Match reports for the 2nd XV

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ANNAN 33 v CARTHA 24
13TH APRIL 2013

Match Report by: Ian 'Grumpy' Gilmour

Recent dry weather has allowed the 1sts to enjoy a feast of running rugby, and the 2nds had their chance last Saturday to show what they could do. In the end the game had seen nine tries, Annan with five, but it was really only in the closing stages that they made certain of the points in this RBS Reserve West 3B league fixture.

The 2nds have been disappointed several times this season when opponents have called off their visit to Annan, so they were grateful to Cartha for making the trip. The early stages belonged to Cartha, and they were quickly ahead. The forwards drove deep into the Annan half, and when the ball was moved out to the backs, their elusive fullback got over. The conversion put Annan 0-7 down.

Annan settled, the game developing into an even struggle, with plenty of mistakes preventing either side from maintaining any pressure. Annan drew level thanks to stand off Adam Carlyle, who seemed to have been stopped short of the line but wriggled over. Annan then took the lead when wing forward Willie Gray finished off pressure on the Cartha line. This time Carlyle converted to give Annan a 12-7 lead, but Cartha were ahead at half time thanks to two further tries, one converted.

The feeling at half time was that this was a game Annan could win, if they could get their backs moving and improve their tackling, and to an extent that is what happened. While the pacier members of the back line, Jamieson and Clark, rarely found space with the ball in hand, Annan discovered that if they kept the ball behind Cartha and followed kicks up quickly, they could cause real problems. Such a scenario led to Annanís next try.

A long kick and chase from fullback Steven Clark ended with young Jordan Glendinning getting the score, which Carlyle converted. Next Willie Gray got his second, scooping up a loose ball near half way and punishing some poor defence. Carlyleís conversion made it 26-19 to Annan, and the final score, from young Ryan Hetherington after Adam Thomson had almost crossed but was able to offload. Cartha were not finished, and managed to score the final try of an interesting game after pressure on the Annan line.

This was in the main a young Annan team, though Neil Halliday did manage a spell before injury forced him off. In the backs Allison and Carlyle made a useful half back pairing, while the other five all had some pace. The forwards struggled in the lineout, but scrums were uncontested since Annan were lacking a suitable front row. In the loose they gave as good as they got. All in all a good performance, confirming the 2nds improvement this season.

Team: R. Hetherington, L. Ogilvie, L. Stannus, G. Williamson, W. Harrison, A. Thomson, W. Gray, M. Carpenter; A. Allison, A. Carlyle; M. Thorburn, J. Harrison, B. Jamieson, S. Muir, S. Clark; J. Glendinning, J. Gordon, N. Halliday.

HAMILTON 15 v ANNAN 10
3RD MARCH 2013

Match Report by: Neil "Santa" Wallace.

Annan Traveled across the arctic tundra that separated Annan from Eaglesfield on Saturday along the M74 to the recently cleared pitch at Laigh Bent , with the wind clearly blowing directly from Siberia the conditions were not conducive to flowing rugby .

Annan received the kick and with the wind at their back Ogilvie fielded well & began a thundering run at the largest Hamilton player he could find , recycling the ball Annan put pressure on and were rewarded with a Penalty within the first 5 minutes Ė Carlyle converted giving the visitors a deserved 0-3 lead.

The Home team were not to be outdone and also put Annan under a period of pressure & through some ill discipline inside the red zone Annan found themselves under severe pressure for 15 mins resulting in both starting props having to leave the field and following some further pounding of the Annan line Hamilton were forced out of play , from the line out put in Annan could have expected to clear their line but due to a series of handling errors the home team were presented with the ball over the Annan line and no defender close enough to prevent the score (unconverted) .

Hamiltonís domination of the scrum was halted due to the replacement of both props but Annan were unable to gain meaningful possession from the line out so were left with the ruck & contact area as the place to gain possession & following some plundering work, Clark kicked through from Muir to win the foot race to the ball & touched down in the corner (again Carlyle converted) taking the score to 5-10 with 2 minutes left to half time, Annanís usually good defense let them down permitting the league leaders to level the score on the stroke of half-time.

The second stanza was blighted by handling errors and not straight line outs but this was directly caused by the biting wind and also saw Annan full back having to retire before Hypothermia took him ! in addition the loss of Carlyle just before half time saw the full complement of 5 subs being used within the first 40 mins .

Both teams suffered due to the conditions and it looked like a draw was the most likely result when an unsightly fracas saw Hamilton reduced to 14 when the prop was red carded , the man advantage was short lived when the referee restored parity with 10mins to go by sin binning Wallace .

With the numbers even & a further penalty in Annanís red zone the home team bullied there way over for their third try of the day (unconverted).

From the restart with 3 mins left to play Annan rallied for one last push and after forcing the larger Hamilton pack back into the 22 , Annan recycled the ball through 4 phases of play before cold hands were unable to catch a try scoring pass & the moment went, with the final whistle both teams were quick to leave the field to the relative warmth of the club house .

Annan now face the challenge of cementing second place & securing the last play off place with a tough home fixture against their closest rivals Cumnock on Saturday 30th March

Annan 2nd XV Squad: B Jamieson, A Thomson, N Coupland, J McMonnies, R Glass, S Muir, N Wallace, A Carlyle, S Livingstone, W Gray, A Copland,K.Warrick,M.Thorburn, S McTurk, A Allison, S.Clark, L Ogilvie, G.Lynch, G.Smith, S.Broach

CUMBERNAULD 7 v ANNAN 27
16TH FEBRUARY 2013

Annan travelled north on Saturday to face the team immediately above them in the league hoping to improve on the home performance which saw Annan edge the visitors in a close game earlier in the season.

Arriving at Coats Park in good time to prepare for the game the players were relieved to find the sun trying to break out but it was a fine day for rugby. Annan kicked off and the mobile backs put Cambuslang under pressure straight away, forcing an early penalty due to the tackler not rolling away. Coupland stepped up & slotted the resulting penalty. Annan continued to put pressure on and following some good pressure from Rae, Jamieson was released to score to the left of the posts (unconverted) . This was the catalyst thrusting the home team into attack and following some indiscipline in defence pushing Annan back into the red zone and following a missed tackle the Annan line was crossed too easily (converted) bringing the score to 7-8 .

The remainder of the first half saw some excellent pick and drive to keep the home team close to the ruck and if the pacey Annan backs had brought their hands with them the game would have been over as a contest by half time, but due to an over inflated amount of sportsmanship Annan kept Cambuslang in the game! When the ball was passed out to the wings Gray and Muir looked dangerous but it was the reliable Clark who crossed next (unconverted) ending the half with a 7-13 scoreline.

The second half continued with more of the same, with the final pass either going forward or being dropped until what was the best move of a very enjoyable game saw Broach burst clear to feed the ever present Jamieson who in turn fed Williamson to crash over under the posts for Coupland to convert.

Annan defended well and with some replacements from the bench to bolster the fitness did not dip towards the end of this game & although both Carpenter and Rae caught the eye it was fitting that Man of the Match Clark crossed the line for the bonus point try again giving Coupland an easy kick to finish the scoring at 7-27.

This result leapfrogs Annan into second place in the league with 3 games in hand on the leaders Hamilton (who host Annan on March 23rd)

Team list :- R.Glass, S.McTurk, L.Stannus , G.Williamson, S.Broach, T.Thorburn, M.Carpenter, A.Thompson, A.Rae, N.Wallace, N.Coupland, B.Jamieson, S.Muir, W.Gray, S.Clark, L.Ogilve , C.Wilson, J.McMonies.

DUMFRIES 7 v ANNAN 50
5TH JANUARY 2013

Annan made the short trip to Park Farm on Saturday to face a strong Dumfries team looking for revenge for the narrow defeat Annan inflicted on them early in the season. With this the first game for the 2nds in a long time the Manager was concerned that rustiness combined with the post Christmas lethargy Annan may be in for a hard afternoon, this however was not to be the case!

Annan started brightly with holes in the Dumfries defence being exposed from the first KO with Clark breaking free and crossing the line within the first five minutes before giving an early Birthday present to Coupland (who failed to convert his 5 points to 7).

Torbett starting from fullback was next over the whitewash following a sustain amount of pressure and time in the Dumfries red zone finishing off a fine backs move just to the left of the posts (converting his try)

This was the sting that shook Dumfries into action & they inturn used the bulk of their forwards to push the lighter Annan pack (and when you read the team sheet you will agree that that is an unusual statement!) back into the Annan 22.

Some dogged defence from Livingstone and Williamson halted the attack with Thorburn smuggling the ball away from the home team to set Clark free again Ė this time giving the scoring pass to Coupland in the open side of the line . The 1st Half finished with Dumfries dominating the line out in the Annan 22 and pushing over from 10 meters out with was converted giving a respectable 7~17 scoreline.

Annanís 2nd team Manger left the team in no doubt he expected the team to lift their performance and with the late arrival of the Hooker to even the side numbers it was to be expected that Annan would improve, but the manner & the speed of response took everyone by surprise Ė not least the Home side.

From the Kick off Annan were relentless in possession with Stanus having his best game yet in the Black and Yellow (perhaps settling a few old scores with former team mates) carrying the ball well for the other forwards to ruck over freeing Harrison to supply Gray with the invitation to cross under the posts (Torbett converted)

Dumfries again rallied pushing deep into Annan 22 before ,following a dropped pass from a penalty, Annan broke out with Clark making the most of the opportunity to grab the first of his hat trick , the Second followed almost immediately with Coupland breaking Dumfries hearts and resistance by robbing his opposite number on the Annan 10 meter line & running 70 meters before offloading to Clark.

With Dumfries heads down & Annan tails up every time the youthful Annan backs got hands on ball there was an opportunity for points with Torbett , Coupland & Clark all finishing with aplomb.

The only downside to this performance was the inability to cleanly take the restart (even with the practice given)

Annan Team: S. Muir, S. Broach, N. Coupland, W. Harrison, G. Williamson, I. Thorburn, W. Gray, N. Wallace, S. Clark, S. Livingstone, R. Glass, L. Stanuss, J. Harrison, A. Thomson and A. Torbett

KILMARNOCK 8 v ANNAN 7
10TH NOVEMBER 2012

Annan senior teams took the long trip to east Ayrshire on Saturday for once leaving sunshine in Annan and finding the rain had made the trip just in time for Kick off and had most of the pitch under water.

Annan kicked off as the skys opened and the downpour ensured the playing conditions would not be good and the ability to hold the ball would be put under pressure . But despite all the signs Annan produced a fine handling display with only a few dropped passes (unfortunately these were all when the play looked to have opened up for the visitors to push through holes)

Annan forwards were dominating the numerous scrums but failed to make an impact in the line outs so possession was equally shared and the amount of defending required by both teams was high and the wet conditions sapped the older players legs leading to gaps appearing in the defensive lines. It was a surprise to all that there was no score by half time.

The second half started with a hail storm and this was enough to finish the playing surface and turn into a scene resembling the Some!

Kilmarnock changed personnel and style of play & started to utilize the high ball and Annan were not always able to deal with this & following a number of infringements Annan conceded a penalty in front of the posts 10meters out , from the tap & go the Annan defensive line was not straight & a gap appeared for the home team to crash over for the first points of the game (unconverted).

Annan pushed hard for parity and were rewarded when Coupland was driven over the line by Clark to score to the left of the posts Ė Carlyle converted.

With a 2 point lead and the rain finally stopping it looked like Annan would hold out for a hard fought win but with the clock ticking down Annan were repeatedly penalized for various infringements before giving a kickable penalty in the final minutes which was slotted, with no time left for Annan to rally again.

Against all the odds this was a reasonable display of rugby and again Glass caught the eye in the forwards and Carlyle in the backs

Team: McTurk, Graham, Stanus, Williamson, Thorburn, Davis, Glass, Carlyle, Wallace, Coupland, Jamieson, Broach, Gray, Clark

Next week at Home to Crichton 2pm KO

ANNAN 12 v CUMBERNAULD 7
27TH OCTOBER 2012

Annan 2nds returned to league action after an enforced 5 week break with the visit of Cumbernauld. A sunny Violetbank was the venue for an afternoon of flowing rugby between 2 well matched teams. Annan 2nds fielded a mixture of youth and vast experience with the late arrival of people expecting to be spectators filling the numbers up to a full team with one substitute.

Annan received the kick off and moved the ball through several hands before taking contact, and with Annan fielding a strong pack the favoured option was to pick and drive or second phase popped to the waiting forwards. Before the backs got a chance to use the ball, with Coupland making ground each time he received the ball, Jamieson and Clark used their deceptive running and turn of speed to make ground and turn defense into attack on numerous occasions. Annan looked to have the upper hand whenever they had possession but unforced errors lead to Cumbernauld getting more possession than perhaps the forwards would have expected .

Annan broke into the opposition 22 but were forced into touch and from the ensuing lineout, taken well by the Cumbernauld lock, the ball was passed directly into the waiting arms of the Annan lock to stroll across the line (unconverted) . The Annan pack continued in the fine form with Glass in particular standing out and making ground before being stopped inches short of the line .

Cumbernauld rallied from this point and pressed hard and were unfortunate to be stopped twice with the man over the line unable to score due to the attentions of the Annan defense. The lead was extended to 12 point when Davis broke through to score under the posts (converted).

The second half saw Annan fitness cause some concern and the visitors put the Annan line under relentless pressure before from 5 meters out they finally managed a score which they deserved (converted). The remainder of the half was played out with both teams making ground when in attack and resolutely defending when required with the ball very rarely in either 22 for long.

Annan can relish the victory against a team that had won all 4 games prior to this encounter with many good things to reflect on and only fitness (of the older players) as any type of downside .

Annan Team: S Robertson, S McTurk, A Graham, E Sloan, G Williamson, B Side , J Davis, R Glass, J Harrison, N Wallace, W Harrison, N Coupland, B Jamieson, S Muir, S Clarke, Subs ( Both Used) L Stannus, A Copland

ANNAN 26 v HAMILTON 34
15TH SEPTEMBER 2012

Match Photos

Annan seconds string put in a strong performance in the RBS Regional Reserve Leagues West 3B against a well organised Hamilton 3rd XV at Violetbank on Saturday.

Annan were leading at half time by virtue of three tries scored by Bruce Jamieson, William Gray and Steven Clarke to two tries for the visitors.

In the second half Annan, who only had two replacements, suffered several injuries resulting in one of the visiting replacements playing for the hosts and scoring Annanís final try but it was the visitors who ran out winners.

Final score Annan 2nds 26 Hamilton 3rd XV 34.

ANNAN 14 v DUMFRIES 5
1ST SEPTEMBER 2012

Match Photos

Annan 2nds welcomed Dumfries 3rds to a sunny Violetbank on Saturday. With the previous weeks rain the pitches were exceptionally wet and only playable following some hard work by the Saturday morning volunteers to sponge and fork the pitch.

Annan elected to kick off and Dumfries made full use of it starting a potent attack which was only halted by some solid midfield defence. Turning the ball over set the theme for the day where Annan dominated in both territory and possession but were kept out due to a combination of reasonable Dumfries defence and some rusty early season handling. Annan finally breached the Dumfries defences with the tiptoeing Conner Trant finding a half yard of space and scoring under the posts. He then converted his own try.

The sideline support then expected the floodgates to open but again frustration took hold and the mountain of possession was squandered with no further scoring in the 1st half.

There were many plus points for Annan to take from their first half performance not least the fine rucking shown across the team but also in the forward dominance of the line out, with the Dumfries hookers timing being the difference in the set scrum taking four strikes against the head.

With the second half continuing in much the same vain with Annan nullified any Dumfries attack with solid tackling and aggressive rucking , but were unable to turn pressure into points, until Bruce Jamieson took a good line and found the space to score under the posts. Adam Torbett converted.

Annan used all the replacements with no drop in performance, Liam Ogilvie caught the eye with some good tackling and rucking , but mention also has to be made of Andy Copland and Neil Coupland who were a thorn in the Dumfries attack the entire game. In the final 5 mins Dumfries scored a late consolation unconverted try. All in all this was a heartening performance from Annanís second string which must be built upon. The first test will come this weekend with the teamís first away game at Kilmarnock!

2nd XV Team C Nicolson, S McTurk , R Glass, I Thorburn, J McMonies , S Livingston , L Ogilvie , K Watret , J Harrison , C Trant , A Torbert, B Jamieson, N Coupland, A Copland , W Gray. Reserves S Broach, S Duffy , W Harrison, C Wilson, G Williamson.