Wolves Feed On Pirates Failings
May 9th, 2023
East Kilbride Pirates 07 – Edinburgh Wolves 37
After their opening day win, the Pirates were brought back down to earth by a sobering loss to nearest rivals Edinburgh.
EK won the toss which saw the visiting Offense start the game. They were immediately held to a 3-and-out, and after the punt, QB Neil Baptie led his side onto the field. However, a steady drive came to an abrupt end when a Baptie pass was intercepted by one-time Pirate Teejay Afolabi. Edinburgh took full advantage just two plays later when a short swing pass from Jamie Morrison to Marcell Habermajer, saw the Receiver take advantage of his blocks, then turn on the afterburners to speed home for a 61-yard TD. Cathal Caldwell successfully added the PAT for a 7-0 lead. In response, a 3rd Down Sack of Baptie meant a quick punt for East Kilbride. Again, Edinburgh took full advantage, and after a swift 5-play drive, Morrison and Habermajer again hooked up to score, this time from much closer in. Caldwell converted to double the Wolves’ lead.
Into the second period, and both of EK’s next two possessions ended with interceptions, however the Defence held firm and repelled the Edinburgh attacks each time. The Wolves did stretch their advantage midway through the quarter with a 29-yard Field Goal. As the game approached half-time, the Pirates forced an Edinburgh fumble that Ben Gallacher recovered. East Kilbride moved the ball to the 3-yard line before Baptie found Struan Bailey in the endzone. Scott McDonald converted to leave the score at 7-17 at the break.
EK’s opening drive in the second half lasted just two plays, when after a strong run, Greg Black had the ball forced out of his hands and Edinburgh recovered. The teams exchanged punts before the Wolves scored again. They moved the ball all the way to the Pirates’ 2-yard line, and from there Stephen Wilson carried home. Caldwell duly converted to make it 24-7 .
Into the final quarter, and the Edinburgh “no-huddle” offence was beginning to take it’s toll on the Pirates, with them not having time to rotate in fresh players. Midway through the period Edinburgh scored once more, with another short-yardage run, this time by Paul Davidson. Caldwell made it 31-7. It only remained for the final score to come off another Pirates misfire. Afolabi pulled in his second interception of the game and returned it 19 yards. These were the last points of the day as a wayward snap on the PAT meant there was no conversion.
So, a tough day at the office for East Kilbride, and a reminder of the standards required in the Premier Division. However, there is now the opportunity to quickly rectify things as they travel to face Tamworth Phoenix this coming Saturday (13th May) for their second game in a week.
Game report by Bill Campbell
Photos courtesy Duncolm Sports Photography
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