Match Report from: Coach Andy Render
After a 10-week hiatus from their last league game Annan U16s had their first game of 2020 on Tuesday night after taking the short trip to Langholm. Due to a variety of unfortunate reasons Annan were missing 7 or 8 regular squad members and some last-minute phone calls and provision of spare boots saw a full XV fielded including Ewan Bell and James Collinge from the U14 team.
Despite earlier poor weather during the day the game kicked off in reasonable conditions for January although the artificial surface was very slick, and some rain did appear midway through the first half. The initial exchanges were fairly even but after around 10 mins Langholm got their first try (unconverted) after some sustained goal line pressure.
Annan had moments of attack of their own but these either fizzled out through lack of support over the ball or from handling errors which were a feature of the game. Langholm secured another two tries and one conversion through strong attacking rugby allied with fairly passive defence from the visitors, and a lack of cohesion which is to be expected from a scratch team.
The second half saw an improvement in some of Annan’s play but too often play broke down through error or lack of numbers. Both teams were to score two unconverted tries each in the second half, the Annan scores coming from Euan Muirhead who was making a cameo appearance to help out his former teammates.
The match ended 27-10 to Langholm who deservedly take the spoils in this encounter as throughout the match they showed more team understanding and no little skill and commitment. Annan however can take solace in competing so closely with such a disjointed preparation.
Due to the changes the coaches were unable to implement any of the recent game shape drills they have been working on with the players. In addition, it is evident that a lack of game time and training has affected some players fitness which will hopefully kick start some into working a bit harder.
Best on the night for Annan was John Mackay who showed appropriate levels of aggression and determination for a local derby. The two U14 representatives did themselves proud and their efforts after their game on Sunday were really appreciated. Thanks also to all parents who assisted with travel across the Langholm and to our hosts for the usual warm welcome.
Training continues over the coming weeks, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm with the next confirmed U16 game being the away trip to Cambuslang on 9th February.
- M Coupland
- J Mackay
- E Bell
- D Templeton
- C Irving
- J Arthur
- A Render
- J Cairns
- L Stevenson
- F McMillan
- J Glendinning
- J Collinge
- C Kirk
- B Latimer
- E Muirhead