Match Report from: Colin Warrick
On a sun drenched Violetbank, with weather probably more suited to the Costa del Sol rather the Costa del Solway the Warriors took on local rivals the Stewartry Sirens in their 1st game in National One for this season after the cancellation of their scheduled game against Broughton last week.
Buoyed by a good preseason working hard at training & picking up some valued game time in friendlies the Warriors took to the field looking to avenge last season’s two defeats at the hands of the Sirens.
The game kicked off at a pace with both teams working hard to gain the upper hand. It was Stewartry who with the bulk of the early possession who made inroads into the Annan half with big carries from their forwards & the cultured boot of stand-off Lisa Ritchie.
From a scrum on half way the Sirens broke the Annan defence with a strong run by their inside centre who offloaded to a supporting player only to be cut down by a great covering tackle from Nadine Barnes, unfortunately for the Warriors the ball was recycled for Stewartry to force their way over for the 1st score, which was converted by stand off Ritchie.
Almost straight from the kick-off Stewartry went back on the attack and from a clever kick to the corner their winger picked up to score.
Annan began getting into the game but couldn’t manage to retain position long enough to threaten the opposition line, with Stewartry able to turn the ball over and clear their lines. From an Annan knock on Stewartry pushed on the attack from just outside the 22 attacked Annan’s short side with stand-off Lisa Ritchie going through a gap to score.
Half time score: Annan Warriors 0 v Stewartry Sirens 17
The 2nd half kicked off with Annan looking to finally get a real foothold in the game.
A better start they couldn’t have asked for when straight from the kick off No 8 Chelsea Barnes went on the charge only to be hauled back on half way by the opposition prop who used Chelsea pony tail to tackle, from the penalty the ball was moved wide to Abbie Clark who carried deep into the 22 where the ball was recycled several times before being fed to Abbie Clark once more to score, converted by Mally McGeoch.
Unfortunately for Annan from the kick off the Sirens picked up a stray pass to recycle the ball and score in the corner.
Annan again pressed on from the kick off making ground through phases but couldn’t seem to break the oppositions defensive wall, and from a turnover the ball was kicked clear by the Stewartry 9 only for the ball to take one of those unexpected bounces over Annan winger Megan Ker’s head straight back into the onrushing Stewartry 9 who outstripped the Annan defence to score under the posts.
The game continued to to and fro going into the last period of the game with both teams having opportunities and from a series of penalties Warriors 2nd row Megan Muir barged over from close range for her 1st Warriors try.
The final score going to the Sirens when their scrum half took advantage of a broken defensive line to score.
Final score: Annan Warriors 12 v Stewartry Sirens 36
Best for Annan in the forwards was Chelsea Barnes, Kayleigh Warrick & Megan Muir with the plaudits in the backs going to Kim Taylor & Allana McWilliam
So, all in all not the result the Warriors were looking for, but onwards & upwards to next week when the Warriors head on their travels to play Howe Harlequins.
Annan Warriors: N Barnes, M Alexander, J Dalgliesh, M Muir, Abbie Clark, K Warrick, L Glendinning, C Barnes, N Barlow ©, M McGeoch, M Ker, E Henderson, A McWilliam, K Barlow, K Taylor
Replacements (all used): E Jardine, Ashley Clark, R Armstrong