Pirates close 2016 campaign with comfortable win
August 9th, 2016
Sheffield Predators 14 East Kilbride Pirates 57
The Pirates brought down the curtain on their 2016 campaign with a comfortable win in Yorkshire. The resulting 6 win – 4 loss record means that there is no play-off action this year, so the planning to rectify that situation next season has already begun.
On a field that was 20-yards shorter than regulation size, and 10 yards shorter than the recommended minimum, East Kilbride were quickly into their stride. It took just 6 plays to get into scoring range before QB Neil Baptie found Craig Black in the endzone for a 19-yard TD. Steven Kane kicked the conversion to give the visitors an early 7-0 lead. Later in the period it was Kane who scored again. This time he kicked a field goal from 45 yards, with at least another 10 to spare, to make it 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Sheffield, playing their last game as the Predators before a close-season re-brand, soon had to punt and Baptie came back on to steer his side towards their second TD. This time it took just three plays to score, concluding with a 10-yard pass to Andrew Meechan. Kane missed the extra point, but wasn’t going to have to wait long to make amends. A David McInally interception regained possession and he returned the ball to the Sheffield 3-yard line. Scott Widdowson duly ran the ball home at the first attempt and Kane converted. A second interception, this time by Nathan Carr, continued the one-way traffic. Three plays later and it was Baptie’s turn to cross the goal-line on a 5-yard run before Kane added the extra point.
Trailing now by 30 points, Sheffield chose to return the ensuing kick off from their own endzone, but only made 5 yards progress. They gained just a single yard before having to punt, a kick that failed to reach the halfway line and left the visitors eyeing up another score. Baptie passed to Kevin Reynolds who ran untouched to score from 38-yards before Kane again converted. The Predators then had their best drive of the day, moving the ball 54 yards on 8 plays to the Pirates 10-yard line. From there, QB Josh Allen ran the ball in for a TD and Daniel Hewitt added the PAT to make the score 37-7 at half-time.
The home side had the ball first after the restart but were again quickly forced to punt. A couple pass completions to Jamie McLaughlin took the ball to the Predators’ 26-yard line, and from there Adam Kyle ran the ball home and Kane converted. The extended lead initiated a running clock, meaning there would be fewer opportunities to score for the rest of the game. McInally pulled in his second interception to set up the final score of the third quarter. Despite losing territory on a sack, Baptie connected with McLaughlin from 39 yards. A bobbled snap on the extra point saw kick-holder McLaughlin having to look to pass the ball in for the conversion, but Ryan McCluskey was held up short of the endzone, leaving the score at 50-7 going into the final quarter.
With their running game all but shut down, Sheffield had taken to the air. A 36-yard completion took them to the EK 19, and from there another pass was pulled in by John Gilmartin and taken to the endzone. Hewitt again converted to take the Predators’ total to 14. Kane was next to attempt to score, but his 47-yard field goal attempt was wide left. McInally went on to collected his third interception of the day to regain possession for the Pirates. A 9-play drive ended with a 5-yard Baptie-McLaughlin scoring pass and Kane conversion to conclude the scoring at 57-14. It only remained for the Pirates’ Defence to finish the game with their fifth interception as Andrew Baldacci picked off the last play of the game.
Game report by Bill Campbell
Share this article