Pirates dominated by Nighthawks
May 23rd, 2016
Looking to continue momentum from their last outing East Kilbride travelled south to take on the division’s newly promoted outfit, the Merseyside Nighthawks. It was, however, not to be as the streaking Nighthawks dominated an all-round poor Pirates performance which left much to be desired.
The Pirates received the opening kick-off but quickly went 3 and out. A roughing the kicker penalty on the punt extended the drive but once again the Pirates could not capitalise before punting deep into Merseyside territory. This did not deter the Nighthawks who quickly came out firing with a 44 yard pass to Liam Holbrook setting up a 27 yard run from Alex Eager to culminate a 98 yard drive for the opening score of the day. The Pirates responded immediately with a 67 yard drive finished off with a 21 yard catch and run by Bud McFerren from Leon Tsang with Steven Kane adding the extra point.
The score remained at 7-7 as the game entered the second quarter with each team exchanging punts however the punt attempt by Steven Kane was blocked by the Nighthawks and recovered deep into Pirate territory. The Nighthawks wasted no time and just a few plays later Laurent Tshimanga ran in from 7 yards out to give Merseyside the lead once more. The PAT was good and the score increased to 14-7. The Pirates responded with a drive of their own however they were stopped short in the redzone and the resulting field goal was missed wide right. Merseyside continued to pile on the pressure and drove 80 yards down the field for their third score of the game via a 7 yard completion from Ben Robinson to Harry Routledge. The PAT was converted and the score now 21-7 to Merseyside.
With time running down in the second quarter the Pirates pushed to try and score just before the half but an untimely fumble by Jamie McLaughlin was recovered by Merseyside’s Adam Stephens and returned 44 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was blocked and at the half time break the score was 27-7 to Merseyside.
The Pirates came out looking to show their true ability in the second half and forced Merseyside into a 3 and out. On the ensuing drive the Pirates found an immediate spark and a Leon Tsang 34 yard touchdown pass to Jamie McLaughlin followed by a PAT by Steven Kane reduced the deficit to 27-14. The resurgence was short lived as Merseyside instantly replied with a drive of their own and 21 yard touchdown pass to Dominic Woo from Robinson followed by a successful PAT extended the Nighthawks lead to 20 once more.
Both teams would not follow with any drives of significance in the remainder of the third and as the game headed into the fourth and final quarter the score remained 34-14. Any hopes of a famous Pirates comeback were dashed quite literally with blazing touchdown runs of 26 and 54 yards by Laurent Tshimanga to increase the lead to 47-14 with the latter touchdown having an unsuccessful PAT. Try as they might the Pirates could offer no resistance and the game ended 47-14 to give the Nighthawks a more than deserved victory.
The Nighthawks progress to 3-0 on the season while the Pirates fall to 2-2 knowing that they must improve dramatically if they are to keep playoff ambitions alive.
Next up is a road trip to Lancashire to take on the Wolverines on Sunday 5 June. Kick off is 2.30pm.
Game report Gage Czekalla
Photo courtesy John Maher
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