Match Report from Coach Paul O’Donnell
The U14’s welcomed Strathaven, Moffat and Hamilton to Violetbank on Sunday for the next round of our tournament style fixtures.
Having been on the road until now our boys were happy to have their first home fixture of the season and fielded an impressive squad of 22 players.
Due to availability and injury challenges Hamilton and Moffat combined teams and were topped up by a couple of willing Annan lads for our first 15 a side match of the day.
Despite having a number of weeks off, the home side started the game well scoring a long range try in the early stages of the game. This was followed up with another try shortly after which gave the lads a lot of confidence and a bit of a spring (or even a swagger) in their step.
However the Hamilton/ Moffat team were determined to make their mark on the game and used some of their strong ball carriers to punch holes in the home defence. By half time Hamilton/Moffat had reduced the Annan lead and we were in for an exciting and competitive second half.
However, the home side were able to tighten up their defence and continue to stamp their offensive mark on the game and pulled away to end the game 29-17 to Annan. It was a great effort by both sides who produced a highly competitive game that was exciting to watch.
Next up was Strathaven who were also propped up by 4 Annan players allowing us to play another 15-aside game. This time it was the visitors that took the initiative in the opening plays of the game. Strathaven used their size and speed to drive Annan back dangerously close to their try line only to be stopped short by some impressive last ditch tackling from Annan.
The home defence created a turnover and Lewis Hilton ran the length of the pitch for the opening score of the game. Strathaven answered back almost immediately with a bulldozing run from one of their forwards that squared the game up. It was clear that both sides had attacking prowess and plenty of tries up their sleeves so it was defence that would decide this tie.
Thankfully, it was the home side that was able to sure up their defence whilst continuing to run hard at the opposition and score some impressive tries. Despite the final score this was an extremely competitive game that finished 45-12 to Annan.
Annan points for the day coming from McKinley (5 tries), Lewis H (4 tries), Archie (1 Try), Kaden (1 try), Andy (1 Try) and Ben R (7 Conversions).
An excellent day for our lads, everyone played their part in providing some thrilling rugby in front of their home support.
In attack Lewis and McKinley were thorns in the opposition sides all morning, running around and over defenders left, right and centre! Andy and Kaden also had excellent offensive performances both getting on the score sheet.
In defence Kyle, Archie and Josh led the way and tackled like their lives depended on it. Player of the day has to go to our no.7 Mason who was like a man possessed when it came to the ruck and managed to create several key turnovers that resulted in Annan tries.
A special mention needs to go to Lewis I, Kaden, Ben W, Max L, Euan, Ciaran, Evan and Bailey who all played for visiting teams to allow 15 a side games to go ahead. They all put aside the fact that they were playing against their mates and just got stuck in, great stuff lads.
Next up is a repeat of today’s fixtures away to Hamilton on 26th November.
Our lads will need a good couple of weeks at training as we fully expect our opposition to be at full strength and looking to settle the score…….
Photos tbanks to TM Karin can be found on Facebook
Match was not filmed