Win for Nighthawks sees Pirates drop out of play-off position

June 28th, 2017

East Kilbride Pirates 14 – Merseyside Nighthawks 45

A second successive dismal performance from the Pirates sees them drop out of a play-off position and leaves them with a mountain to climb if they are to have any chance of post-season action.

Once again the Pirates were slow out of the blocks and failed to make much progress before punting. The Nighthawks on the other hand moved straight into top gear and soon had their noses in front. After moving the ball to the Pirates’ 8 yard line, QB Ben Robinson passed to Harry Routledge for the TD and Alex Eager added the PAT. The home side bounced back from the early set back however, and just 6 plays later Neil Baptie found Craig Black from 15 yards. Steven Kane converted to level the scores at 7-7.

Merseyside weren’t about to be outdone, and they also capped a 6-play drive with another Robinson-Routledge connection for a 35 yard TD, and although Eager’s kick hit the upright, they now had an advantage that they wouldn’t give up.

On the first play of the second quarter, Robinson added his third TD pass when he connected with Liam Holebrook from 40 yards and Eager converted. His fourth came later in the period when he passed to Dominic Woo from the Pirates’ 10-yard line. Eager again converted leaving EKP trailing 7- 27 at half time.

While the Pirates did improve after the break, they were still unable to close down the potent Merseyside attack. There were third quarter rushing TD’s for Woo (7 yards) and James Sutherland (77 yards), neither of which were converted, before EK got their second TD of the day. Baptie kept the ball to run in from the 1-yard line and Kane added the extra point to leave the score at 14-39 going into the final quarter.

Early in the period, Robinson ran in the final TD from 2 yards out. Both teams then gave playing time to squad players to see out the game. This comfortable win for Merseyside leaves EK with a lot of issues to address before their next game. However, it doesn’t get any easier for the Pirates as next up is the return fixture against Division leaders, Tamworth Phoenix on 9 July at Hamilton Rugby Club. Kick-off is 2.30pm.

Game report by Bill Campbell


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