Match Report from: Duncan Fisher
Annan suffered an agonising single-point defeat at Violetbank last Saturday.
It meant a fifth defeat in West Division 1 but coach Juan Phyfer was full of praise for his troops after a nip and tuck battle with a side fourth in the table.
He couldn’t help but be hugely frustrated by the circumstances of the loss as the referee controversially reversed his decision to confirm an Annan conversion which could have won them the game in the last five minutes.
After veteran Alex Halliday continued his late-career renaissance with another try, Josh Whiteside appeared to have just squeezed his kick between the posts to land the extras and edge Annan 20-19 ahead in the dying moments.
However, with the kick going over the near post it was a tight call and only the home touch judge raised his flag.
The laws state that when only one touch judge raises his flag the kick should be retaken but the referee decided that as he had already awarded the points his only option was to reverse his decision.
“I’ve never seen anything like that and it was hard as we needed that win, it was massive for us,” said Phyfer.
It was as good as we’ve played since the opening win away at Kilmarnock,” said the coach. “We only managed a couple of tries but definitely deserved more.
“In the second half we went back into our shells a bit and defensively we got caught out.”
Andy McGreevy scored Annan’s first after a slick opening move and Fraser McMillan’s conversion and two Whiteside penalties added to the home side’s total.
“We were the better team,” said Phyfer.”It’s one of those where there were a lot of positives but decisions took it away from us. Frustrated is the word, the boys are desperate to get back to winning ways and losses like this are tough to take but we’ll have to bounce back.”
On Saturday, the 1st XV are away to Oban, 1pm kick-off, the 2nd XV host Galloway, 3pm kick-off while the Under-18 Boys are away to face Galloway. 2pm KO
Annan 1st XV: 1 Ryan Glass 2 Callum Bell 3 Kieron Warrick 4 Frazer Hope 5 Callum Smith 6 Aitken Render 7 Eben LeVin 8 Sean Haren 9 Fraser McMillan 10 Josh Whiteside 11 James Kirby 12 Andy McGreevy 13 Alex Halliday 14 Alex Jones 15 Andrew Jancey.
Subs used: 16 Murray Forbes 17 John Glendinning 18 Max Thorburn 19 Kyle McRoberts