Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Pirates shut out Trojans 34-0

Pictures courtesy of Stevie Manson

This much-anticipated clash failed to live up to expectation on a day more reminiscent of March than May. West Coast had a squad, depleted by injuries, that was half the number of their visitors and it became clear from early on that this was going to be a one-sided contest.

East Kilbride received the opening kick-off and put together a short drive which took them to the Trojans’ 16-yard line. However, they opted to run a play on 4th Down rather than attempt the Field Goal and Pirates Quarterback Ryan Hunter was tackled for a loss.
West Coast took over, but it was apparent that their Quarterback Gary McNey was struggling with damaged ribs, picked up in their previous game and that he was unable to throw the ball. East Kilbride therefore set about shutting down the running game and that task became easier when Trojans’ main threat, Bud McFerren was injured in a tackle and forced to leave the game. WCT went “three-and-out” and their misfortunes continued when the resulting punt appeared to hit one of their own linemen and only travelled forward a couple of yards. With the ball on the 11-yard line, the Pirates immediately capitalised and Hunter passed to Jamie McLaughlin for the go-ahead score. A high snap on the conversion attempt saw Jason Byworth attempt to run the ball home but he was tackled well short of the goal-line. Again, the Trojans could only manage three plays before punting, with the kick being successfully dispatched this time. A six-play drive was then capped by a 5-yard scoring run from QB Hunter. Steven Wilson converted this time to make it 13-0 to the Pirates.

Ryan Hunter isn't the only EKP QB who can run with the ball.
West Coast’s woes persisted and a fumble was recovered by Thomas Macmillan and returned to the WCT 5 yard line. After two incomplete passes, Hunter ran the ball home but the score was called back on a penalty. A short run by Iain Dick, followed by a 9-yard Hunter-Dick passing play soon added
another TD which Wilson duly converted to leave the score at 20-0 at the end of the period.

West Coast fumbled the ball away again early in the second Quarter, with Andrew McGowan recovering on this occasion. Hunter then connected with Aaron Paterson to take the ball to the 8-yard line where Peter Odoom ran in his first TD for the Club. Wilson’s Extra Point made the score 27-0 to the visitors. Two significant events then followed. Despite his best efforts, McNey was forced to give in to his injuries and the Pirates also agreed to the introduction of a “running clock”, hoping to minimise the risk of any further wounds. With their regular back up QB unavailable, it fell to WR Ruaraidh MacDonald to take over the reins of the Trojans’ offence. This at least introduced some passing to their attack and kept the Pirates’ defence on their toes. The teams traded possession for the remainder of the half and there was no further scoring before the interval.

Neil Baptie looks for an open receiver.

The Pirates kicked off in the second half but soon had the ball back after a Ryan Strachan sack forced WCT to punt. Iain Dick immediately added his second TD with a 40-yard run which Wilson converted to make it 34-0 in the Pirates’ favour. Despite two more Trojans’ turnovers, a Dougie Meechan interception and a fumble recovery by Blake Kyle, there was no more scoring in a short 3rd Quarter.

East Kilbride returned the favour at the start of the final period when a Peter Odoom fumble was recovered by Nikki Kuiper. MacDonald then passed to Stuart Miller for a 28-yard gain, but that momentum was lost when he was picked off by Thomas Macmillan three plays later. The Trojans got the ball straight back however as Ryan Hunter too was intercepted, with Andy Coom the grateful recipient. As possession passed back and forward, both sides gave up sacks before the end of the game, Dougie Meechan snaring MacDonald while Bob Lynch and David Strachan combined to bring down Hunter.

The EKP defence earned their second shutout of the season.

East Kilbride now look forward to their first home game when they host Doncaster Mustangs at Hamilton Rugby Club on Sat 2 June.

Report by Bill Campbell

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