Sky Pirates take aerial route to victory

July 1st, 2019

East Kilbride Pirates 52 – Aberdeen Roughnecks 06

With closest rivals Northumberland having won earlier in the day, the Pirates knew that a win was essential in this encounter. Aberdeen had given EK a tough game back in Week 1 and a similar challenge was expected in the return fixture. However, despite a strong run defence, the Roughnecks had no answer to the Pirates’ passing game.

An early Ker Stuart fumble recovery immediately gave the Pirates good field position and two plays later QB Neil Baptie passed to Fraser McDonald for a 34-yard TD, before deputy kicker Ross Liddell saw his PAT attempt charged down. An exchange of punts pushed the home side back to their own 11-yard line, however completions to James Lightbody of 29 then 55 yards soon added to the scoring. Liddell’s kick was again blocked, leaving the Pirates 12-0 ahead at that point. They soon regained possession following a strip sack by Gordon Wallace and recovery by Nicky Smith. The resulting drive concluded with a Baptie 4-yard TD pass to Angus Mackintosh. A third blocked PAT held the score to 18-0 at the end of the first period and also marked the end of Liddell’s extra point duty.

EK’s first drive of the second quarter came to a halt when a Baptie pass was picked off in his own half. An 8-play drive by the Roughnecks was duly finished off with a 2-yard TD pass from Chris Breen to Rhys Emslie, but the attempted 2PAT pass was incomplete. The Pirates’ response was immediate and a 48-yard Baptie- Antonio Capasso pass was held up just short of the goal line before Baptie ran in the TD from 3 yards. Another strip sack by Wallace quickly had the Pirates’ offence back on the field and the lead was extended on an 8-yard Montgomerie-McDonald connection, leaving the half time score at 30-6 in favour of EKP.

The Pirates received the kick off to start the third quarter and marched the ball upfield, topping the drive off with a 6 yard pass by Sam Montgomerie to Lightbody. Montgomerie also found Capasso for the 2PAT and the first successful conversion of the day for the home side. A sliced Aberdeen punt then gave EK a short field and they capitalised when Montgomerie completed a 19-yarder to David Fallon before Ryan Strachan ran in the extra points. This put East Kilbride ahead by 46-6 and saw the introduction of a “running clock”.

In the shortened final period, there was only one further TD which arrived on the back of a 5-yard Montgomerie pass to Ben Braidwood. The resultant 2PAT attempt failed leaving the final score at 52-6 as the Pirates moved to 8-0 for the season.

Defensive lineman Nicky Smith was voted the OnPoint Financial MVP for a strong performance that included 2.5 Sacks and a Fumble Recovery.

Next up for the Pirates is a trip to Monkton Stadium in Jarrow where they will face Gateshead Senators. The game on Sunday 7th July has a 12:00 kick off.

Report by Bill Campbell
Photos courtesy Duncolm Photography


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