Match Reports
ANNAN U18 XV - 2007/2008 SEASON

PREVIOUS YEARS:
All previous fixtures/results etc can be found at the Archive page.

LEAGUE: HOME
Greenock Wands.
LEAGUE: AWAY
Whitecraigs
Ayr
CUP GAMES
Kilmarnock
Allan Glens
OTHER GAMES
Garnock

ANNAN 10 v GARNOCK 8
SATURDAY 12TH APRIL 2008

Annan welcomed Garnock to Violetbank on Sunday for a friendly match in the spring sunshine. It had been some time, due to the weather conditions in recent weeks, that either of the teams had a game, so this was a welcome tie for both. Annan had the upper hand in the early stages of the first half, showing the most promise, and most like breaching the opposition line. Garnock, however, had other ideas and managed to suppress the home advances, through some solid defending. When Garnock had possession though, Annan were equally protective of the try line. The score at half time was 0-0 which accurately reflected the play.

After the break, during which, the lads were asked to raise their performance, it was still in a state of stalemate, until, as a result of some fine handling and barging, initialised by lock Dave Wilkinson, scrum half, Jamie Harrison picked up and breached the line. James Bigham added the conversion to take Annan into a 7-0 lead. Minutes later, Annan had a player sin-binned, for an alleged high tackle, and Garnock soon capitalised on this weakened team, with a try after some good interplay. The conversion was kicked wide, allowing a sigh of relief, from both team and spectator alike. Annan then launched attack after attack, but Garnock dug in and maintained a good solid line which Annan could not break.

Minutes left on the clock, and to the home team’s horror, Garnock scored a drop goal, with all the time in the world in which to execute it. 7-8 with less than minutes to go, Annan were awarded a penalty around the half way line which was taken quickly, but Garnock were penalised for not retreating the obligatory 10 metres. This time Annan opted to kick for goal as this was to be the last play of the match. Unfortunately, the kick, by James Bigham was wide, however in a controversial decision by the ref, the kick was ordered to be retaken, as it was alleged that a Garnock player had purposely moved during the kick. This time James kicked it right through the middle of the posts. Final score Annan 10 Garnock 7.

Garnock are always good competition at any level, and there was great relief after the whistle was blown from the home side as it was a hard contest, for both teams, and a draw would have been a fair result. However, wins are wins and we gladly welcome them. After such a dormant spell, Annan performed very well, the tackling, defending and handling, impressing coach and spectator alike. There still seems to be problem with loose ball, and the reluctance to secure it, but things in general are looking pretty good.

Team. E McDougal, C Bell, S Nicholson, D Brooke, D Wilkinson, M Panczak, W Gray, C Nicholson, J Harrison, J Bigham, C Coupland, C Henderson, A Carlyle, S McKenzie, G Forrest. Subs; K Little, C Jamieson, M Thompson.

ALLAN GLENS 31 v ANNAN 3
SATURDAY 16TH FEBRUARY 2008

Annan travelled up to Bishopbriggs on Saturday to challenge Allen Glens in the latest group game in the Shield competition. This game was almost a non starter due to a severely depleted squad, caused by call offs, holidays, and any other excuse imaginable. Some of the lads spent half the morning prowling the High St hoping to shanghai some players, to no avail. It is even rumoured that some elderly ex players were approached with a view to pressing them into active service. So, travelling with 14 players, and thankfully 'borrowing' a couple of lads from Allan Glens, the game commenced. The home side were, visibly, much bigger in stature than the Annan youngsters, which, as usual, fazed Annan right from the warm up. Allan Glens made the early ground with some good, basic rugby, throwing the ball wide from almost every breakdown and using all of the backs to great effect.

The hosts had first points on the board with a converted try, closely followed by another two. After the half time roasting, Annan were playing with a bit more belief, however basic play was still scrappy. The only Annan points came from a penalty kick, from the boot of A Carlyle. Allen Glens ran in another two tries to end the game at 31-3. Annan, yet again showed too much respect to a side who, technically, were really no better than Annan can be on occasion, and although the Glens were physically much bigger, it was the visitors who showed their superior level of fitness towards the end of the game, and were camped inside the home 5 yard for a spell, but were unable to convert into points. Questions have to be asked to the commitment of the lads, especially those whom were absent on the day, and these concerns will be raised again at training.  Fundamentally this is a good squad, which, with continued development, will make a cracking U18 team for next season, as was forecasted at the start of this season.

Team, S Nicholson, S McKenzie, C Armstrong, J Butler, M Thompson, M Panczak(c),W Gray, D Wilkinson, C Jamieson, C Coupland, A Carlyle, C Henderson, J Harrison,G Forrest. Special thanks to Allen Glens for the loan of their players.

ANNAN 10 v KILMARNOCK 14
SATURDAY 9TH FEBRUARY 2008

Annan welcomed Kilmarnock to the Everholm on Saturday in the latest group game in the SRU Shield competition. Under a fine blue sky it was Annan who made the early territory and indeed  the first points on the board through a J Bigham penalty. The Annan forwards were dominating the scrum, against a physically much bigger pack, winning the visitors scrum on countless occasions. Kilmarnock managed to breach the home defence before half time to leave the score at the interval at 7-3 in the visitors favour.

After the break, it was much of the same with Annan having the majority of the possession and territory but just being unable to convert these into points, so effective, and frantic at times, was the Killie defence, Annan actually drove the ball over the line on several occasions but could not get to ground. Kilmarnock then managed to burst through the Annan line to touch down for a second try which was converted to raise the score to 14-3. After a sustained period of Annan pressure in the in the opposition 5 yard area, scrum half, J Harrison managed to scuttle over the line for a much awaited try, converted by stand off, J Bigham. Game on, and with only a couple of minutes to go, Annan stepped up the pace and were almost scenting a victory, however, sadly this wasn't to be. Annan, though, can hold their heads high as this was a solid performance against this big physical side, especially so as the home team was severely depleted, possibly due to the fact that the internationals were played at the same time. The final score Annan-10, Kilmarnock-14. This was a fine game to behold,  a more enjoyable game to watch than the debacle at the Millenium stadium.

Team; S Nicholson,S Woodhouse,C Bell, A N Other, J Butler, M Panczak(c), M Anderson, D Wilkinson, J Harrison, J Bigham, C Jamieson, C Henderson, C Coupland, S McKenzie, A Carlyle, M Wilkinson.

This week; Annan travel to Bishopbriggs to challenge Allen Glens in the next game of the group stages. Team from; S Nicholson, S Woodhouse, C Armstrong, A N Other, D Brooke, J Butler,D Barnes, M Panczak(c), M Anderson, D Wilkinson, J Harrison, A Carlyle, C Jamieson, C Henderson, C Coupland, W Gray, S McKenzie, D McKenzie, E McDougal, M Thompson, P Carlyle, D Cowan, D Cowan, A Halliday.

AYR 55 v ANNAN 10
SATURDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2007

Annan travelled up to Millbrae on Saturday to challenge Ayr in their latest league tie. A dreich miserable day welcomed the youths but fortunately, for the support at least, the sun broke through as the whistle was blown.

Ayr were a big physical side in general and it appeared that the Annan youngsters were fazed by this. The early ground was held by the home team, Annan seemingly unable to stop the penetration through the defending line. Ayr plundered the line to get the first points on the board and which was followed by a spell of Annan pressure which reulted in a converted penalty. 

Ayr were playing with ever increasing confidence and with almost every visit to the defending try line , were awarded a score. Annan did salvage some credibility on the stroke of half time, when, prop Callum Bell showing good initiative, tapped a quick penalty and broke through to ground the ball under the posts, converted by James Bigham.

After a good half time roasting, the visitors showed a wee bit more promise but again had left it too late in the game. Ayr did manage to get a couple of scores in the latter stages of the game and never looked seriously challenged. Once again Annan really allowed too much respect to a team that were beatable, and again in stages, showed that they are able to tackle, and are able to run, and visibly rattled ayr whilst doing so, unfortunately this was not often enough.

Captain, Mark Panczak made a valid point about personal training and how players could be sharper and perhaps more confident in themselves, which coaches will address at training sessions.

Team. C Bell. C Armstrong. W Gray, C Henderson, D Brooke, M Panzcak, M Anderson, D Wilkinson, C Jamieson, J Bigham, R Eggleton, J Harrison, C Coupland,  J Butler, A Carlyle, S McKenzie, G Johnstone.

ANNAN 7 v GREENOCK WANDS 20
SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER 2007

Annan welcomed Greenock to Violetbank in the first leg of their league encounter. It was the home team who started brightest when from the kick off with prop C Bell showing good determination in breaching the visitors defence. Greenock, however looked more comfortable with the ball playing some textbook style rugby. Annan's perseverance paid off eventually when full back J.'Toy Boy' Harrison weaved through the Greenock backs to touch down next to the posts, the try was converted by J Bigham. Greenock fought back and managed, through some poor home tackling, to claw back a well worked try, although the conversion attempt was wide of the woodwork. Half time score 7-5.

Greenock played with more purpose after the oranges, while Annan, played more like porpoises. Discipline in both teams, sadly, declined during the latter stages of the second half, forcing the referee to bring out his wee yellow card on two occasions, one for each team. Meanwhile, Greenock, scored another 2 tries and a penalty to seal the win at 7-20. Annan must really try focus on playing, rather than letting the opposition play. There were moments, as usual, when the home team could have beaten the all blacks, unfortunately these moments were sporadic and few and far between. Greenock were made to look far better than they actually were as has happened during previous ties. However, there were the usual suspects putting in their big shifts, and losing aside, are genuinely enjoying their game. Onwards and upwards.

Team. C Bell, S Woodhouse,E, McDougal, C Armstrong, D Brooke, D Wilkinson, M Panczak, W Gray, M Anderson, C Jamieson,J Bigham,A Carlyle, C Henderson, C Coupland, J Butler,J Harrison, S McKenzie, G Johnstone.

WHITECRAIGS 27 v ANNAN 14
SATURDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER 2007

Annan opened their 07/08 league campaign with a trip to Newton Mearns to play Whitecraigs. The home side were still reeling after beating Boroughmuir quite convincingly away at Edinburgh the previous week. News of this had somewhat plagued the young Annan team and it appeared the heads were down before the ref had blown for the start. It was Annan, however, who showed willing and took the game to 'Craigs and performed out of their skins for the first fifteen minutes or so, then as if by magic the mood changed and it was all one way traffic in favour of the home side.

Whitecraigs played attractive textbook rugby, throwing the ball wide and using the whippets on the wings to run in four tries in the first half. Coach, John Panczak tore strips at the interval but to no avail. The restart mirrored the latter end of the first half with poor tackling and handling errors in abundance. Then, as has happened in the past on several occasions, the lads fired into action and after some excellent handling prop C. Bell drove through at the side of the posts for a spectacular try, extras added by J Bigham. Again Annan piled on the pressure and were rewarded with another try from stand off J Bigham, which he also converted. Centre C Henderson was unlucky not to have touched down and winger K Little was also denied on the line.

Final score Whitecraigs 27 Annan 14. There were periods when Annan had played probably their best rugby to date, but also their poorest too. A nice compliment was paid from the home coach, in saying how fit Annan looked and this was obvious as 'Craigs were beginning to tire. Special mention to new team member L Parker, who slotted in at flanker for his first ever game and performed very well.

Team; C Bell, S Woodhouse, E McDougal, R Hollis, D Brooke, M Panzcak, W Gray, L Parker, C Jamieson, J Bigham, C Henderson, A Carlyle, C Coupland, D Gallimore, J Harrison,J Butler, K Little, G Forrest, Booce.

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