Match Report from: Colin Warrick
For the 2nd consecutive Sunday the Warriors hit the road for their next game in SRU National One against Glasgow Uni Ladies at Garscube in Glasgow.
The ladies travelled with reasonable confidence knowing that they were undefeated in the previous games against the Glasgow team, even though the first two league games hadn’t gone the way the Annan team had hoped.
In near perfect overhead & ground conditions the game kicked off at high tempo which as it turned out wasn’t to stop for the full 80 minutes.
Straight from the kick off Annan returned the ball with interest with back row players Allana McWilliam & Kayleigh Warrick to the fore. The ball being moved wide through the hands of new look centre partnership of Chelsea Barnes & Ciara O’Connell continuing the move and following a ruck close in it was flanker Allana McWilliam that opened the scoring with a try which was converted by stand off Mally McGeoch.
From the kick off returned the ball once more with interest only for a stray offload to be pouched by the Glasgow defence who quickly turned into attack to score & convert their first try.
Glasgow cam more into the game and pressed the Annan Ladies back but good line speed aligned with good scramble defence held the Uni ladies out, and from a Glasgow pass meant for their inside centre flanker Allana snaffled an interception to romp in from half way to take the lead once more.
This try settled the Annan team with the confidence beginning to grow once more they began to string phases together and really stretch the opposition defence. With Annan encamped in the opposition 22 the Warriors kept their composure to build pressure with the defence finally breaking when 2nd row Megan Muir scoring a try, her 2nd in only 3 games for the Warriors.
So, with only 25 minutes gone Annan were only one try away from their first bonus point of the season. The remainder of the half was fairly even with both teams playing well but unable to breakdown the opposition defence, when on the stroke of half time from a scrum the backs moved the ball with centre Chelsea Barnes carving her way through like a hot knife through butter to score the 4th try which was converted by Mally.
Half time score: Glasgow Uni Ladies 7 v Annan Warriors 24
Refreshed and rejuvenated with the 2nd half game plan firmly in place the Warriors kicked off and for the opening 10 minutes when sometimes the Warriors can be a bit lethargic, they burst into life scoring 3 fantastic tries to extend their lead.
The first a now typical snipe from Captain Nicole Barlow, the 2nd following a good break & several good offloads No.8 Kayleigh Warrick charged over from 15 metres out & the 3rd which has to be considered try of the day when following some carries from the forwards the ball was moved wide through the backs hands to winger Megan Ker who raced up the wing handing off two would be defenders with her piston like hand off before offloading in the tackle to supporting centre Ciara O’Connell who scored with her 1 year old son looking on in from the sideline to increase the lead to 36 points.
Annan continued to push and maybe became a bit loose, allowing the Glasgow team back into the game, scoring a penalty try as a result of high tackle and a further try which came from a loose pass and a missed tackle.
Once again this spurred the Annan Ladies into action scoring a further three tries from Kayleigh with her 2nd who finished off another flowing move in support to take the final pass, from Kirsty Barlow who following a initial break from her sister Nicole which was carried on by No 8 Kayleigh who rode the last tackle for Kirsty to take the offload and score with the final act from Annan going to wing forward Allana who scored a deserved hat trick try.
The Uni team had the last say in a thoroughly enthralling game of free-flowing rugby by scoring their 5th try right at the final whistle.
Final Score: Glasgow Uni Ladies 31 v Annan Warriors 60
A great performance from the Warriors which helped to boost confidence going forward into the next games.
With the backs & forwards working hard as individual units & the support play & fitness coming to the fore.
Special mention to front row players Linden Moffat, Julie Dalgliesh & Ashley Clark who all had to play big minutes due to an injury to hooker Megan Alexander. Also, to new Warrior Ruth Peacock who made her debut after only four training sessions.
Best for Annan in the forwards were Allana McWilliam, Megan Muir with player of match going to Kayleigh Warrick
In the backs the midfield trio of Mally McGeoch, Chelsea Barnes & Ciara O’Connell with back of the match going to Megan Ker.
The Warriors now have a weekend off due to the rescheduling of the home game against Garioch.
Thanks also to the travelling support of Eilidh Jardine, Eve Irving, Alo Murray, Ben Conroy, wee Thomas O’Connell, his dad Tommy & his parents all the way from Limerick.
Annan team: J Dalgliesh, L Moffat, M Alexander, C Ritchie, M Muir, A McWilliam, L Glendinning, K Warrick, N Barlow ©, M McGeoch, M Ker, C Barnes, C O’Connell, K Barlow, K Taylor
Subs both used: Ashley Clark, R Peacock