Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Pirates win on the road against Lancashire

Lancashire Wolverines 7 - East Kilbride Pirates 39

The Pirates continued a strong start to the season with a win on the road against a disciplined Lancashire Wolverines team.

The visitors started strongly, putting together a four play drive that resulted in the first score of the day, with running back Iain Dick taking the ball over the goal line. Mark Murphy converted, giving the Pirates a 7-0 lead early in the game.

The visiting defense held the Wolverines to a 3-and-out, which was very much the theme of the day as the Pirates, despite having a few starters missing, asserted their will on the home team and minimised their threat for much of the game.

The Pirates then turned the ball over on downs but early in the next Wolverines drive veteran defensive back James McIntosh intercepted the Lancashire quarterback, giving the visitors the ball near midfield. East Kilbride then put together a strong seven play drive, covering 47 yards and ending with a 3 yard Neil Baptie to Mark Murphy completion for their second score of the day.

Lancashire again struggled to build momentum, going 3-and-out, but the Pirates turned the ball over on a fumble, giving them their first break. Again unable to capitalise, the Wolverines punted and possession went back and forward for much of the first half until the Pirates took over on their own two yard line from which point quarterback Neil Baptie engineered an 88 yard, 14 play drive which culminated in a 1 yard touchdown run by Iain Dick, taking the score 19-0.

Two plays later, EK defensive back Scott Findlay intercepted the Lancashire quarterback again, reversed the field and was brought down 8 yards from the goal line. In a one-play drive, Baptie connected with Murphy and the Pirates lead was extended to 25.

Lancashire retaliated with a big kick off return and a five play, 25yd drive into the red zone, but the Pirates’ defense held firm, stopping the home team on their own goal line. The Wolverines attempted a field goal but the Pirates line drove forward and blocked the kick to maintain their clean sheet.

The Pirates took over for their final drive of the half with under two minutes to go, needing only two plays to get back in the endzone. The second of these was a bomb from Baptie that hit wide receiver Jamie McLaughlin in stride down the sideline and he sprinted 65 yards for a score. The half ended with the visitors leading 31-0.

The second half was a much quieter affair with the Wolverines ruining the Pirates’ plans for a clean sheet with a six-play, 30 yd drive which took them to the endzone. 
Lancashire’s Dave Barnett hit the ball home and a successful conversion saw the score move to 31-7.

The Pirates retaliated and extended their lead as receiver Jason Byworth clocked up his first touchdown for the Pirates since his return to the team this season. Aaron Paterson took the field as quarterback and hit McLaughlin with the pass for a two point conversion to conclude the scoring 39 – 7.

Overall, it was a strong first half from the Pirates, putting the game out of reach of the home team early on, but East Kilbride will looking to see an improved second half performance in future games.

The Pirates now look forward to their second home game of the year, when they host Sheffield Predators at Hamilton Rugby Club on Sunday 30 June. Kick off is at 2.30pm.

Report by Matthew Davies

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