Pirates win on the road against Wolverines
June 6th, 2017
Lancashire Wolverines 19 – East Kilbride Pirates 37
It was back to League business for the Pirates on Sunday when they travelled to Blackburn to take on the Wolverines. Early exchanges were tentative and the first period passed without any scoring.
Lancashire began the second quarter with the ball, but despite moving into EK territory, they came up short on a 4th Down run. East Kilbride in turn, moved the ball back inside the Wolverines half, but eventually had to settle for a 42-yard field goal attempt. Steven Kane’s booming kick split the uprights, giving the Pirates a 3-0 lead. The home side responded immediately though and just six plays later QB Dave Mead completed a 41-yard pass to Theo Biggs for a touchdown. The conversion kick was blocked, however the hosts now had their noses in front. Later in the period the Pirates got the ball back near midfield, but with a score looking imminent they fumbled the ball away. Undaunted, the Pirates defense came onto the field and took just one play to get the ball straight back, with Kane recovering a fumble to regain possession. Running back Scott Widdowson duly repaid his defensive colleagues by running the ball home from 4 yards. The PAT was wide, but EK held a 9-6 lead at the break.
The to-ing and fro-ing continued after the restart, with the Lancashire defense also getting in on the act. Pirates QB Neil Baptie was tackled near his own goal line, with the ball coming loose. It was recovered by Stephen Donaldson-Ellison, who ran it back from just 3 yards out. Jonathon Moorhouse added the extra point to make it 13-9 to the Wolverines. EK recaptured the lead on their next drive. Having started at their own 15-yard line, they marched to the Lancashire 11 on just 5 plays. Then, following a Pass Interference penalty on 4th Down, it was Baptie himself who ran the ball home from the 4-yard line. Kane’s kick was good to make it 16-13 in East Kilbride’s favour. That advantage was to be short-lived as the Wolverines bounced back once again. Biggs was now in at QB, replacing Mead who had been ejected earlier in the quarter for throwing a punch. Despite this Biggs launched a pass from the 33-yard line which was caught by Iain Jardine for the TD. The PAT attempt had to be aborted after a wayward snap, but the Wolverines held a 19-16 advantage going into the final quarter.
It was the Pirates’ defense who were next to score. A fierce sack by Andrew MacIver forced the ball loose and it was scooped up by lineman Steven Wilson who returned it 40-yards to the endzone. Kane’s PAT made it 23-19 for a lead that the visitors were finally going to hold onto. The defense were beginning to dominate as the home side tired. Darren Robert had both a fumble recovery and an interception, while Andrew McGowan also picked off a wayward pass. As a result of that, Widdowson soon added his second TD run of the day from 12 yards with Kane again converting. Another fumble recovery, this time by Gordon Wallace, gave EK a short field to manoeuvre once more, and on this occasion it was running back Craig Holliday who benefited, scoring from just 1 yard. Kane concluded the scoring with the extra point, leaving the Pirates as 37-19 victors.
While the never-say-die attitude is to be commended, the run of come from behind wins can’t be good for the nerves of the Pirates’ coaches. Next up is a trip to face reigning Divisional Champions, the Tamworth Phoenix on Sunday June 18.
Game report by Bill Campbell
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