Main Photo Courtesy – Annan RFC
Match Report by: Iain Park
Annan Hornets U15’s travelled to BT Murrayfield Stadium on Friday to compete in the final of the Girls Bowl competition against a Lismore/Royal High Corstorphine combined side and they certainly did not disappoint the large, and vocal, travelling support who went with them.
The girls started the game very strongly and some really good handling saw them hold possession for a long spell and take play deep into opposition territory. Some clever recycling of the ball at the breakdown saw the ball released to the backs and strong running centre Jasmin Cain ran in for the first score of the game scoring out wide, the conversion attempt was just short.
Shortly after Lismore/RHC managed to get into the game and after coming close a couple of times they too scored a try out wide which went unconverted to level the scores. Eilidh Henderson sustained a shoulder injury in a tackle and had to leave the pitch to be replaced by Lily Glendinning. It was confirmed later that Eilidh had in fact suffered a broken collar bone and will be out for several weeks.
The Annan girls responded really well and immediately took the game back to the opposition and only some strong tackling by Lismore prevented them from scoring. With the defence pulled out shape Caitlin Craik found the narrowest of gaps which she slipped through to run 30metres for a try which she also converted.
Next came a fine solo effort when Eve Irving offloaded to Jasmin Cain who ran fully half the pitch to score under the posts, Craik added the extra points for a 19-5 lead. Some clever work at the breakdown saw the forwards keep the ball tight and they advanced up field and were only prevented from scoring by some determined tackling by Lismore. Eventually, the pressure caused a breach in the defence and Cameron Ewing found a gap and charged through to
Two changes were made at half-time with Glendinning moving of the wing and replacing Bell at hooker, Megan Muir replacing Caitlin Ritchie in second row and Beth Taylor going on the wing in place of Glendinning.
The second half saw the Annan girls grow in confidence and they put together some nice intelligent passages of play which should give them some real confidence as a team moving forward. Cain added her third try, which Craik converted, after she broke through several tackles to run in under the posts.
Next the backs ran some clever lines to enable them to run the ball wide and release Ellie Henderson to race down the right wing for a brace of tries, the second converted to stretch the score to 43-5.
Lismore had some good passages of play themselves and the girls were forced to defend hard in order to stop them from adding to their first half try. The opposition were camped on the Annan line for some time but some brave defending led to a turnover and Bella Rowan raced clear and took the ball deep into the Lismore half before being stopped.
Shortly after Hannah Thomson found a way through the defence and crossed the line for a final unconverted try and a full time score of 48-5.
In such a team performance it is difficult to single out individual performances as all the girls played really well and all contributed to what was a very good result. Jasmin Cain was selected as Player of the match by Scotland International Karen Dunbar but everyone of the team should be extremely proud of the way they played, the coaches and parents were all extremely proud of the girls and it was a very excited bus which arrived back in Annan around midnight.
Hornets Starting Team: Cameron Ewing, Jordan Bell, Hannah Thomson, Lauren Warwick, Caitlin Ritchie, Caitlin Craik; Kirsty Cooper, Eve Irving, Ellie Henderson, Ellie Kirkpatrick, Jasmin Cain and Bella Rowan.
Replacements: Lily Glendinning, Megan Muir and Beth Taylor
Venue: Duffus Park
Date: Sunday 27th March 2016
Competition: Women’s Bowl Semi Final
Match Report by: Ian ‘Hammy’ Ian Hamilton
Header photograph taken by: Stuart Williamson from Howe RFC. For more photos from the game please go to: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…
Sunday saw twenty Warriors, plus friends and family, head for Cupar in Fife for the second time in 2016, this time for the Bowl Semi Final. All thoughts of Easter Eggs were left behind us as we boarded the coach at 0930 for the 3 hour journey.
After a brief stop, amidst a few hundred veteran bikers, we arrived at the changing rooms in Bell Baxter High School. Having played Howe twice this season, with honours even one victory each, confidence was high for a victory and the icing on the cake of a trip to Murrayfield for the final in mid April.
Alas it was not to be. Howe started the game at a hundred miles and hour and were 22 – 0 (4 tries and one conversion) up, within 22 mins. This was down to a bit of good fortune in the opening attack which saw Howe dot down under the posts and another bit of poor first time tackling allowing them to run another in with the next attack.
Annan held them out for the next 10 mins but gaps appeared in the defence once more to allow the next two tries to be run in.
Having finally shaken off the bus journey and got to grips with the marauding front row of the hosts, Annan held on for most of the remainder of the half until Howe managed to breach the defence twice late in the half to give a 32 – 0 half time.
After some stern words at half time, and a realisation that the game was probably over as a contest, The Warriors lived up to their name in the second half. The tackling was far better, led by Marie Beer Parker and Lindsay McGoldrick.
In fact it’s probably unfair to mention anybody above the others because the improvement in defence was team wide. Admittedly, Howe had probably taken the foot off the gas, but there was a marked lift in the level of commitment and tenacity both in defence and attack in the Annan ranks.
Howe still had the eye for the line and ran in another 2 tries but with a lot more effort required to cross the line. Annan’s improvement and effort was awarded with a consolation try which was run in by Jane Stewart after a flowing backs move which culminated in Jane scoring her 12th try of the season.
This made a final score of 42-5 and sees Howe coming up against 1st Division Glasgow University in the final at Murrayfield on the 16th of April. Good Luck to them from The Warriors.
The main learning from Sunday was you can’t give a team like Howe four tries of a start and expect to get back on level terms. The players and coaches need to address this slow starting as it is becoming a worrying trait.
There is also a worrying trend of losing the ball in contact as it’s difficult to get it in the first place. On the plus side, when we do start, the defence is rock solid as mentioned above and going forward we are not scared to try miss moves and variations of running lines.
We also have many players who can swap position and be equally effective. This comes in handy when we can use rolling subs and can use players to cover various positions.
This weeks (Wo)man of the match goes to Niamh Dobie who started on the flank and moved to stand off, filling both positions with big tackles and hard heads up running.
Sunday’s squad was: 15. Kim Taylor, 14. Amy Graham, 13. Malvina McGeoch, 12. Lindsay McGoldrick , 11. Jane Stewart, 10. Katy McBride, 9. Nicole Barlow, 1. Lindsay Kyle, 2. Linden Moffat (Capt.), 3. Marie Beer Parker, 4. Ashley Clark, 5. Abbie Clark, 6. Sarah Grainger, 17. Niamh Dobie and 8. Kayleigh Warrick.
Replacements (all used): 16. Jenny Park, 18, Nicola Oakes, 19. Lynne Nimmo, 20. Shona Barlow and Rebecca Davies
Next game is Sunday 3rd April away to Grangemouth Stagettes with a 2pm KO. We have not played Grangemouth yet this season as they couldn’t raise a team for the home game. They sit just behind us in the league and therefore this should be good measure of where we are.
Match Report by: Alan Robertson
With Clydebank experiencing somewhat of a revival of late with four wins in a row many Annan supporters thought that this encounter could be Annan’s most difficult away game of the season and for 40 minutes so it appeared.
With a rain sodden pitch making flowing play difficult and the Clydebank forwards relishing the arm wrestle with the lighter Annan pack the visitors had a battle on their hands. Annan however had the balance of territory and possession in the first half but the home side defence kept the Annan’s attacks at bay.
The home side had a couple of well organised attacks of their own but the visitor’s defensive structure stood firm. The deadlock was broken just before half time when standoff Craig McCann slotted a penalty award when a home forward was penalised for coming in at the side of a ruck.
Half Time score: Clydebank 0 v Annan 3.
In the second half Annan upped their game and after several incisive attacks through the visiting back line centre David Wyllie battled his way over the line for the opening try. Annan continued to dominate in most facets of the game, the scrum being the only exception where Annan struggled to contain the powerful home eight.
Annan continued to battle their way through the rain sodden pitch and from a forward surge wing forward Callum Bell sprinted over to score between the posts. McCann added the extras.
Prop Christian White was next over the line, when from a driving maul he was driven over to score. Again McCann added the extras.
With a bonus point beckoning Annan laid siege to the Clydebank line but ‘white line fever’ took over and several attempts were butchered so Annan’s quest for a bonus point win was denied yet again.
Final Score: Clydebank 0 v Annan 22.
This was a crucial win for Annan in their quest for the West 2 title but they still remain 19 points behind the leaders Stewartry albeit with 4 games in hand.
However with the number of teams going up as yet undecided depending on the number of west clubs to be relegated from National 3 as yet unresolved Annan has everything to play for in the coming encounters.
Annan 1st XV Squad: R Glass, C Bell, C White, M Thompson, D Nordon, A Clark, D Barnes, S Haren, C McCann, C Wallace, W Gray, J Callaghan, A Halliday, D Wyllie, B Jamieson
Replacements: C Nicholson,(used) A Jancey,(used) J Kirby
SUMMARY: 1st and 2nd XV at home on Saturday v Cumnock, KO’s 15.00. Warriors off to Grangemouth on Sunday, KO: 14.00 and P1-P7 Tigers off to Moffat on Sunday.
Annan welcome Cumnock to Annan and Violetbank for the first time at 1st XV level. Both teams first met at 1st XV level back in October 1992 in a Glasgow District 2 league game. Annan won that game 59-19 on our way to the title.
Annan then had to wait until this season to meet again in the BT Shield and the league. Annan recorded 2 wins (59-17 and 18-11). The 18 -11 was a nervy affair and only a late try from Dwayne Barnes secured the victory.
So Annan currently have a 100% record v Cumnock and hope to keep up this record on Saturday.
Cumnock will be looking to keep their season alive with a win, while Annan need to assume that Stewartry will get a 5 pointer (away to McLaren) so Annan need to match that.
Annan 1st XV Squad: R Glass, C Bell, R Martin, M Thompson, C White, A Clark, D Barnes, S Haren, A Jancey, C McCann, B Jamieson, J Callaghan, D Wyllie, A Rae, C Wallace
Replacements: J Nelson, K Warrick, W Gray, N Coupland, J Kirby
Meet at Violetbank at 1.45pm for 3pm KO
Annan’s second string, with no league game scheduled for this Saturday, welcome Cumnock 2nds to Violetbank for a friendly.
Annan 2nd XV Squad from: R Hetherington, M Crombie, C Nicholson, I Thorburn, L Trussler, S Livingstone, C Smith, C Taylor, M Carpenter, S Muir (C), A Alison, L Johnstone, N Goldie, D Ferguson, R MacGregor, S Clark, C Park, J Graham, G Williamson, L Stannus, C Wilson, J Park, J Wyllie, C Taylor, D Ryan
Meet at Violetbank at 1.45pm for 3pm KO
On Sunday the Annan Warriors travel to take on Grangemouth Stagettes with a 2pm KO.
We have not played Grangemouth yet this season as they couldn’t raise a team for the home game. They sit just behind us in the league and therefore this should be good measure of where we are.
Player to meet as arranged with coaches.
Annan P1-P3 and P4-P7 Tigers are away to a Mini Tournament at Moffat Rugby Club on Sunday.

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