All previous match reports etc can be found at the Archive page.
ANNAN 5 v STEWARTRY 15
28TH JANUARY 2012
This game was played on the sticky Everholm pitch, but both sides produced an entertaining and full blooded encounter, played in the best of spirits. Annan had been well beaten in the earlier away game, but for most of this game matched the visitors and the result was in doubt until the last ten minutes.
This game kicked off in fine weather but on a soft surface, watched by a decent crowd, mainly redundant 1st XV players. A few were given a run in this game, but in unusual positions. David Wyllie was at stand off, Ali Jackson at centre, while Neil Wallace made his 2nd XV debut after many years of retirement. He was one of seven substitutes on the Annan bench.
Stewartry applied the early pressure, but solid defence kept them out. Annan then applied pressure of their own, with the half back partnership of Willie Gray and Wyllie combining well. After a scoreless first quarter it was Stewartry who got the first score. A penalty was kicked to the corner and from the resulting pressure on the Annan line the ball was moved quickly to the backs to score. Annan replied almost immediately. Receiving the ball outside the Stewartry 22, Annan fullback Steven Clark appeared to have nowhere to go, but a mazy run bamboozled everyone for the equalising try. Neither side had a kicker capable of reaching the posts, never mind converting.
The second half began with both sides going at it hammer and tongs, with Annan ringing the changes to give everyone a run. Stewartry retook the lead after another penalty to the corner, this time finished off by the forwards. There was still plenty of time for Annan to recover, but though they fought hard, they seemed to tire towards the end, when some woeful midfield kicking failed to relieve pressure and lack of composure crept in. Nevertheless it was only in the final stages of the game that Stewartry tied the game up with a very good try after good handling.
For the forwards the set piece was solid, Michael Thompson taking some good lineout ball, and as usual Ian Thorburn relished the loose, this time assisted by Neil Wallace – until he tired. Behind the scrum Willie Gray showed up at scrum half and Ali Jackson in the centre.
Annan team: G. Hunt, S. McTurk, S. Crosbie, M. Thompson, J. McMonnies, I. Thorburn, M. Thomas, J. Davies, W. Gray, D. Wyllie, W. Harrison, A. Jackson, B. Jamieson, G. Smith, S. Clark. Replacements all used R. Craig, R. Dunlop, N. Wallace, G. Glendinning, C. Henderson, C. Warrick, K. Watret.
ANNAN 26 v EAST KILBRIDE 30
12TH NOVEMBER 2011
This was the “game of two halves” . At half time Annan looked dead and buried, but in the end they came close to winning, and were left to rue some moments of slackness in the first half which were to cost them the game.
After last week’s heavy defeat at Cartha, Annan knew what they were up against – a 2nd XV which had narrowly defeated them at the beginning of the season, so hopes were high. Annan did not get the best of starts, being penalized twice in early play and going six points behind. They hit back though, centre Stewart Livingstone taking advantage of chaos in the visiting defence to pick up and score. The early signs were of a fairly even game, both sides making plenty errors on the wet pitch, however Annan went through a period of self destruction to find themselves 30-5 down at half time. East Kilbride scored four tries in this period. Two were due to indecision in the Annan defence, one due to Annan losing the ball in attempting to run out of defence, and one a straight forward backs try beating the tackles. There were two conversions. East Kilbride had certainly seemed the better organized side in the first half, while Annan’s momentum was hampered by poor rucking and too many penalties – often for holding on where the support was too slow in arriving.
What change would the second half bring ? On came Ian Thorburn, and with a few changes to the line up Annan were transformed. First to score was scrum half Jamie Harrison, whose quick tap penalty on five metres caught everyone by surprise. When Gavin Lynch converted from the touch line, one sensed that a game was on. Next over was centre Bruce Jamieson, who got his boot to the ball and won the race to touch down. Again Lynch converted. Annan now had their tails up, and after pressure in the East Kilbride 22 the ball was moved across the backs for left wing Neil Coupland to score in the corner. Lynch converted another from the touchline. With the score now 26-30, and the try count even, Annan just ran out of time.
Despite the wet pitch, this was an enjoyable match. Once Annan got in the opposition’s faces in the second half, they showed they were a match for the opposition. There were good performances in the second period from Ian Thorburn and Willie Gray, while Ali Jackson, Ross Dunlop and Stewart Livingstone grafted away all game. Half backs Jamie Harrison and Gavin Lynch also had their moments, as had Bruce Jamieson.
So an encouraging second half display, with veteran Thorburn giving a lead, but no getting away from the fact that en bloc attendance at training would make for greater success.
Annan team: C. Nicholson, S. McTurk, G. Hunt, F. Gibb, J. McMonies, J. Davies, A. Jackson, R. Dunlop, J. Harrison, G. Lynch, S. Broatch, B. Jamieson, S. Liviongstone, S. McGill, S. Clark. Subs (all used) I. Thorburn, W. Gray, N. Coupland, S. Duffy, W. Harrison.
CARTHA QP 2NDS 86 v ANNAN 0
5TH NOVEMBER 2011
Annan 2nd travelled to Glasgow with a seriously depleted squad following Saturday morning call ups to the 1st XV. Forget about the score.
Those that represented Annan 2nds can feel proud of their efforts despite the heavy defeat. The panel referee who normally dealt with National League rugby was very impressed with Annan’s commitment in adversity and thoroughly enjoyed the game. Cartha were excellent but were not the team Annan were expecting after beating them at Violetbank.
There were particularly good performances from Martin Thomas and Adam Carlyle and definite signs that the team are improving despite the crushing scoreline.
ANNAN 0 v DUMFRIES 58
29TH OCTOBER 2011
An Annan team much depleted by 1st XV call ups and unavailability took the field bolstered by 3 Dumfries players.
Annan started against the wind and were 2 scores down almost immediately. An experienced, well organized Dumfries team then threatened to run away with the match but led by the veteran duo of Thorburn and Henderson they defended doggedly for the rest of the half and reached half time having conceded only 2 more scores
In the 2nd half Annan were much improved with a much more cohesive forward effort and better organized defence in the backs. Attacking play was limited to a few good individual runs by Adam Torbett and Bruce Jamieson. However each time Annan threatened Dumfries were able to use the strong wind to relieve pressure, something that Annan themselves had failed to do in the first half.
Dumfries scores continued at regular intervals and were often the result of excellent passing and interplay between forwards and backs which belied the heavy underfoot conditions
Individually Annan were well served in the forwards by Tam Thorburn and Billy Henderson with Fraser Gibb & Shaun McTurk improving with every game. It was also good to see Michael Thompson back after his long injury absence.
In the backs Jamie Harrison and Adam Torbett linked well when paired at half back. Torbett was the most threatening Annan attacker while Bruce Jamieson continues to show promise in the centre
Thanks must go to Dumfries for lending not only the players but providing the referee so that the game could go ahead.
2nd XV Squad: A Prop, S McTurk, S Crosbie, S Row, M Thompson, W Henderson, F Gibb, I Thorburn I; W Harrison, A Torbett, L Winger, N Coupland, B Jamieson, C Wilson, J Harrison: Subs ( All Used) R Glass, S Duffy, I Blair:
ANNAN 36 v HAMILTON 10
8TH OCTOBER 2011
Annan’s second string put in a fine performance on Saturday against Hamilton in RBS Reserve League West at Violetbank. With veteran Keith Hogg, making a rare appearance, running the backs and veterans Ian ‘Tam’ Thorburn and captain Dennis Ryan controlling the forwards the team played with some purpose. Annan completely dominated the first half scoring three tries all converted and a penalty without reply. Half Time Score 24-0.
In the second half Annan rung the changes giving all their replacements a run out resulting in a lack of cohesion in their play. Hamilton responded with two tries but the home side fought back with a further two tries of their own with one converted to take the final score to 36-10.
For the record Annan’s points were scored by Keith Hogg (Try, penalty and four conversions) and tries from Graham Smith, Neil Coupland, Bruce Jamieson and George Forest.
Annan 2nd XV Squad: : D Ryan (C), L Ogilvie, G Hunt, F Gibb, J McMonies, M Thomas, C Nicholson, I Thorburn, G Forrest, W Gray, S Broach, G Smith, B Jamieson, N Coupland, R Fallon, G Williamson, W Harrison, K Hogg, K Harrison, S Wilder.
DALZIEL 55 v ANNAN 0
1ST OCTOBER 2011
A very inexperienced Annan team took the field against a Dalziel side of a similar age mix but with obviously more playing experience. Persistent rain, and a slippery ball made conditions difficult
Dalziel looked the more organized team from the outset but Annan defended well to keep their line intact Indeed they should have taken the lead, when, from a clearance kick, good follow up and a kindly bounce left 2 Annan players in the clear but the scoring pass was dropped.
Whenever Dalziel managed any phases of play Annan were literally all over the place but scrambling defence and the slippery ball meant that only 2 tries were conceded in the first half. The scrum was solid enough but the team were unable to mount any concerted attacks
Annan should have scored again just before the break when a kick through was guddled by Dalziel but with the line begging the ball was knocked on.
The second half continued in the same vein with Annan rarely out of their own half and unable to play with any continuity. After an unlucky intercept try concession the floodgates opened with a further 6 tries being conceded in the last quarter.
There was no lack of effort from the team but it was very apparent that the difference between the teams was fitness, and organization both in attack and defence. Hopefully the better turnouts at training will continue and bear fruit as the season progresses
Annan Team: D Ryan (c), L Ogilvie, J Crombie, F Gibb, J Mc Monies, G Hunt, C Nicholson, I Thorburn: J Harrison, A Carlyle, N Coupland, A Torbett, B Jamieson, S McKenzie, W Gray, Subs ( All used) R Fallon, S Crosbie, I Blair.
EAST KILBRIDE 24 v ANNAN 3
3RD SEPTEMBER 2011
The second team arrive 2 players short and were a mix of youth, experience and several 50+. This was compounded by EK not having a full front row resulting in uncontested scrums thus negating Annan’s masterplan for the game!
EK lent one of their coaches to even up the numbers and the game was closer than the scoreline suggested. For the record Annan’s points were a penalty goal from Adam Torbett