportunity giving the home team an 11-0 lead.

During the build-up play Annan suffered some injury worries but unusually for 2nd team games Annan were able to call on reserves to keep the numbers even, no further scores before the 1/2 time interval but the change did alter the area Annan were defending into more towards the midfield .

During the break Annan brought on the remainder of the substitutes, so it was that the rousing team talk that sent Annan back onto the field with a mission, they did not disappoint!

From the KO Annan were on the front foot & pushed “Glens” back into their 22 where following some persistent rucking S.Muir spotted a gap & snipped in for Annan’s first try of the day (Converted Alison).

Although still trailing by 4 points Annan were now in the ascendancy, when “Glens” broke through on the wing Ferguson hunted down his opposite number stopping him 5 meter short of the line & gaining possession – this lifted the Annan 15 who raised their game another notch & when Clark received the ball in his own half & set off on a trademark “mazy” run scoring a fine individual try (Converted Alison) giving Annan a lead they would not relinquish .

Next points came again from the boot of Alison when the home team were pinged for continually handling in the ruck .

Due to the intensity of the contact area Annan lost Crombie (Hairline fracture) & the game had to be halted while the home 15 received treatment (KO’d)

With 7 minutes left to play the referee elected to change pitches to enable the injured player to get treatment, after the distraction of this change Annan finished off the day with Ferguson finishing off a good display outpacing the defence to touch down a kick through – its unclear who did the kicking as it has been claimed by Fudgie, Ronnie & ½ the back line !!

Alison was again successful with the Kick to round off the scoring on a good afternoon for Annan 2nd team

With fixtures on the 28th March at home to Cambuslang 2nds , 4th April at home to Carrick 2nds and away to GHA Sharks on the 11 April Annan can eye up 3rd place

Annan Squad: D Ferguson, A Allison, L Stannus, R Martin, W Gray, S Muir, M Carpenter, M Crombie, I Thorburn, M Thorburn, C Wallace, N Wallace, S Clark, P Schoolar, L Jamison, J Graham, C Smith, J Crombie, A Thompson


ANNAN v MARR
7TH MARCH 2015

ANOTHER GOOD WIN FOR THE 2NDS

Report by Dennis Ryan

Having started 2015 with a three game winning run and moving into February Annan second XV found themselves kicking dirt and twiddling their thumbs as opponents failed to field teams and the six nations kicked off. Saturday 7th March saw them shake off the cobwebs and prepare for the visit from Marr 3rd XV currently flying high in second position in the league.

The Annan team gathered at 13:45 to warm up only to find that Marr were running late and expected to arrive at 14:30. The wind was blustery and with this news the 2s continued to change and get on with their warm up.

As time passed it was reported that there was a further delay of the Marr squad with ETA now expected to be 14:45, meaning a late kick off. By the time Marr arrived, the wind had increased in strength but luckily no rain.

Kicking off at 15:20 and with Annan choosing to play into the wind, it was the visitors who started on the front foot despite a short warm up. For the first 30 minutes play was around the halfway line with short excursions from both teams into the others half but all fruitless. Just after 30 minutes and under pressure from Marr’s forwards Annan secured the ball and proceeded into the Marr 22 the advance was only halted by some fierce tackling.

With quick ball spun out to Kieran Watret from the breakdown, Marr were unable to stop him scoring Annan’s first try which was easily converted by Andy Allison against the wind. There was no further score in the first half and Annan went into the break 7-0 ahead.

Marr playing into the wind in the second half carried on as they played the first half and pushed Annan back into their 22 but first up tackling from Willie Gray, Liam Jamieson and Tam Thorburn stopped them in their tracks with the ball being stolen and cleared into the Marr half.

Ten minutes into the second half Annan broke from a scrum and after several crash balls, Kieran Watret went over for his second try. Andy Allison stepped up for his second conversion.

Marr refusing to lie down came back at Annan but each time tackles from each and every Annan player stopped their progress. With wind and wet ball there was a spell of stalemate until with 15 minutes to go Marr gave away a kickable penalty and yet again Andy Allison did the honours.

Spurred on by this Annan went on the attack from the kick off and in difficult conditions showed good ball skills moving from left to right and the left again until Callum Smith broke through for Annan’s third try. Final score 24-0.


ANNAN v LENZIE
17TH JANUARY 2015

TWO IN A ROW FOR THE 2NDS

Report by Neil 'Santa' Wallace

A Sunny Violetbank was the setting for this West Regional Reserve League 2 fixture welcoming the visitors from Lenzie who could hardly believe the change in conditions in the short trip south on the M74 from Glasgow.

Having won the toss Annan chose to have the sun at their backs for the first period & received the kick, from a punted Alison clearance C.Wallace put his opposite number under pressure, charging down the attempted clearance before gratefully dropping onto the ball to open the scoring with 2 minutes on the clock , an uncharacteristic hurried conversion was missed but Annan 2nds had their best start to a game all season.

Annan Continued to put pressure on with some fine possession earned for the backs by the determined pack, who were forced into an early shuffle when the Evergreen Halliday had to retire on 12 minutes due to an injury to the ”good“ knee. This saw the scrums go uncontested which blunted the Annan advantage somewhat but gave some of the more seasoned war horses some breathing time during what was a very fast flowing & entertaining game .

The Annan backline continued to give a good display of not just attacking rugby but also when required on how to defend with the first up low tackling a pleasure to watch, when M.Thorburn finished off an eye catching move to score out wide Alison could have been forgiven for missing the conversion, but following the lesson learned earlier, he slotted the kick .

The only downside to the first half display was the one and only occasion where the visitors put extra pressure on Annan in a ruck & turned the ball over in the Lenzie half before proceeding to move to the Annan line with only minor attempts to prevent the gift of 7 points, that said there were more than enough positives to take from the game & turning around for the second stanza only 12-7 up was enough of a spur for the Annan team to keep the pressure on & to build on the lead with the backs again capitalizing on possession with Schooler being the next over out to the left, again converted by Allison.

On a game of many delights not least was the interception by Muir just inside the opposition half, with the try line at his mercy, Muir ran out of gas (perhaps from the amount of laughing he produced at the interception) and was unfortunately robbed of possession by the Lenzie defense stopping the all-important bonus point try.

However Annan were not to be denied and it was fitting that C. Wallace ended the game the way he started it with an impressive / outrageous use of the dummy to claim the bonus points sending 3 players the wrong way before running the 50+ meters to score under the posts

Annan now find themselves in 5th place in the table with this week’s visitors to Violetbank in 4th and only 3 points in front – what more an incentive could you ask for ?

Let’s keep the focus on playing as a team & let Dennis know your availability to play Clydebank 2nds on Saturday and then GHA Sharks away the following week

Annan Squad: R.Martin , P.Schooler, M.Carpenter, C.Smith , I.Thorburn, M.Thorburn, M.Crombie, S.Muir, W.Gray, D.Ferguson, C.Wallace, G.Smith, L.Jamieson, A.Alison, N.Haliday, N.Wallace, C.Moffat


CUMNOCK V ANNAN
10TH JANUARY 2015

GOOD WIN FOR ANNAN

Report by Gary 'Taggart' Coupland

Annan travelled through various weather fronts to south Ayrshire on Saturday for their first League fixture of the new year with a 20 man squad ready for their first game in a number of weeks.

The pre-match warm up was disrupted by a brief but intense snow flurry setting the scene for the afternoon, brief but intense spells of seasonal weather – including a limited amount of sunshine.

Having won the toss Annan elected to play into the prevailing wind in the first half with the hope of having the wind to help finish the game off. Straight from the kick off Annan were put under pressure and decided against running the ball from deep in their own half but elected to kick possession back to the grateful home team who on the 10 minute mark crashed over on their right wing to open the scoring for the day, this was a lapse in the normally secure Annan defence.

Annan dug deep with the very cold wind chill wreaking havoc with the back line’s handling giving the forwards plenty of scrummaging opportunities which as the game progressed Annan took more and more advantage of.

The scrappy play lead to Annan committing numerous infringements at the break down – the exact nature of some of the offences was a mystery to the small band of travelling support but suffice to say Annan were slow to learn what the official was expecting and gave away far too many penalty opportunities that on another day may have led to a different result.

Annan did manage to have the ball long enough for a trademark bullocking run from Kieron Watret to open Annan’s scoring then getting their noses in front with a clever conversion into the wind by Andy Alison, before Watret took a spell on the sidelines.

A rare first half penalty was also slotted by Alison to give a first half score line of 5-10. The second stanza saw a few enforced changes to the Annan lineup and with the wind at their backs Annan started to dominate in every facet of the game (except for the amount of infringements committed) looking to run away with the game and nullifying the home team attack it should have been a bonus point win for the traveling team with Ferguson powering over shortly followed by Ryan Glass (both unconverted) Annan were the architects of their own downfall by continuing to fall foul of the referee handing possession back to the home team.

It was good to see Cairn Wallace making his senior starting début, Jamieson making an impact in both defence Adam Carlyle’s cameo was a delight, Kieron Warrick & Mattie Crombie were impressive in the loose, but this was an all-round team performance with the only blight the number of offences committed .

Next game is home to Lenzie 2nds on the 17th let’s see if we can have as many players available again

Annan 2nd XV Squad: A Ryan, M Crombie, S Muir, A Allison, R Martin, D Ferguson, C Wallace, M Thorburn, I Thorburn, C Smith, K Watret, A Carlyle, G Smith, M Carpenter, L Jamieson, R Glass, K Warrick, C Nicholson, C Bell, J Bigham


DUMFRIES V ANNAN
3RD JANUARY 2015

ANNAN EDGE OUT DUMFRIES

Report by Gary 'Taggart' Coupland

On the afternoon of Saturday 3rd January, 2015 an Annan XV selected from 1st/2nd and youth players travelled to a surprisingly sunny Park Farm, Dumfries to play a Dumfries 2nd XV. The previously arranged fixture between both 1st XV's having to be cancelled due to the hosts having to play a re arranged league game against Dunfermline.

From the outset the far larger and heavier Dumfries outfit put the Annan XV under some prolonged pressure for the first 15 minutes or so, before some slick handling by the Annan back line initiated from their own 22, resulted in winger Bruce Jamieson scoring under the posts. Which was duly converted by Captain McCann.

Annan then began to exert some more pressure on the Dumfries line and after quick hands again from a ruck on the left hand side of the field a lovely missed pass reached full back Adam Torbett on the right hand side, who ran in to score Annan's 2nd of the day which was again duly converted by McCann.

Almost from the restart Dumfries drove hard at the Annan line and after some pressure scored to the right of the Annan posts, which was duly converted.This score primarily resulting from poor tackling and defensive organisation by the Annan XV.

Annan then scored another try through Centre Sean Harren which came as the result of some good interplay between the Annan players and strong running from depth by the scorer.

To their credit Dumfries reduced the the deficit with a further score far out on the right hand side which was again primarily due to some poor tackling from an Annan perspective.

This left the half time score at 19 - 12 to the visitors.

From the start of the 2nd half, Annan upped their movement and intensity which resulted in a fine individual try by Adam Torbett, which was unconverted.

Dumfries again returned the favour, however scoring from a strong forward drive, through the heart of the Annan defence to make the scores 24 - 19.

From the kick off Annan then resumed their attack on the Dumfries line which resulted in a trademark short range effort by the evergreen Colin Warrick and a further score far out on the right by Max Thorburn who dropped onto a well judged kick over the advancing Dumfries defence by Sean Harren. Neither effort being converted.

As the heavier Dumfries XV visibly tired in front of them, Annan were able to launch a number of attacks almost at will and could easily have scored another 4 tries, had the final pass or decision making and communication between the Annan players been up to scratch as the try line approached.

Dumfries had the last word however, with one of their forwards running almost from the half way line to score, despite the attempts of at least 5 Annan players to tackle him on the way!

All in all a good workout for both sets of players to get some of the ' festive spirit' out of their systems, however from an Annan perspective, the defensive aptitude and all round intensity in their play will need to be far greater for the resumption of league business next weekend. Get yourself to training this week lads!

Thanks also to Neil Wallace for stepping in to referee at short notice.

Best for Annan on the day were McCann, Torbett and Harren.

Annan Squad: - Ryan Glass, Kieran Warrick, Calum Nicholson, Neal Coupland, Graham Hogg, Calum Bell, Adam Thompson, Sean McDougall, James Bingham, Craig McCann, Andy Allison, Sean Harren, David Wylie, Bruce Jamieson, Adam Torbett, Declan Ferguson, Colin Warrick, Ian 'Tam' Thorburn, Max Thorburn, Calum Smith, Leon Stannus, Cairn Wallace.


STEWARTRY V ANNAN
22ND NOVEMBER 2014

STEWARTRY TO STRONG FOR ANNAN

Report by Gary 'Taggart' Coupland

On Saturday 22nd November, Annan 2nd team travelled to Greenlaw, Castle Douglas to play Stewartry 2nd XV.

With only 15 players available at the outset, the team was depleted by three players calling off even before they'd left the clubhouse, due to injury, work and personal commitments. This left the group without a recognised scrum half and stand off as well as being fairly top heavy in terms of forward players.

On arrival at Greenlaw however, it transpired that the hosts had a surplus of players, many of whom had returned for the day, from other areas. As such they were able to give Annan 3 players, so the game could go ahead with both sides fielding 15 players.

On commencement of the game however it became clear that the 2nds were up against it, with the fact many of the Annan team were playing out of position, being ruthlessly exploited by the Stewartry back line, who scored at regular intervals throughout the first half. T

he only positives for Annan being the parity in the forwards and a wonderful individual try crafted by Steven Clark, who used his strength and speed to run three quarters the length of the pitch through almost the entire Stewartry team to score behind the posts. The try being converted by Bruce Jamieson, playing in the unaccustomed role of stand off.

At half time the try scorer Clark was summoned to the ranks of the first XV and he was replaced by Neal Coupland, whom he in turn had replaced. Coupland slotting in at Standoff with Jamieson moving into the centre.

In the second half, although Stewartrys try rate, slowed somewhat, due to a better defensive commitment from the Annan team and relieving kicks from the boot of Coupland, they ran out worthy winners by 66 - 7.

All in all not a good day at the office for the 2nds, one could excuse the fact they were missing players in key positions and were playing in a 15 literally thrown together 5 minutes before kick off, however the tackle rate and communication was very poor at times, leading to easily preventable tries from the home side.

Best for Annan on the day was John Nelson who was immense in his work rate and commitment during the game.


ANNAN v ALLAN GLENS
1ST NOVEMBER 2014

2NDS FINALLY GET ANOTHER GAME!

Report by Neil 'Santa' Wallace

Violetbank saw the 1st home outing for the 2nd string of the season, with available players much improved from previous weeks the second team manager had the luxury of not just enough for the full XV game but also some reserves !

With the weather playing its part (the torrential rain stopped 30mins prior to KO and the earlier start due to the end of Summer time all was set for an entertaining game.

Annan started brightly putting the visitors under pressure almost straight from the kick off, setting the theme for the afternoon.

Annan dominated in almost every facet of the encounter with the scums being limited to uncontested (lack of front row experience on both teams) and the occasional gust of wind hampering the line outs it was down to the loose play for the majority of the game to be played.

Michael Thomson & Carpenter making their returns from injury showed up well with the former turning up “Hendersonesk” outside the winger to canter home placing the ball firmly on the whitewash during the opening 5mins of his allotted 30 minute silhouette performance.

Next to cross the line was Max Thorburn who although caught managed to force his way over, shortly followed by Niall Goldie

With Kieron Watret in bullocking form making ground every time the ball found its way to him, it was no surprise that he joined the ranks of the scorers on the 1/2 hour, the visitors were pleased to see him take a well-earned rest around ½ time.

Also catching the eye for all the right reasons was Liam Jameson who’s defence was exemplary & showed the way for the many more experienced players to be shown how to chop down attackers & then quickly back to feet to contest for the ball .

Annan ended the 1st half with a bonus point 4 try haul, looking forward to having the slight slope & wind behind them, alas this did not prove to be the case.

A combination of lack of concentration and reduction in handling skill prevented the home team taking full advantage of their dominance with a solitary score in the final stanza going to Allison , who converted his individual effort to finalise the scoring

Squad: A Ryan, C Wilson, K Watret, D Fergusson, M Carpenter, C Smith, M Crombie, C Trussler, N Goldie, P Schoolar, L Jamieson, S Broach, A Allison, I Thorburn, M Thorburn, N Deer, S Muir, A Thomson, M Thompson


ANNAN v MOFFAT
2ND SEPTEMBER 2014

MOFFAT TOO STRONG FOR THE 2NDS

Report by Gary Coupland

On Tuesday 2nd September on what would have passed for a balmy late summers evening, Annan 2nds played their first game of the season at Violetbank against Moffat.

After 15 minutes Moffat had raced into a 19 - 0 lead and those watching we're wondering if the Annan lads minds had been affected by the unseasonal weather in that they thought they were still on some far of holiday destination, because at times it certainly wasn't on the job at hand.

Things then went from bad to worse during the remaining 25 minutes of the half, with poor tackling, a lack of communication and cohesion, resulting in Moffat scoring a further 3 tries to end the half leading 34 - 0.

In the second half, Annan eventually woke up from their slumbers, scoring four excellent tries through Bruce Jamieson (2), Declan Ferguson, and Adam Thomson.

Although tiring, Moffat stuck to their task and maintained their superiority, by scoring a further three tries, two of which were converted, to leave any thoughts of an Annan comeback dashed.

The final score being Annan 2nd XV 22 Moffat 53.

At times Annan were ruthlessly put to the 'sword' by their better drilled opponents, especially in that first 15 minute spell, however there were some plus points over the piece, including good performances from Andrew Gunning, Neil Goldie, and young Declan Ferguson in particular.

All in all a good workout for both teams, highlighting areas for improvement and some good potential playing combinations to work on for the future.