Pirates march on to 9 in Jarrow

July 7th, 2019

Gateshead Senators 14 – East Kilbride Pirates 53

A trip to the North East of England saw East Kilbride make it 9 wins on the trot with a convincing win against an under strength Gateshead squad.

The Pirates almost got off to the perfect start when Andrew McBride returned the opening kick off 80 yards, but was caught just 8 yards short of the endzone. QB Neil Baptie quickly took advantage of the field position, finding David Fallon for a 5-yard touchdown and Greg “The Leg” Atkinson converted. Gateshead’s reply saw them move into Pirates’ territory before having to settle for a 44-yard Field Goal attempt. The kick was blocked and recovered by EK, but they gave the ball back almost immediately on a fumble. Later in the period, the Senators had possession and were driving into the red zone as the quarter ended.

After a short run, Gateshead passer Lewis Taylor connected with his favourite target Cameron Grant and Grant also added the PAT to tie the scores. Stung into action, the Pirates scored TD’s on their next two possessions. Firstly Baptie ran the ball home from 12-yards then later, RB Ryan Strachan also carried over from 12 yards. Atkinson converted the second score to leave EK 20-7 ahead. The home side were not about to give up however, and Taylor again completed a scoring pass to Grant from 7 yards and he also converted. EK had one last drive before the break, and managed to add their third rushing TD of the quarter when Strachan scored from 3 yards out. Atkinson’s PAT made it 27-14 at half time.

Some straight talking and minor adjustments during the interval saw EK take control in the second half. This, coupled with a tiring home side, led to 4 more touchdowns. First was an unconverted TD following a 12-yard pass from Baptie to Liam McClory. Then, just before the turn around, Baptie found Fallon from 9 yards and Atkinson’s kick was successful.

In the fourth quarter, Atkinson decided to show his running skills were a match for his kicking and he added 2 TDs on carries of 67 and 19 yards before converting the second to complete the scoring.

The OnPoint Financial MVP award was shared by Atkinson and Strachan for their hard-running performances.

East Kilbride now have a week off before they face Northumberland Vikings in a “winner-takes-all” contest. That game on July 21 is at GHA Rugby Club, Braidholm Road, G46 6EB and kicks off at 15:00.

Report by Bill Campbell
Photos Amanda McDonald


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