No reprieve As Pirates plummet towards relegation
July 11th, 2018
East Kilbride Pirates 12 – Merseyside Nighthawks 25
The Pirates’ seven year stay in the Premier Division looks set to come to an end. They would need to win both remaining games at Merseyside and Tamworth while other results also went in their favour to avoid the drop to Division 1 next year.
East Kilbride received the opening kick off then almost immediately fumbled away possession. Merseyside capitalised straight away and went ahead on an 11-yard run by QB Ben Robinson, although the PAT kick was blocked. The Pirates bounced straight back, and just three plays later tied the game on a 33-yard Dougie Meechan run. Late in the period, it was the visitors who went back in front. A 59-yard hook up between Robinson and Liam Holebrook added 6 points before Holebrook also kicked the PAT, leaving the Nighthawks 13-6 ahead moving into the second quarter.
The game was evenly contested at this stage with possession moving back and forward between the sides. The only score came mid-period and it was another long (41-yards) TD pass from Robinson to Holebrook that caught out the Pirates’ secondary. The extra point attempt struck the right post and bounced back out to hold the score at 6-19.
The pattern of the game continued in the same mode after the restart with both defences doing just about enough to hold their opponents at bay. Merseyside did manage one more breach when, on their ninth drive of the game, running back Juarvel Waugh-Cascoe broke away from 27 yards to score. Once more the PAT was blocked and the quarter duly ended with the Nighthawks in front by 25-6.
There was a brief glimmer of hope early in the final period when Neil Baptie passed to Kenny Muir from 14 yards out, and although the 2PAT run was stopped short, there was still time to notch the 2 scores needed to retrieve the win. It was not to be however as Merseyside’s defence staunchly held firm against whatever the Pirates sent in their direction.
The return fixture at Merseyside Nighthawks is up next, with the Pirates travelling to Liverpool on 22nd July.
Report by Bill Campbell
Photo courtesy Duncan Gray, Duncolm Photography
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