All previous match reports etc can be found at the Archive page.
ANNAN 10 v LENZIE 22
SATURDAY 12TH APRIL 2008
Annan really needed to win this game in order to avoid relegation, and with a win against Lenzie away only a few weeks before, this certainly seemed a possibility. However Lenzie ended up worthy winners, leaving Annan with the task of beating East Kilbride away this Saturday.
The game opened at a brisk pace, and it was the visitors who drew first blood, dropping a goal from a scrum on the Annan 22. Annan were certainly in the game, and from a ruck in the Lenzie half, prop Grant Wylie peeled off, fed No 8 Graham Smith, who put left winger David Wyllie in the clear to score the first try. The conversion failed, but Annan were in front 5-3.
As the half progressed, Lenzie began to win a greater share of possession, and looked a well balanced team, giving Annan plenty of defending to do. The defence held, aided by a touch of selfishness by the Lenzie backs who were prone to waste overlaps, until near half time. Under pressure, an Annan kick to touch failed to reach, and swept in on the right. A successful conversion put them ahead 10-5 at half time.
With the benefit of what wind there was in the second half, it was hoped that Annan would be able to get good field position for their big forwards to attack the line. Only in the last five minutes was this the case, and for the bulk of the half the game was played in Annan territory. Lenzie scored a second try from a five metre scrum, the wing forward peeling off and diving over. Annan had their best spell late in the half, pressurizing the Lenzie line, but good defence kept Annan out. It has to be said that Annan infringements also helped, enabling Lenzie to relieve the pressure.
After this period of pressure, it was disappointing that Lenzie should score from nothing. A loose ball was kicked over the Annan line, and Annan made a mess of the clearance, leaving a Lenzie back to touch down for a converted try.
Annan returned to the offensive, and this time were rewarded when Michael Carpenter managed to force a way over. Just reward for his hard work throughout.
Annan could have few complaints about the result. They never got on top of a lively Lenzie, whose back row was particularly sharp, while their stand off was able to keep play in the Annan half with some fine line kicking. Annan were secure in the set piece, but had to give second best in the backs. N. Moffat could make a scrum half though.
Annan team: G. Wylie, L. Ogilvie, A. Gunning, K. Watret, M. Carpenter, N. Halliday, D. Barnes, G. Smith; N. Moffat, J. Bigham; D. Wyllie, G. Lynch, C. Muir, C. Bell; C. Trant. Subs used G. Williamson, C. Hay.
IRVINE 15 v ANNAN 15
SATURDAY 5TH APRIL 2008
Full back Connor Trant kicked off to start this Division 4 (West) league fixture in the Scottish 2nd XV Leagues at Marress which was not one of his better kicks Ė too flat and too long. He then charged down the Invineís standoff clearance kick, picked up the loose ball and scored with 15 seconds gone. He, however, missed the conversion.
After the unexpected start the game settled down to a forward battle with Annan winning and keeping possession for long periods but they were unable to really threaten the Irvine line.
Irvine were next to score as a pin point cross field kick landed right on target for the Irvine winger to run in almost unopposed to score from just inside the Annan half. Irvine added to their scoreline when a defensive kick by Annan failed to find touch and was fielded by the home fullback who fed his No 8 who broke through some weak Annan defences to score a converted try to take the half time score to Irvine 12 Annan 5.
In the second half Annan were playing with a strong wind at their backs. Prop Ray Fulton increased Annanís score when he drove over to score to bring Annan within 2 points of their hosts. Irvine increased the gap to 5 points when they were awarded a penalty. After a long period of Annan pressure and in the final minute of the game the pressure told and a fine handling move between Ogilvie, Halliday and Henderson led to the latter crashing over to score. Conor Trant failed with his conversion attempt and the score remained tied at 15 points all at the final whistle.
ANNAN 6 v WHITECRAIGS 28
SATURDAY 1ST MARCH 2008
Whitecraigs win at the Everholm on Saturday guaranteed them promotion. They deserved their win, looking a well organized and well balanced team, with just an extra edge in the backs, but Annan gave them a hard game and certainly did not disgrace themselves.
Playing at the Everholm, with Violetbank being unplayable, the teams were faced with a strong cross field wind and a very sticky pitch, but both tried hard to play rugby. The fact that there were more dropped passes and knock-ons than usual was due partly to the wind and partly to the ďin your face defenceĒ practiced by both teams. Annan began well, driving the ball into the Whitecraigs 22, and winning a penalty which fullback Conor Trant slotted. As the minutes rolled by, Whitecraigs began to press and levelled the score with a straightforward penalty in front of the posts. They then showed what they could do given the chance Ė the ball moving well along the back line for the left wing to round the defence for a try. The only other scores of the half were a penalty apiece, making it 6-11 at the break.
Whitecraigs kept the pressure on Annan in the second half, and Annan were unable to escape their own territory, Relieving kicks to touch simply renewed Whitecraigs attacks, or failed to reach touch with the same result. Nevertheless, for all their possession, the visitors were only able to score two further tries, both converted, and a penalty, and Annan were still in the game until the final quarter. Both Whitecraigs tries came from strong running and good support by the backs. Annanís best chance of the half came when Alex Halliday broke the visitorsí line and reached the 22, Conor Trant took the ball on, but the defence had scrambled back to snuff out the chance.
The Annan forwards worked hard, led by the old warriors Halliday and Henderson, but were not given the chance to show what they could do inside the visitorsí 22. The backs found themselves up against a better unit on the day, but will not have to face similar opposition again this season.
Annan team: R. Fulton, L. Ogilvie, G. Wylie, K. Watret, W. Henderson, D. Barnes, S. Wylie, N. Halliday, G. Lynch, J. Bigham, D. Wyllie, A. Copland, A. Halliday, G. Williamson, C. Trant, N. Bell, C. Muir, C. Bell, E. Currie.
LENZIE 15 v ANNAN 18
SATURDAY 19TH JANUARY 2007
Annanís 2nd XV travelled to Viewfield on Saturday to take on 3rd placed Lenzie in Division 4 (West) of the Scottish 2nd XV Leagues. In the first quarter of the game Annan dominated play and were 8 points to 5 in the lead at half time with a penalty by full back Connor Trant and a try by prop Andrew Gunning.
In the second half Annan increased their lead with a further penalty by Connor Trant before Lenzie, with a well worked converted try, took the lead at 12-11. The home side added a penalty to increase their lead to 15 Ė 11. The last word was left to Annan veteran Neil Halliday who scored the winning try which Connor Trant converted to take the final score to Lenzie 15 Annan 18.
Over the 80 minutes the Annan pack worked hard as a unit and retained good possession. Veteran No 8 Neil Halliday was an inspiration to his team-mates with hooker Andrew Gunning and prop Ray Fulton along with lock Keiron Watret also worthy of special mention. Special thanks are also due to Colts John Bingham and Callum Bell who turned out for the 2nd XV squad.
Annan 2nd XV: G Wylie, A Gunning, R Fulton, K Watret, W Henderson, S Wyllie, Neil Moffat, N Halliday, L Ogilvie, J Bingham, D Graham, D Wyllie, A Copland, R Copland, C Trant. Replacements (all used): C Bell, G Williamson, D Kerr, M Carpenter.
ANNAN 57 v GREENOCK WANDERERS 0
SATURDAY 24TH NOVEMBER 2007
The 2nds own particular mix of youth and experience proved altogether too strong for a young Wanderers team at the Everholm last Saturday. The select band of ten supporters on the touch line, comprising wives, girl friends and family, were treated to eight good tries and an excellent display of place kicking as 2nds took revenge for a narrow defeat at Greenock on their first outing of the season.
From the delayed kick off Annan were in determined mood, keeping play deep in the Wanderers 22, and a penalty award allowed fullback Conor Trant to register the first points. This was followed by a try from hooker Liam Ogilvie, following some smart interplay, which Trant goaled. Next over was captain Kieron Watret, from a lineout catch and drive Ė again converted by Trant. It was 25 minutes before Wanderers got into Annanís half, with a short spell of pressure which was eventually cleared. Annan went downfield again, and stand off Ewan Currie crossed after a quick tap penalty, Trant making good the wide conversion, to give Annan a 24-0 half time lead.
With the wind now favouring Wanderers in the second half, Annan got the start they wanted. A clever kick through by scrum half Gavin Lynch was kicked on by winger Ally Muir, who easily won the race to touch down. Trant converted. Lynch then got on the score sheet himself following a No 8 pick up from a scrum, with Trant converting. Next simple but effective passing from a midfield scrum saw Lynch and Trant put Muir in the clear, and Trant added the extras. As the game neared its end, Currie got his second breaking through after some good support play, allowing another Trant conversion. The final try went to old campaigner John Carlyle, on as a sub, the ball being moved right and flanker Billy Henderson generously putting Carlyle in at the flag. This was to be Trantís only miss of the game.
The Annan pack were dominant throughout. They bossed the loose, and took several against the head. Ground was made whether the ball was kept tight or given to the backs, who all looked lively. Wanderers were unable to construct any worthwhile attacks against a hard tackling Annan defence. While every man is deserving of praise after a performance like this, Iím sure the more experienced players will not mind the singling out of some younger ones. Conor Trant had a marvelous day with the boot, and was also full of confidence at full back. Scrum half Gavin Lynch too had an excellent game, his kicking often driving Wanderers back deep into their own half, while Dwayne Barnes in the back row tackled like an Exocet.
So well done seconds Ė but be available for this weekís trip to Garnock.
Annan team: G. Wylie (J. Carlyle), L. Ogilvie, J. Tinning, I. Thorburn, K. Watret, W. Henderson, D. Barnes, N. Halliday, G. Lynch, E. Currie, D. Graham (A. Muir), A. Copland, S. Wyllie, G. Williamson (W. Harrison), C. Trant.
ANNAN 22 v HELENSBURGH 3
SATURDAY 10TH NOVEMBER 2007
This was a welcome league win for the 2nds, after a series of narrow defeats. Helensburgh came with a decent record this season, including a win last week over Garnock, but in this encounter Annanís blend of experience and youth proved too strong.
The key to Annanís success was the domination of the forwards, who provided plenty of ball. The backs ran well at times, but either unforced errors or good defence prevented the deluge which Annanís domination threatened.
Annan got off to a good start, with Billy Henderson getting over on the left, following a quick tap penalty and ground made by Neil Bell. Conor Trant converted well to give Annan a 7-0 lead. Despite having the bulk of the game, Annan were unable to add to their score in the first half. Indeed only a fine tackle from fullback Trant prevented the Helensburgh No 10 from scoring, and the visitors did get the points from a penalty after Annan were guilty of a later tackle
With the benefit of the breeze in the second half, it was hoped Annan would continue to exert pressure, and they were rewarded with two tries early in the second half. David Wyllie and Liam Ogilvie took the ball close to the Helensburgh line, and scrum half Barry Graham dived over to make it 12-3. Annanís third came from left wing Gary Williamson. Young stand off James Bigham took the ball into the Helensburgh 22, and the ball was then moved left for Williamson to score on the overlap. Annanís fourth and final try came from old warhorse Neil Halliday, who was driven over following a good lineout take by Henderson. Conor Trant was unlucky with his kicking, after a good start, shaving the post on three occasions.
Helensburgh never gave up, and tested the Annan defence at times, but their own attacks foundered on errors, which was hard luck on a decent pair of half backs.
This was only Annanís second league win of the season, but if they could get some continuity of personnel over the coming weeks, it wonít be their last. It was encouraging to see two Colts fielded in this game. James Bigham played at 10 throughout, and Callum Bell came on in the back row.
Annan team: G. Wylie, S. Wyllie, M. Carpenter, W. Henderson, I. Thorburn, N. Bell, D. Barnes, N. Halliday, B. Graham, J. Bigham, G. Williamson, E. Currie, G. Lynch, D. Wyllie, C. Trant. Subs, all used Ė C. Hay, L. Ogilvie, C. Bell, W. Harrison.
ANNAN 7 v EAST KILBRIDE 12
SATURDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2007
The visitors started brightly in this Division 4 (West) of the Scottish 2nd XV Leagues at Violetbank on Saturday and although they retained possession well they did not look like scoring as the well marshalled Annanís defences kept them at bay. Annan did go behind at the 10 minute mark when the visitors landed a penalty award. Annan came back into the game and from a lineout they scored a good Ďbacks tryí when the ball was whipped out from scrum half Gavin Lynch to 2nd Row Keiron Watret standing in the inside centre spot who ran in to score from 30 metres out. Conner Trant added the extra two points. East Kirkbride came back with a penalty to take the half time score to Annan 7 East Kilbride 6.
East Kilbride reasserted their forward dominance in the second half with some good solid driving play to keep possession. Annan in turn became frustrated in being unable to gain the ball and began to give away penalties with the visitors adding a further two penalties, the last being the last kick of the game to win. Annan had chances to win the game when they were awarded penalties but both of Annanís kickers appeared to have misplaced their kicking boots. Final Score Annan 7 East Kilbride 12.
ARDROSSAN 10 v ANNAN 27
SATURDAY 13TH OCTOBER 2007
Annanís second string travelled to Memorial Field to take on Ardrossan Accies 2nd XV in the hope of bringing off their first win of the season in Division 4 (West) of the Scottish 2nd XV Leagues. Annan had a dream start when scrum half Gavin Lynch powered through the home defences to score an unconverted try. Ardrossan hit back with a penalty before No 8 Neil Halliday drove over from a 5 metre push over by the Annan forwards to take the visitors into a 10 points to 3 lead at half time.
In the second half it was Ardrossan who scored early with a converted try to tie the scores. Annan then upped their game and Gavin Lynch restored Annanís lead with a penalty. He then stretched Annanís lead with a finely taken interception try which James Bingham converted. Annanís last score came from an electric backs move with youngster Jamie Harrison who, with great supporting play, dived over in the corner to score. James Bingham added the extra 2 points to take Annan to an encouraging 27 Ė 10 victory.
The Annan players who caught the eye were prop Ryan Gracie with a fine overall performance and lock Neil Bell who was outstanding in the lineout. In the forwards Jamie Harrison and James Bingham had solid games and made the step up to the senior ranks without looking out of place.
ANNAN 24 v STEWARTRY 19
SATURDAY 6TH OCTOBER 2007
Annan started well with the forwards supplying the backs with quality ball allowing them to make inroads into the Stewartry defence. Lock A Jefferson scored first for Annan with a quickly taken tap penalty which allowed him to crash over the line. Scrum half Gavin Lynch added the conversion. Gavin Lynch scored the second when from a scrum strike against the head No 8 Neil Halliday picked up and drove for the line and neatly offloaded the ball to the scrum half to score. As the half progressed Stewartry came more into the game and they scored a try late into the half to take the score to Annan 14 Stewartry 5 at the half time break.
The second half saw Annan having to absorb some initial Stewartry pressure but it was the home side who scored first when No 8 Neil Halliday drove over to score. Although Annan had the bulk of possession and control of the rest of the second half all they had to show it was a penalty slotted by Gavin Lynch. Stewartry had the final say in the game by scoring two late converted tries to take the final score to Annan 24 Stewartry 19.
All in all a satisfying game of rugby for both sides with Annanís second string beginning to show some form.
WHITECRAIGS 49 v ANNAN 13
SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER 2007
Annanís 2nd XV travelled to Newton Mearns on Saturday to take on Whitecraigs 2nds in Division 4 (West) of the Scottish 2nd XV leagues and were well beaten by a well drilled Whitecraigs side at West Lodge. Annan started brightly and despite going behind in the opening minutes to a penalty they then took the lead with a well worked try when the backs moved the ball wide and then back infield. From the ensuing mini ruck Captain Keiron Watret picked and drove for the line and when stopped offloaded the ball to his vicecaptain Gavin Lynch who scored at the left side of the posts. Scrum half Connor Trant added the conversion to take Annan into a 3-7 lead.
Whitecraigs replied with a try of their own following a forward drive to the Annan line. The try was awarded despite although Annan lock Ian Thorburn came up with ball. After this Annan seemed to go to sleep and it wasnít long before the home side scored an other two tries, one of which they converted to take a 13 point lead at 20 Ė 7. Before half time Annan managed to reduce the points deficit by 3 when Connor Trant slotted a penalty award to take the half time score to Whitecraigs 20 Annan 10.
The second half was one that Annan will want to forget as Whitecraigs scored a further 5 tries, two of which were converted with Annanís only response a further penalty to take the final score to Whitecraigs 49 Annan 13. Credit must go to Whitecraigs who played good running rugby using their fast proficient three quarters and full back although their play may have been flattered by some poor Annan defence and turnovers.
ANNAN 11 v GARNOCK 18
SATURDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER 2007
Annanís 2nd XV hosted their Garnock counterparts in Division 4(West) of the Scottish 2nd XV leagues at Violetbank and although beaten are beginning to look as if they are coming together as a team. On only their second outing of the season they put in a credible performance scoring a try and two penalties to Garnockís two tries, conversion and 2 penalties. Annan were a little unlucky to lose the first try when a penalty kick rebounded of the post into the hands of a visiting forward who crashed over to score and also to have a try chalked off when scrum half Barry Graham appeared to crash over for a try in the corner.
Annanís points came from a try by David Graham and two penalties by fullback Conor Trant. On the credit side lock Michael Carpenter, Full back Connor Trant, David Graham and David Wyllie all having outstanding games in Annan colours.
Annan 2nd XV: R Gracie, S Wyllie, A Graham, M Carpenter, K Watret, A Jefferson, D Wyllie, N Halliday, B Graham, G Lynch, G Williamson, E Currie, M Griffen, N Copland, C Trant. Replacements: L Ogilvie, D Graham, C Hay.
GREENOCK WANDERERS 10 v ANNAN 7
SATURDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER 2007
After having to call off their first league fixture due to lack of numbers, it was pleasing to see the 2nds set off for Greenock with a full team and one replacement. With no pre-season games played, it was expected that this first outing might be a difficult one for Annan, but in the end they could feel satisfied that they had more than matched their opponents for most of the game, until tiredness took its toll late on.
The first half saw Annan have the bulk of the pressure, after Wanderers had got off to a brisk start, and had knocked over a penalty. Annan had a good spell of pressure on the home line, and three times looked to have got over, only for the referee to say otherwise. It was not only in attack that Annan were doing well, they also showed up well in defence, some fine tackling keeping Wanderers from adding to their tally.
The third quarter saw Annan take a deserved lead. Wanderers failed to deal with an Annan kick through, and scrum half Conor Trant gathered, chipped over the defence, and won the race to touch down. He then proceeded to convert a far from straightforward kick. As the game entered its final stages, Annan found that lack of match practice and fitness more of a burden, and in one attack the Wanderers backs got through inside the Annan 22 to score under the posts, the conversion giving them a 10-7 lead.
Annan were unable to gain enough possession or territorial position in the dying moments to wrest victory from the jaws of defeat. In the end, failure to capitalize on first half pressure proved decisive.
Despite the result, there was plenty of promise from this Annan team. Stuart
Wyllie took six against the head, the set pieces went well, and every player put in the effort demanded by their coach. A few training sessions would not go amiss for many, however, once they shake off the physical shock of their first 80 minutes.
Annan team: A. Copland; A. Muir, A. Halliday, D. Wyllie, D. Copeland; E. Currie, C. Trant; M. Carpenter, S. Wyllie, A, Graham, N. Coupland, G. Williamson; C. Muir, N. Halliday, L. Ogilvie.