PEEBLES WIN THE SHIELD
On a glorious August Saturday rugby enthusiasts at Violetbank were treated to an afternoon of exiting rugby fare as eight teams battled it out in order to lift the Violetbank Trophy. The teams were drawn in two leagues with the two league winners playing each other in the final.
In League A comprising Dumfries, Newton Stewart, Peebles and Upper Eden, Peebles powered their way to the final with wins over Dumfries 8-6, Newton Stewart 17-0 and Upper Eden 26-0. Other results from league A: Newton Stewart 5 Upper Eden 10; Upper Eden 0 Dumfries 29; Newton Stewart 0 Dumfries 19.
In League B comprising Acton Nomads, Annan, Kirby Lonsdale and Stewartry, Kirby Lonsdale fought their way to the final with wins over Stewartry 26-8, Acton Nomads 31-0 and Annan 14-12. Other Results Annan 52 Acton Nomads 0; Annan 16 Stewartry 14; Stewartry 10 Acton Nomads 7.
The Annan coaches were able to try out various combinations in order to find the best mix and must have been relatively satisfied with their team’s performances. In their first game against Acton Nomads Annan powered to a convincing win with a hat trick from full back Kevin Jones and further tries from wing forward Callum Bell, centre Graeme Smith, prop Andrew Gunning, centre David Wyllie and No8 Ross Dunlop. Captain Craig McCann added six conversions.
In their second game Annan against Stewartry, despite having the bulk of possession and territory had to come from behind in the dying seconds of the game with a penalty to win the game. Annan had lead throughout most of the game with tries from centre Graeme Smith, and prop Andrew Gunning and a penalty from stand off Craig McCann before Stewartry hit back with a try on either side of the half time break. With both tries converted Stewartry lead 14-13 before Craig McCann landed a penalty in the final seconds to secure the win.
In their final game Annan had arguably their best performance of the day especially in their second half performance. Against a big, strong, aggressive Kirby Lonsdale team Annan had a tough first half especially in the forwards and found themselves 7 nil down at half time and went further behind to another converted try (14 nil) before the Annan fightback began when firstly prop Colin Warrick powered over the line from a lineout to be followed minutes later by a terrific breenging run from wing forward Callum Bell to score. With only one of the tries converted the final score was Annan 12 Kirby Lonsdale 14.
In the final between Peebles and Kirby Lonsdale played in persistent rain Premier 2 side Peebles powered to a fine win over the robust Kirby Lonsdale side by three tries to nil. It was not as one sided as the score suggests as the Cumbrians’ had lots of territorial advantage and possession but were unable to break down an excellently organised defence. Final Score Peebles 17 Kirby Lonsdale 0.
The après rugby celebrations carried on well into the night with several of the clubs involved staying on well into the evening enjoying the live music in the marquee from ‘More from Jim’.
Annan RFC Squad: C Warrick, S Wyllie, A Gunning, J Nelson, G Hogg, A Jackson, C Bell, D Barnes, M Carpenter, R Craig, R Dunlop, S Haren, A Jancey, C McCann, A Copland, M Griffin, D Wyllie, G Smith, K Jones, W Gray, S Cark, S Walden, G Hunt, A Carlyle, A Rae