Match Report from: Colin Warrick
The Warriors welcomed long term rivals Greenock Wanderers to Violetbank for a West 1 League game.
With the Warriors fielding what was probably the strongest backline possible so far this season hopes were high of a win.
The game as was expected was physical with both sets of forwards trying to get the upper hand in the early exchanges, it was the visitors who opened the scoring when after some brave defence by the Warriors an overlap was created for Greenock to score an unconverted try.
Almost immediately from the kick off the Warriors pushed back driving the visitors back with some strong carries from the forwards & some good handling from the backs.
It was following one of these carries that the ball was moved wide to full back Zoe Mitchell who was making her welcome return, she rounded the winger before chipping ahead only to be impeded by one of the opposition close to the line, sharp thinking by Nicole Barlow taking the resultant penalty quickly before feeding Niamh Ross to score in the corner.
The game continued in the physical manner for the remainder of the half with the score remaining tied until almost half time until from a turnover the ball was moved wide, & recycled into the hands of captain Ashley Clark who burst through two tackles only to be almost stopped by the fullback, with Ashley able to get an offload away to centre Mally McGeoch who took the pass to score in the corner.
Half time score : Annan Warriors 10 v Greenock Wanderers 5
The 2nd half kicked off again with the physicality remaining high with both teams giving their all & more often cancelling each other out.
With neither teams defence breaking it took a piece of opportunism from stand off Nicole Barlow to break the deadlock of the 2nd half whem from a penalty just inside the Greenock half she tapped & went throwing her customary dummy before stepping inside the last 3 defenders to score her now trademark try from distance to take a 10 point lead with around 10 minutes to go.
Unfortunately from the restart the Warriors couldn’t control the kick off turning the ball over to give the visitors an opportunity to try & get back into the game, and that they did charging into the 22 to be halted close to the line before scoring in the corner once again.
Surprisingly there seemed to be enough time left on the clock for the game to restart again & with the kick off deemed to have not made the requisite 10 metres although it did seem to cross the line.
From the resultant scrum Greenock began the final assault on the Annan line, with Annan scrambling in defence they conceded a number of penalties Greenock once again converting an opportunity to score with the past play of the game, thankfully for the Warriors the conversion was missed.
Final score: Annan Warriors 15 v Greenock Wanderers 15
Although disappointed not to get the win they deserved, it certainly was the best performance of the season so far with all the hard work done in training starting to transfer onto the pitch.
In the forwards Ashley Cole, Megan Cother & Julie Warrick played well with 2nd row Tammy Allinson winning sword of the match.
In the backs Nicole Barlow, Jane Stewart & Zoe Mitchell played well with centre Mally McGeoch winning Shield of the match.
Special mention to Erin Ewing & Emilia Szelag who made their Warriora debuts.
Warriors starting XV: E Jardine, M Brogan, J Warrick, T Allinson, N Mullen, A Clark (c), A Cole, K Warrick, N Ross,.N Barlow, A Pattullo, M McGeoch, J Stewart, L Glendinning, Z Mitchell
Replacements (all used): M Cother, J Graham, E Ewing, E Szelag, J Graham, L McGregor, K Morrison