Match Report from: Coach Andy Render
Annan U18s last game before this was at the start of November and although the squad was bolstered by the addition of some of the older U16 squad there was still a number of players missing as the lads assembled at Castle Douglas to take on the combined forces of Stewartry, Newton Stewart and Wigtownshire.
The host had been enjoying a good season and were looking for a game to sharpen them up ahead of their cup contest vs GHK next week.
With Annan having 12 players a forward was borrowed from Galloway and a 13 aside game took place. The first half was a little one-sided with the strong running hosts dominating in all facets, scoring 8 tries to reach 52-0 at half time.
The second half was a little more even with the hosts adding 19 pts to their total (3 tries) to 7 from Annan (try and conversion by Fraser McMillan).
All in all a good learning exercise for the Annan lads to consider – Galloway were not a bigger team but played together well to a pattern and shape, showing good fitness, handling skills and a commitment to the contact area that Annan could not match. In particular the younger Annan players should take these points on board and decide how to develop their game for the coming seasons.
As one Annan veteran commented after the match “life is not meant to be easy, you can learn a lot from a defeat”.
Well played to Galloway and good luck to them in their cup game next week. For Annan another development game is lined up in 2 weeks vs Cumnock at Annan followed by a return game in Cumnock in March. Hopefully players will continue to train and work together and if a few more from the wider squad become available then better days may lie ahead.
Best on the day for Annan goes to Mason Watret who showed good character in his first game at this level, making some good carries and tackles.
Annan Squad: A Shepherd, J Mackay, I Swan, M Watret, W Alexander, J Halliday, A Render, B Latimer, F McMillan, E Watson, J Glendinning, R Bell.