Pirates back to winning ways with victory over Wolverines

August 1st, 2017

East Kilbride Pirates 32 – Lancashire Wolverines 16

The Pirates got back to winning ways thanks to a strong final quarter, after a closely matched game in the earlier stages.

It started promisingly for East Kilbride, who took their initial drive all the way to the Lancs 14-yard line from where QB Neil Baptie connected with receiver Kenny Muir for the opening TD. A low snap led to the conversion attempt being blocked, leaving the Pirates 6-0 ahead. Both sides proceeded to go 4-and-out for the rest of the period.

At the start of the second quarter, a fourth down sack by Steven Kane accompanied by a personal foul against the Wolverines saw the home side start just inside their opponent’s territory. On the first play Baptie again found Muir who beat his man, and ran the ball home for a 43-yard TD. Once more a poor snap led to the PAT failing, this time swerving outside the left upright. The visitors duly bounced straight back and put together their best drive of the day. On the ninth play QB David Mead passed to Jonathan Ley for a 5-yard TD and Paul Stewart added the PAT to narrow EK’s lead to 12-7. Just before the interval, the Pirates regained possession when Iain McFarlane picked off a pass at his own 3-yard line. However, rather than do the sensible thing and take a knee, the Pirates’ cavalier attitude cost them a further 2 points when QB Baptie was gang tackled in his own endzone to make the score 12-9 at the break.

There was no scoring in the third period, despite the Pirates moving the ball to the Wolverines 1-yard line. However, an untimely fumble saw them cough up possession just as a TD looked imminent.

An eventful fourth quarter made up for the dull third. On the first play, the visitors went ahead when Mead found Iain Jardine from 28 yards. Stewart again added the PAT and Lancashire had their noses in front at 12-16. That lead didn’t last long though. A quick drive, including 2 passes to Craig Black, the second a 41-yarder, moved the ball to the Wolverines 15. From there, Baptie ran the ball into the endzone, and although his 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete, the Pirates were back in front 18-16. As the Pirates defence turned up the pressure, Lancashire were soon forced to punt. A 6-play drive concluded with Baptie passing to Liam McClory for a 5-yard TD. The same duo also successfully teamed up for the 2-pointer. Then, on the first play after the restart, Andrew MacIver sacked the Wolverines QB, jarring the ball loose in the process. Steven Kane recovered at the Lancashire 19, and just two plays later Baptie and McClory again teamed up, this time for an 18-yard TD. Darren Robert caught the 2-point pass, but was stopped just outside the endzone, leaving the final score at 32-16 despit further interceptions by Gavin Russell and Tam MacMillan.

The win came at a cost for EK, as they lost a number of players to injuries. The Pirates conclude their season with a trip to face Sheffield Giants this coming Sunday, 6 August. Despite the possibility of a tough game, EKP will be keen to finish the season on a high note.

Report by Bill Campbell


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