Pirates scuttled by unphamiliar Phoenix
July 2nd, 2018
East Kilbride Pirates 00 – Tamworth Phoenix 46
Tamworth arrived in Scotland ill-prepared for their game against EK. Indeed, they arrived with an incomplete set of gameshirts and had to borrow East Kilbride’s “away” kit to wear during the match. Despite the strange look however, Tamworth put in the type of performance expected from a team striving to retain their National title.
After a strong goal-line stand had repelled Tamworth’s initial advances, the Pirates proceeded to give the ball back to the visitors when they fumbled away possession deep in their own half. Never ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, Phoenix immediately capitalised on said gift. QB Patrick Daley passed to James Hossack for a 12-yard touchdown. Marc Bonazebi’s PAT attempt was blocked to leave the score at 6-0.
Phoenix had the ball at the start of the second quarter and took just two plays to extend their lead. Daley passed deep, again connecting with Hossack, this time from 50 yards. Once more Bonazebi saw his conversion attempt knocked away. Tamworth quickly got the ball back as Dougie Meechan was unable to get a handle on the ensuing kick off and the kicking team fell on the loose ball. This allowed Daley and Hossack to notch their third score of the game with a 14-yard pass. As their kicking game was struggling, Phoenix went for a 2-pointer and Daley duly ran the ball home to make it 20-0.
There was one more score before half time, with Daley again throwing the pass. This time he looked away from Hossack and instead found Will Hussey from 20 yards. The 2PAT run was stopped short leaving the half time score at 26-0.
Tamworth received the kick off at the start of the third period and quickly added to their tally when Daley and Hussey linked up again for a 21-yard TD. Bonazebi then slotted the PAT. Later in the period Daley decided that he was going to get in on the scoring act when he kept the ball and ran it home from the 1-yard line. Bonazebi converted, taking the score to 40-0 and invoking the “running clock”.
The scoring ended early in the 4th Quarter, the same way as it began. Daley to Hossack from 5 yards and Bonazebi’s kick was blocked.
East Kilbride’s next opponents are Merseyside Nighthawks in a game that the Pirates must win to retain any hope of avoiding relegation from the Premier Division. The game at GHA Rugby Club is this, Sunday 8th July with a 14:30 kick off. Prior to that the Pirates Juniors host Manchester Titans at midday.
Report by Bill Campbell
Photos courtesy Duncan Gray, Duncolm Photography
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