Match Report from: GUS ROBERTSON
The 1st XV took to the heavy Violetbank pitch on the back of 6 straight losses. Some unlucky, some just beaten by the better team and some poor performances, but it was hoped that the lads would finally put it together in this match v Strathaven.
Annan had never lost to Strathaven in the league, with 2 wins from 2 but had not played the South Lanarkshire team since 2013 and had lost in a couple of pre season matches versus the visitors since then.
The 1st half was a tight affair, with Strathaven getting an early try when the Annan defence was caught napping from a set play on the half way line. Try was converted and it was 7-0.
There were a few more chances for both sides but that is how the half ended.
Despite being down at half time, Annan had dominated territory and possession but just couldn’t make the break through.
Coach Juan at half time made some positional changes in the backs and it proved to be what the attack needed as Annan ran in 4 very good tries in the 2nd half to secure a try bonus point and the win!
Josh Whiteside scored an early second half penalty after pressure from Annan lead to infringements from the under pressure Strathaven defence
Next was Alex “Willix” Halliday who crashed over after some great interplay. This was Willix’s 6th try of the season. Annan took the lead 8-7.
That lead was extended to 13-7 not long after when Scrum Half Fraser McMillan darted over for his 2nd try of the season.
And it got better for the home side as Ryan Hetherington on his return to the team touched down to make it 18-7 on the 65th minute. Could Annan hang on for a well deserved win?
Nothing comes easy in rugby and with just over 7 to go, Strathaven crashed over in front of the posts after the Annan backs switched off. 18-14 and squeaky bum time
But thankfully for the large home support, they could finally relax as super sub Andy McGreevy finished a well worked move in the corner almost from the restart. 23-14 and a few minutes later it was all over!
5 points for the 1st XV – a result that takes them off the bottom of the league
Coach Juan Phyfer
The performance was outstanding from the boys. 4 great tries. Couple of stand outs were young John Glendinning who has a stormer, very good on the wing and James Morrison was a standout in the 2nd row.
It was a great team performance but if I had to pick out two guys it would be them
Still a long way to go in this season and Annan are not out of trouble yet by a long shot but finally a win that can only boost the confidence in the squad.
Coach Juan is wanting to make Violetbank ground a Fortress again, one brick at a time.
And next Saturday’s match against Kilmarnock will hopefully be the next step to achieving this. Juan is hopeful to have to same team to choose from and with players returning from injury there is a good fight for positions in the team. A nice problem to have.
Match on Saturday at Violetbank v Kilmarnock is a 2pm KO
A big home support like last week would be most appreciated to help spur on the lads.
Starting XV: 1 Ryan Glass 2 Callum Bell 3 Kieran Warrick 4 Frazer Hope 5 James Morrison 6 Callum Smith 7 Ryan Hetherington 8 Sean Haren 9 Fraser McMillan 10 Johnny Callaghan 11 John Glendinning 12 Andrew Jancey 13 Alex Halliday 14 James Kirby 15 Josh Whiteside
Subs (all used): 16 Eben Le Vin 17 Andy McGreevy 18 Willie Gray 19 Kieran Johnstone
Photos of the match can be found at Katie Morrison Photography
Match was not filmed
For the password email Admin@AnnanRFC.com
Match was not filmed