Juniors continue unbeaten run against Leeds Academy
July 11th, 2017
East Kilbride Pirates 36 – Leeds Academy Assassins 0
The Junior Pirates continued their unbeaten run when they entertained Leeds Academy on Sunday, and although the Assassins travelled with a small squad, they still managed to give East Kilbride a good work out.
The opening period was evenly matched until the Pirates’ defense held Leeds deep in their own territory and a sliced punt gave EKP great field position. They immediately took advantage when QB Sam Montgomerie connected with Struan Bailey for a 29-yard TD, and although the 2-point conversion failed, the home side were starting to build momentum.
With the last play of the first quarter, Leeds were forced to punt. However the wet conditions appeared to be playing havoc with their long-snaps and the punter was forced to retrieve the loose ball in the endzone and throw it away. Rather than accepting the 2 point safety, the Pirates opted to take the ball and go for a touchdown instead. After the change of ends Sam Montgomerie added the second score when he found Jack Cochrane from 25 yards for another unconverted TD.
Leeds’ punting woes continued on their next drive, and on this occasion they did give up a safety. More anguish followed on the restart when Jack Cochrane returned the kick 60 yards for his second TD of the game.
The third quarter saw the Assassins give up another safety on a bad punt snap, taking the Pirates’ lead to 22-0. On their next drive, EK stretched that advantage even further when Lewis Smith passed to Struan Bailey for a 21-yard TD and the same pair connected for the 2PAT. Before the period ended, the home defence got in on the act when Declan Kelly intercepted a Leeds pass and returned it 19 yards to the endzone.
While there was no more scoring in the game, a fourth quarter stand by the defence could prove just as valuable. Following a blocked EK punt, Leeds took possession on the 1-yard line but despite 4 attempts they could not penetrate the Pirates staunch back line. This was important as it looks possible that home-field advantage in the play-off semi finals could come down to the team with the lowest average points conceded per game.
East Kilbride round off their regular season with a trip to play Merseyside Nighthawks on July 23 for a game they need to win, concede as few points as possible and hope that other results also go their way.
Game report by Bill Campbell
Photo courtesy Duncan Gray, Duncolm Photography
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