Pirates take hard-fought victory over Wolves
May 8th, 2017
Edinburgh Wolves 15 – East Kilbride Pirates 20
A hard-fought, come from behind victory saw the Pirates maintain their unbeaten start to the League campaign. Having already drawn with the Wolves last month, a close encounter was always on the cards.
The first quarter saw the sides trading field position throughout, with the home side repeatedly forcing EK deep into their own territory. Despite this though, the period remained scoreless. Early in the second quarter, Edinburgh tried to break the deadlock with a 21-yard field goal attempt, but a bad exchange on the snap saw them come away empty handed. They had however, left the Pirates pinned up against their own goal line and four plays later when the visitors had to punt, Steven Kane’s kick was blocked and the ball shot out the back of the endzone for a safety. The game then returned to the war of attrition and there was no further scoring before the interval.
The Pirates took possession after the restart and managed to make some ground before a 4th Down sack of QB Neil Baptie turned the ball over. Edinburgh immediately capitalised as QB Jamie Morrison hit Calum Davidson with a short pass and he ran 53 yards for the opening TD, evading several tackles along the way. Lloyd Dignan kicked the PAT, extending the home advantage to 9-0. Later in the period, East Kilbride finally got on the scoreboard. A 6-play drive concluded with Baptie finding Andy Meechan in the corner of the endzone from 10 yards. Steven Kane kicked the conversion to narrow the gap to 2 points.
Undaunted, the home side took just two plays to restore their advantage with Davidson again doing the damage. This time on a running play, he scampered home from 39 yards out. The PAT was missed, but the Wolves were now 15-7 ahead. As the quarter drew to a close, a 38-yard punt return by Dougie Meechan moved the ball into Wolves territory. The final play of the period saw Baptie connect with veteran wide receiver Kenny Muir for a 34 yard TD. EK tried for the 2-point conversion to tie the score, but Baptie’s pass was batted away.
With the game finely balanced in the fourth quarter, it was another Special Teams play that turned it in the Pirates favour. Gordon Wallace blocked an Edinburgh punt, with the ball going out of bounds at the Wolves’ 25 yard line. From there, Baptie again passed to Muir for the go ahead TD. Kane added the point after to give the Pirates a 20-15 lead. They had a chance to extend that on their next possession, but Kane’s 25-yard field goal attempt drifted wide right of the posts. As time ran out, Edinburgh launched a Hail Mary pass but Darren Robert came up with the interception to see out the game.
The Pira tes now take a break from League action as they prepare to host US college team, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags. The quaintly named team are the result of the amalgamation of three separate Californian schools, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College and Scripps College. East Kilbride take on the NCAA Division 3 CMS Stags at West of Scotland Rugby Club on May 20 with a 2pm kick off.
Game report by Bill Campbell
Photos courtesy Duncan Gray, Duncolm Photography
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