Pirates punish Assassins
May 15th, 2019
East Kilbride Pirates 46 – 8 Yorkshire Academy Assassins
The Assassins sent a small but strong squad north of the border, however the Yorkshire outfit was put to the sword – not only experiencing razor-edge attacking and powerful, defensive parrying from the Pirates, but also feeling the pointy-end of their special teams’ cutlasses against their throats!
The first quarter sped by with both teams’ offense trying to move the ball with their efficient and effective running games – however neither had much success due to a combination of strong defensive play and several penalty flags.
On their 3rd drive, the Pirates decided to mix it up and QB Scott McKigen went to the air. A Christian Rubuga catch set up nice field position at the 15 yard line, only for more laundry on the field to push them back to 4th and 25. The call came in from the side lines to go for it and McKigen arced a beautiful 35 yard spiral to the safe hands of Michael Paton in the endzone. Robbie MacGregor then ran in the 2PAT for the Pirates to lead 8-0. The first quarter closed with a Ben Gallacher interception giving the ball back to his offense to start Q2.
It was back to playing the ball on the deck for the Pirates, with all current, fit backs on the roster contributing. Strong running from the Black twins and Rory Hutton set up a Robbie MacGregor TD from 15 yards to stretch the lead to 14-0.
On their next drive, the Assassins seemed to find some holes in the previously water-tight EKP defense and drove the ball to the 1 yard line, for QB Zak Thompson to sneak in for the TD. He then followed this up with the 2PAT to put his team back in the game at 14-8. Or so he thought…
Receiver Ssarien Liddell had other ideas as he collected the resulting kick-off on his own 2 yard line and decided to take it all the way to the house to restore the Pirates lead. A great result from all the hard work these young men put in on special teams on the practice field. McKigen found Paton for the 2PAT and EKP had some daylight again at 22-8.
The Pirates found confidence from this and again went the aerial route, with completed passes falling from the skies like cherry blossom on a blustery, spring day. They allowed the ball back to the Assassins for a mere, one play, before the spade-like hands of tackle, Jonathon Letham, scooped up a fumble and gave it back to his offense.
Four plays later, McKigen connected with rookie Callum Wilson for his first ever junior TD and McKigen then ran in the 2PAT himself, finishing the half at 30-8.
It was back to the ground game at the start of the 3rd quarter with MacGregor running in from 45 yards, after some solid blocking from the O-Line, to score his second TD of the game. Guy Shafar pulled in the 2PAT, taking it to 38-8 for EKP.
Things got very scrappy after that, with flags mounting up for both sides. The Pirates’ D-line remained disciplined however, and big men Jonathon Letham, Lewis Smith and ‘Uncle’ Phil McKnight worked hard to hold short yardage runs three times as the Assassins tried to pound through for 1st down.
On their next drive, the Yorkshiremen found themselves in trouble, just outside their own endzone on 4th down and a short punt returned well by Rubuga set up 1st and goal from the 4th.
Despite the short yardage, QB McKigen again went to his lethal limb to bullet a pass to Shafar for the TD and kill off the Assassins. Another sniper shot went to Colin MacIntyre for the 2PAT to bring the score to 46-8.
As Q4 started, the Assassins coaching staff made the decision to end the game here. Their smaller numbers had fought valiantly throughout, but some players had picked up injuries and the right call was made to protect player safety.
A great performance in all phases of the ball for EKP, with McKigen deservedly picking up the inaugural OnPoint Financial MVP award for his efforts.
The Pirates head south this Sunday, (19 May) as they face fellow seafarers Chorley Buccaneers, in what some are calling the ‘Swashbuckle Bowl’.
Report by Kerr Girvan
Photos Duncolm Photography
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