Match Report from: Calum Heughan
Annan u14s made the short trip over the hill to play near neighbours Langholm on the artificial 3G pitch at the Academy with 16 players for our final match of 2019. Short of 3 experienced forwards it was always going to be a tough ask for a team with so many changes in the pack.
The first 20 minutes was a very even affair with both teams scoring 2 tries in good conditions for running rugby. Captain Adam Hamilton and James Collinge touching down for Annan with Aaron Kirkup converting 1.
The 2nd 20 was more of the same as both sides took advantage of the conditions to run the ball resulting in 3 tries apiece with Ewan Bell scoring 2 touchdowns and Fraser Court 1. This was when the consequences of such a small squad began to tell on the Tigers who had already lost Hamilton to a shoulder injury.
The injuries started to mount up and the Black and Yellows were to start the 3rd 20 with only 12 players. Fair play to our hosts for matching our numbers but losing so many key players the writing was on the wall for the visitors.
A buoyant home side pressed forward at every stage and ran in 7 unanswered tries against the battle weary Annan side to run out worthy winners on the day. Our first defeat of the season was tough to take but the numbers did not add up for the Tigers today. A much improved Langholm side from our first meeting who played very well on the day in a well disciplined match will take a lot of positives from today.
Annan will also take a lot of positives from the game with some great performances from players under immense pressure due to the injuries depleting the side. James Collinge and Ewan Bell were outstanding in all aspects of play and Wallace Alexander and Niall Patterson picking and going from the base of the ruck was a joy to see. Zak Stevenson putting his body on the line with some crunching tackles and Oban Nicholson storming into contact to gain ground. Young Nicholson adding number 8 to his list of positions this season.
A well deserved break from games will give bodies time to heal and come back ready to play in 2020.
Team: A Hamilton ( capt 1try ), J Collinge ( 1try ) F Court ( 1try ), R Heughan, K Smith, N Patterson, E Bell ( 2 tries ), W Alexander, O Nicholson, J Glendinning, H Nordon, N Grierson, A Kirkup ( 3 cons ), Z Stevenson, N McCourt, J Farral.