One point was all it took for visitors Annan to win this Tennants Wets League Division 1 game which was also for the Chisholm Cup.
STEWARTRY 22 ANNAN 23
After Annan started the game off the ball went over left with Stewartry’s Milligan breaking through 3 tackles up the wing before sending it back inside to put Steele in to touch down under the sticks in the third minute. Mosey slotted the extras.
With play in the midfield the visitors kicked down the right flank to get up to the home 5 metre line but they gave away a penalty taking them back to the 10 metre line for a lineout.
The throw in went long with both teams getting turnover ball and Annan kicking back into the home 22.. Fingland made safe giving the visitors a lineout. They took the ball forward making ground deep into the Blacks 22 but they conceded a penalty for not releasing. The kick took the Blacks back to their 22 for a lineout with Steevie McCulloch palming the ball down letting Mosey punt it down into the Annan 22.
Halfway into the first period the Blacks gave away a penalty on their own 22 after tackling a player in the air giving Annan an easy 3 points.
From a lineout on the visitors 22 the Blacks pack took the ball but Annan turned it over to punt it down field. David Kerr returned the kick allowing Annan to call the mark. With 15 minutes left in the first period Forsyth suffered a head knock to be replaced by Boyd.
On the half hour the visitors picked up at the back of the scrum to get into the Stewartry 22 on the left wing. They pressed for the goal line but the tight Blacks defence kept them out
However Annan recycled quickly going the other way and then left again to score out wide adding the extras.
The restart went straight out. In the halfway scrum Andrew Kerr took possession to attack up the middle to the visitors 22. Annan turned it over to counter back into Stewartry territory but they gave away a penalty giving the Blacks a lineout on their own 10 metre line.
The visitors were penalised again with dissent giving Stewartry another 10 metres.taking the Blacks to a lineout 18 metres out from the try line. Picken took a quick tap and drove for the line but he couldn’t break through the Annan defenders who conceded a penalty. Mosey added 3 points on the stroke of halftime giving Stewartry a 4 point lead.
Boyd chased the starting kick in the second period to take the ball. He passed inside to McCarney who made it into the Annan 22 where they managed a turnover to clear it away. but they were offside. The penalty took Stewartry to halfway and a lineout.
The throw in was squint giving the visitors a scrum with their put in allowing them to get to the home 10 metre line. With 5 minutes gone Muir and Broll replaced Milligan and Michael McCulloch.
In the tenth minute the Blacks lead was cut to one point with a penalty on the home 22. Taking possession from the restart the visitors drove forward again toward the home line but Broll turned it over allowing the Blacks to get back to the Annan 10 metre line.
The ball went to David Kerr who slipped through two tackles . Muir was on his outside shoulder to take the pass to go over for a try. Mosey slotted the conversion.
Into the last quarter the visitors were offside giving Stewartry a lineout on the Annan 10 metre line. Stevie McCulloch made a great catch with the ball going to Austin who got past the Annan defenders. David Kerr took the outside pass to race in to touch down out wide. The conversion missed but the Blacks had an 11 point margin.
The visitors stepped up a gear from the restart to go on attack breaking into the home 22. They chipped the ball over the Stewartry back line but the Blacks got to it first.
Anna took the ball from the 22 drop out and moved up a gear to charge up the left flank to break through the Blacks defence and touch down behind the try line.left of the posts but it was held up.
Retaining possession in the 5 metre scrum the visitors drove over again and once more it was held up. From another scrum Annan opted to go up the left side to get a try. The conversion missed.
With fifteen minutes remaining Milligan and Michael McCulloch returned to replace David Kerr and Ian McMorran. The Blacks conceded a penalty for offside giving Anna a lineout inside the home 22. Stewartry offended again..
The visitors took a quick tap to run straight at the Stewartry defenders to drive in for a try taking the extras and a one point lead.
Ten minutes from time a yellow card took Annan down to 14 men but they kept up the pressure holding on to possession to pick and drive repeatedly toward the home 22 but they were penalised.
With a few minutes to go Stewartry opted to tap and run. Austin charged up to halfway but got stopped. The Blacks got a free kick when Annan pushed too early in the scrum allowing the visitors to run back at them. A knock on brought another scrum but it was too late. Final score Stewartry 22 Annan 23/
Stewartry should have won the game but 14 man Annan upped their game by keeping the ball tight to pick up and drive play starving the Blacks of possession.
Stewartry squad:- J Fingland,(Captain), D Kerr, TJ McCarney, R Austin, S Milligan, C Mosey, J Picken, M McCulloch, K McGuire, I McMorran, A kerr. A McMorran, D Steele, S McCulloch, J Forsyth, S Broll, D Boyd, B Spence, J Muir