Titans Triumph as Pirates Fall To 0-4

June 4th, 2018

East Kilbride Pirates 00 – Manchester Titans 41

The Pirates first game under new Head Coach Jamie McLaughlin saw them continue a disappointing start to the 2018 Season. Despite the pre-game optimism and a closely fought first half, it was to turn out to be a fourth straight loss for the East Kilbride side.

The home side had to punt on their first possession, but the Titans were quickly into their stride. A snappy 7-play drive was completed by a 17 yard TD pass from Sam Bloomfield to Adam Bamber. Aaron Ainsworth-Bowcott’s twice-taken PAT was blocked, leaving the visitors 6-0 ahead. Both sides traded punts then EK had a long drive, but an incomplete pass on 4th Down ended both their progress and the first Quarter.

The second period continued to be a well-balanced encounter. Manchester moved the ball into the Pirates’ red zone before a Bloomfield pass on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line was intercepted by Mark Stewart. EK responded by moving the ball to Manchester’s 2-yard line before a false start and a sack of QB Neil Baptie forced them back, again falling short on 4th Down. With the game inside the 2 minute warning, Manchester had one last chance to improve their position. They took that opportunity when Bloomfield connected with Ieuan Kinder to surprise the Pirates’ defence. The 9-yard TD was converted by Ainsworth-Bowcott’s kick to give them a 13-0 lead at the half time whistle.

Quarter 3 started the same way the second had ended, with Manchester scoring. They took just 8 plays after the restart to move the ball upfield then score on another Bloomfield-Kinder link up. The 29-yard TD was successfully converted for a 20-0 lead. EK went four-and-out on the next drive, allowing the Titans to further increase their advantage. With Bloomfield now picking holes in the porous Pirates’ defence, he added another 29-yarder, this time to James Newnes before Ainsworth-Bowcott tagged on the PAT. The next two EK drives were short-lived, losing possession on fumbles. Immediately after the second, Bloomfield passed for his 5th TD, hitting Bamber from 26 yards, with the PAT also added.

The start of the final period summed up the Pirates’ day. Following a long Manchester pass completion, EK’s Andrew MacIver reacted to having been swung round by his face cage and threw an ill-advised punch. One of his coaches went on to pull him away from any further trouble only to be flagged for going onto the field of play. The two penalties saw the ball moved back to EK’s 9-yard line. Manchester duly capitalised two plays later with relief QB Alex Challands passing to Newnes from 8 yards out. The subsequent PAT concluded the scoring at 41-0.

So, a steep learning curve for McLaughlin on his debut. He must now take what he has learned and quickly make some adjustments as the Pirates travel to face Edinburgh Wolves this coming Sunday (10th June).

Game report by Bill Campbell


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