Pirates becalmed as Nighthawks pounce
July 24th, 2018
Merseyside Nighthawks 46 – East Kilbride Pirates 13
East Kilbride headed south for the penultimate game of the 2018 campaign, and it was the visitors who made the breakthrough on their second drive. Seven plays took them from their own 20 to the Merseyside 4-yard line before QB Neil Baptie ran the ball home on 1st-and-goal. Steven Kane converted to give an early 7-0 lead. The hosts responded Immediately though, taking just 2 plays to tie the scores. Martin Murphy ran the ball home from 30 yards and Liam Holebrook added the PAT.
On their opening possession of the second period, Merseyside pushed in front for the first time. A short drive was rounded off with a 20-yard scoring pass from Henry Bulmer to Alex Eager, that Holebrook again converted.
The Pirates were soon forced to punt, giving their hosts the chance to stretch their lead. A 7-play drive was capped with an 11-yard pass from Bulmer to Jordan Houghton this time, followed by Holebrook’s extra point. There was no further scoring before the interval, and Merseyside held a 21-7 advantage at the break.
The Nighthawks received the ball from the kick off and quickly added another 7 points. A 16-yard run by James Sutherland and a successful PAT doing the trick. Later in the quarter Bulmer added a 4-yard TD, passing to Ben Hogan, although the PAT was blocked on this occasion to leave the score at 34-7.
Merseyside put together their longest drive of the day early in Q4, running 13 plays before Bulmer found Dominic Woo from 10 yards for the TD. They chose to go for the 2PAT but came up short. EK then produced their own best drive of the day. They completed 8 plays before appearing to score on a Baptie to Kenny Muir pass. The play was called back on a penalty, but undaunted, they took just another four plays before legitimately finding the endzone on a 4-yarder from Baptie to Martin Gallagher (his first TD for the “big” team). Marcus Galanti’s PAT kick went through the posts, but unfortunately under, rather than over the crossbar. There was just enough time for Merseyside to notch a final touchdown, with Bulmer throwing his 5th of the game when he found Houghton from 18 yards. Again the 2PAT attempt failed to conclude the scoring at 46-13.
The final game in a season to forget sees the Pirates travel to face Tamworth Phoenix on 12 August.
Game report by Bill Campbell
Photos courtesy Dave Venables
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