By Kenneth Pool
A LANGHOLM second XV took to the rugby field for the first time in at least 11 years when they played Annan seconds at Violetbank on Saturday.
With enough players currently available at the club to form a second team, a match had been on the cards for a few weeks and all credit to Annan Rugby Club for arranging the fixture.
Both teams had a sprinkling of first XV players in their side to help out during the match.
Although it was bright and sunny, rain the previous day had left the pitch set and heavy and this tested both teams as the match progressed.
Played in three twenty-minute sections, Langholm started well and had a lot of possession and made some goods runs to put pressure on Annan. They were unlucky not to score after 10 minutes when the forwards got over the line but the ball was deemed to have been held up.
More pressure from the visitors reputed in the ball being moved to Adam Roe who drove over to score the first try. Nathan Smith missed the difficult conversion.
Annan took the ball back into the Langholm 22, but they were turned over and Langholm built up a good attack, moving the ball to the backs and then to the forwards which resulted in Fraser Mitchell scoring a good try near the posts. This time Smith was on target with the conversion and Langholm led 12-0 at the end of the first twenty minutes.
The second twenty was much more balanced.
A kick and chase by Jamie Gormley almost resulted in another try but Annan were getting more possession and were using their backs to pressure the visitors’ line. Langholm’s defence was holding up well with some good tackles being made against the home side. Although both sides tried their best to get some points on the board there was no scoring in the second 20-minute period.
As the third period progressed, the soft ground seemed to be taking its toll on the visitors and Annan began to turn the screw. They scored a good try and secured the conversion.
They threw everything into attack and although Langholm did their best to defend, a second try was scored. This time the conversion was missed.
With the score at 12-12, Langholm did everything they could to win the game. Jack Pool made a good break down the wing but was bundled into touch and then it was Annan’s turn to try and snatch the winning score. Again, the attack was stopped and with the ball going dead the referee blew for full time.
A draw was probably the right result as both teams played with great spirit and determination and the match was a credit to all involved.
The seconds are now looking forward to a rematch at Milntown in the not-too-distant future.