Match Report from: Colin Warrick
The Warriors took to the road for their 2nd pool game in the Women’s National Plate visiting Poynder Park to play Kelso Ladies, buoyed by the bonus point victory in their last game.
The game kicked off and straight from the off both teams set about the task ahead, as with the two previous friendly meetings the teams for the early parts cancelled each other out with the game played pretty much between the two 22s for the 1st 25 minutes.
Piggy backing onto a number of penalties from the Annan Ladies, Kelso found themselves deep in the Annan 22 & using there strong running forwards to break the Annan defence down drove closer to the tryline and it as from one of these drives that Kelso squeezed over to open the scoring with a converted try.
From the kick off Annan tried to recover possession but were unable to do so allowing Kelso to drive forward once more, the ball being moved wide for Kelso to gain territory once more deep inside the Warriors half, from this point there forwards took over again driving in close to the ruck to score a 2nd converted try to take a 14 point lead.
For the remainder of the half Annan drove the Kelso defence back with a combination of good strong carries from Lily Glendinning & Allana McWilliam & good strong running from backs Ciara O’Connell & Jane Stewart, but following a knock on the referee blew for half time.
Half time score: Kelso Ladies 14 v Annan Warriors 0
Freshened by the half time rest & the arrival of a late coming player the Warriors took back to the field determined to make up for 1st half lapses & get back into the game. The beginning of the 2nd half followed similar patterns to the 1st with both teams giving all but to no avail, finally after 20 minutes of the half Annan started to click into gear when following another charge by Lily Glendinning the ball was recycled & moved wide for centre Jane Stewart to race through the gap to score in the corner. Could the comeback be on?
Annan with confidence boosted pressed the attack button once again returning the ball hard through the forwards & backs attacking across the pitch looking for a break & with 10 minutes to go it came when once again centre Jane Stewart burst through a gap to race clear to score her 2nd try of the day which was converted by Mally McGeoch to bring Annan back to within 2 points with little more than 10 minutes to go.
Pretty much straight from the kick off Annan were reduced to 14 players following a yellow card for an indiscretion which certainly made the task more difficult, from this penalty Kelso kicked to the corner & set about the Annan defence through their forwards before the ball was slipped wide for them to score in the corner.
With about 1 minute left on the clock Annan were restored to the full complement through all bar the kitchen sink at the Kelso defence resulting in their 3rd try when winger Kirsty Barlow score, unfortunately for the Warriors stand off Mally McGeoch could not convert the kick & the final whistle was blown.
Final score: Kelso Ladies 19 v Annan Warriors 17
A hard fought battle by both teams which although was scrappy in phases but was well worth the watch. Annan having played better can be disappointed by the result but not disheartened with the result showing the value of having some extra players on the bench to allow the team to remain fresh.
Best for Annan in the forwards were Allana McWilliam, Chelsea Barnes & Megan Muir with forward of the match going to Lily Glendinning.
In the backs Nicole Barlow & Mally McGeoch were best with back of the match going to centre Jane Stewart.
The Warriors next game now becoming key, which is on the 16th when the Warriors play Kirkcaldy Ladies at Violetbank.
Annan team: E Jardine, M Alexander, J Dalgliesh, N Barnes, M Muir, A McWilliam, L Glendinning, C Barnes, N Barlow, M McGeoch, M Ker, C O’Connell, J Stewart, B Lowery, K Barlow
Subs: Ashley Clark, K Taylor
National Plate: Group B