Pirates Sign Off With A Win
July 26th, 2023
East Kilbride Pirates 42 – Merseyside Nighthawks 00
In their final home game of their first season back in the Premier Division, East Kilbride ran out comfortable victors against a winless Merseyside outfit.
The Nighthawks tried to catch their hosts napping by going for an onside kick on the opening kick-off, but Ryan Miller recovered the ball, allowing his offense to take over in Merseyside territory. QB Cameron Dunn rounded off a 7-play drive when he ran the ball in from 15 yards for the go ahead score, which Scott McDonald duly converted. The teams traded punts, then Rob Hayes recovered a fumble to set the home team up with another short field. It was Dunn who once more made the visitors pay, going over from 13 yards for his second TD. The conversion was blocked, but EK held a 13-0 lead which they carried into the second quarter.
East Kilbride had possession at the change of ends, but ultimately had to settle for a 27yard Field Goal by McDonald. Merseyside’s reply was short lived as Ker Stuart intercepted a Josh Fagan pass. Unfortunately, Dunn was to reciprocate, when he was picked off at the Nighthawks’ goal-line. He made up for this on the next drive though when he connected with Fraser McDonald for a 31 yard TD. Scott McDonald bagged the PAT to make the score 23-0. That soon became 29, when Greg Black scored on his first (and only) carry after returning from a long injury break, McDonald’s attempt to convert the 2 yard run drifted wide of the left upright.
The third quarter saw the visitors go 3-and-out, and despite a good punt, EK were soon back on the front foot. Dunn found Struan Bailey on the fifth play of the drive, and he carried the ball home from 20 yards. McDonald’s PAT took the score to 36 and that signalled the start of a running clock.
With the accelerated time in play, EK could only add one more score in the final period. Neil Baptie, now in at QB, passed to Fraser McDonald for a 34 yard TD. The conversion attempt was blocked, leaving the final score at 42-0 in the Pirates’ favour. Pirates MVP was Struan Bailey, who made multiple tough catches in difficult situations, including one for an impressive touchdown.
The Pirates now have an away trip to Edinburgh on August 13th to conclude the season. Safe from relegation and unable to make the play-offs, the Pirates can’t afford to take this game lightly as they could face a Wolves team that needs to win to progress in the competition. The game at Peffermill Playing Fields kicks off at 2pm.
Report by Bill Campbell
Photos courtesy Duncolm Sports Photography – a full gallery is available here
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