Match reports for the 2nd XV

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All previous match reports etc can be found at the Archive page.


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Meerkats v Grizzlies
Wigton XV

ANNAN MEERKATS XV v ANNAN GRIZZLIES XV
SARAH "OUR BELLA" BELL HAPPY MEMORIES TROPHY
5TH MAY 2019

GRIZZLIES EDGE IT

Report by Alan Robertson

On a fine dry Violetbank the large vociferous crowd of Annan supporters, mums, dads, brothers, sisters and friends were royally entertained to, once again, a feast of fast (Meerkats) and not so fast (Grizzlies) rugby played annually for the Sarah "Our Bella" Bell Happy Memories Trophy.

The teams were led out by one of Annan Rugby's founder members Jack Thompson, captain 50 years ago, and his grandson Eben Le Vin.

The combatants served up 9 tries between them in a remarkably skilful game of rugby with the Grizzlies, after a bright start by the Meerkats, scoring the first try with Keiron Watret crashing over the line.

The Meerkats, however, were not to be intimidated by the experience and, not to put too fine a point on it, the bulk of their opposition realised that keeping the ball away from them was the key to the game.

This ploy paid dividends with the Meerkats running in three tries in succession with Finlay Laurie paving the way, followed by Kieron Warrick and Josh Whiteside to take the Meerkats into a 19-5 lead.

The Grizzlies, falling back on all their experience, began to play a tighter game and fought back through tries by Colin Warrick, Gavin Lynch(2) and Ali Jackson with one try being converted to take the score to Meerkats 19 Grizzlies 27.

In the dying minutes of the game the Meerkats had the last word, however, when Ryan Heatherington crashed over for the last try of the game to take the final score to Annan Meerkats 24 Annan Grizzlies 27.

Once again this annual match showed Annan Rugby is in good heart with Annan's future showing up well against Annan's past and the spectacle a great backdrop to Ladies Day at Violetbank.

So the Grizzlies regained the Sarah "Our Bella" Happy Memories Trophy. The Grizzlies now have a 6-2 lead in the series. See you all again next year for the next instalment!


WIGTON XV v ANNAN XV
FRIENDLY
20TH APRIL 2019

OLD FRIENDS CLASH

Report by Alan Robertson

An Annan XV travelled to sunny and warm Lowmoor Road on Saturday for a friendly with old friends Wigton. Annan and Wigton are old rugby friends having played each other over the fifty years since Annan Rugby's formation.

The match started brightly with both teams playing open expansive entertaining rugby but it was the hosts who opened the scoring with a finely worked backs try and then followed it up with a similar backs creation minutes later. With both tries converted Annan were 14 points down in as many minutes and things looked bleak for the visitors.

However Annan battled their way back into the game with some grinding forward play allied with some enterprising back play with centre Jonny Callaghan crashing over to score in the corner. Captain Craig McCann added the conversion.

However, the hosts fought back to stretch their lead to 19-7. Annan were not to be out done and winger James Kirby brought Annan back within striking distance when he out sprinted the Wigton defences to score in the corner. Again McCann added the conversion.

Just before half time centre Alex Halliday broke through to set up wing forward Callum Smith to take the inside pass to score behind the posts and with McCann's conversion Annan had fought back to tie the game at half time to 19 points all.

Despite some encouraging play in the second half Annan were unable to add to their points tally and it was the hosts who turned on the style to run out worthy winners by 43 points to 19.

Despite the defeat the Annan XV - a mixture of 1st and 2nd XV players - put in a hard shift at Longmoor Road and allowed the coaches to try out a few combinations and younger players at this level.

The considerable Annan support and players thoroughly enjoyed their day in the sun.


ANNAN 2ND XV v GREENOCK WANDERERS 2ND XV
TENNENT'S WEST RESERVE DIVISION 2
6TH APRIL 2019

LAST MATCH OF THE SEASON FOR THE 2ND XV

Report by Neil Moffat

Annan second string took on league leaders Greenock Wanderers at a well attended Violetbank on Saturday. The opening quarter of the game was well contested with Annans set piece strong and held the well drilled Greenock side to three tries, each being scored out wide due to a sterling Annan midfield defence.

The home side got on the score board when Mark walker Jones showing great desire from an attacking line out to find a gap in the greenock defence. The conversation was unsuccessful.

Greenock replied with a further two tries. The last 10ins of the first half all the pressure came from Annan with the visitors defence holding strong till the break.

Half time score: Annan 5 v Greenock 37

Greenock showed why they are top of West reserve league 2 with some tactical changes made at half time. Annan struggled to cope with their strong direct runners and conceded some further scores. Thankfully greenocks kicker left his kicking boots on the bus with the majority being unconverted.

Annan never gave up the fight with all 19 players getting game time showing great spirit. They were rewarded 10 minutes from the end when after a period of pressure in the Greenock 22' Danny Lockerby (with a Y!) scored in the corner on his debut.

Full Time score.: Annan 10 v Greenock 71

Special mention must go to the captain of the day Tam Thorburn who put big shift in as ever also Mathew Crombie and Cory Park in the forwards and Andy Allison and Josh Burgess in the backs.

With that being the last league game of the season Annan can now take a deserved break before it all starts over again in July.


ANNAN 2ND XV v CARRICK
TENNENT'S WEST RESERVE DIVISION 2
23RD FEBRUARY 2019

GREAT EFFORT BUT NOT QUITE ENOUGH

Report by Gav Lynch

On Saturday 23rd Feb Annan twos hosted Carrick two's in a double header fixture. With recent performances & player availability being very positive since Christmas and a Carrick side on a little bit of form recently a close game was expected.

For the first 28 minutes this was the case as neither side could get past stubborn defences. With Carrick having a bit more of possession it came to no surprise that they were able to break the deadlock first. an unconverted try gave them a 5-0 lead.

Some very poor discipline and decision making from Annan, the score quickly moved to 15-0 with two unconverted tries scored. Only for some excellent tackling from Finlay Laurie, Declan Ferguson and Ben Conroy the score remained the same till halftime.

The Annan coaches had plenty to discuss and with the wind now behind them sent a resurged Annan side back out for the 2nd half. Credit to them all as they dominated the 2nd half with some great breaks from Michael Thompson, Stuart Livingstone and Max Thorburn putting pressure on the stubborn Carrick defence.

With 20 minutes of the match left Annan felt they had scored a try when the impressive Finlay Laurie bust through a tackle and drove himself over the line, the referee however deemed the ball to be held up and a 5m scrum was given instead. with pressure increasing and Annan looking the most likely team to score it was a massive blow when Carrick broke through and scored a break away try, yet again unconverted. 0-20 and unfortunately that is how it ended.

A massive improvement in the 2nd half and if not for the 15 minutes of madness in the first half this could have been a different outcome. Well done to a good Carrick side who like ourselves, seemed to struggle to raise a squad before xmas.

So some positives to come from this game with stand out performances from Finlay Laurie and Michael Thompson.

We now travel away to Hillhead this Saturday and as always, we're always looking for players old or new. Please get in contact with 2nd team coach Gavin Lynch if interested.


ANNAN 2ND XV v WHITECRAIGS
TENNENT'S WEST RESERVE DIVISION 2
8TH SEPTEMBER 2018

NICE START TO THE LEAGUE SEASON

Report by Gav Lynch

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 break through when after a bursting run through the centre from David Wyllie, Stewart Livinstone run 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 rewarded against them, so it was disappointing that 3 mins into the second half after a penalty went against us that a Whitecraigs player was able to tap and go, run past 3 players with their backs to him and score in the corner 7-10.

Credit to the lads though as they instantly regained the lead when James Bingham crashed over the line 12-10.

Annan then scored a further 3 tries in the space of 10 minutes from Debut boy Scott Nicholson, winger Callum Grant and David Wyllie. Andrew Alison with one conversion. 29-10.

Halfway into the half and Whitecraigs reduced the difference to 29-15. 65 minutes into the match and 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 our opponents in the last 10 minutes of the game, a some what comfortable win was made very difficult when the away side scored 3 tries with one converted 34-32. That is how the match ended as a spectacular half for any neutrals was brought to an end and Annan were off to a winning start!!

Annan Starting XV: 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)

Big mention to debutants Scott Nicholson and Ben Conroy as well as a return from Danny McClure from a long term injury.

Next match is next week away to Strathendrick with all players encouraged to make a bigger effort to attend training.

Lastly a big thank you to Colin "Choc" Warrick for stepping in and refereeing the match, very much appreciated by all the lads.