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Posted: Jun 11 2012, 10:11 AM
Member No.: 248
Joined: 5-May 09
Yorkshire Rams 0 - East Kilbride Pirates 13
Saturday saw the Pirates travel to Leeds where they faced a Yorkshire Rams side that had managed to acquire three draws from their five previous fixtures and concede an average of only just over 10 points per game. What was always likely to be a tough encounter was made more testing by the unavailability of several key Piratesí players. The onus therefore fell on the remaining East Kilbride squad members to step up and maintain the Clubís push for success. The fact that they achieved the win, and but for their profligacy in turning the ball over should have won by a greater margin, showed the doubters that East Kilbride do indeed have good depth to their squad.
East Kilbride kicked off and immediately held the home side to a short, three-and-out drive. The punt left the Pirates deep in their own territory and despite making some yardage, back-to-back penalties saw the drive stalling so they also had to kick the ball away. Yorkshire could then only manage two plays before fumbling the ball on 3rd Down. Linebacker Andy McGowan gleefully fell on the free ball to bring the EK Offense back onto the field. It took just one play to open the scoring when Neil Baptie completed a pass to Aaron Paterson for a 49-yard touchdown. The ensuing conversion failed when a loose snap was picked up by Kicker Steven Wilson, but his completed pass was stopped short of the endzone. The Rams next drive soon came to a halt and they were once more forced to punt. This time the kick was blocked by Jamie McLaughlin, who also scooped up the loose ball and ran it home from 18-yards out. This touchdown was successfully converted to make it 13-0 in the Piratesí favour. Yorkshire punted again on their fourth drive, giving the visitors possession as the game moved into the second quarter.
The Pirates moved the ball down deep into Ramsí territory, and although Baptie completed a 4th-Down pass to Tight-End Kenny Muir, he was tackled short of the required yardage. Yorkshire then also failed on a 4th-Down attempt, but quickly got the ball back, when a hand-off from Baptie to rookie Running Back Jamie Welsh went to ground. Yorkshire recovered and made good yardage on the return, with a score only being denied by the ever alert Baptie who hustled back to make the tackle. This was as close as we came to a score in the second period, and the sides traded possession for the remainder of the quarter,
Yorkshire shut down the Pirates after the restart but then fumbled the resultant punt and Kenny Muir recovered it. That momentum was short lived though as a Baptie pass was intercepted by the home defense. The big QB was later picked off two more times before the end of the third quarter, the last being on the Yorkshire 5-Yard line. With the Piratesí Defence well on top, Yorkshire had reverted to running plays in the hope of gaining ground in a succession of short yardage carries, but even this proved unsuccessful. As the game moved into the fourth quarter, and time became a factor, they then had to go back to a more traditional gameplan to try and achieve the two scores needed. However the East Kilbride defenders continued to hold firm and held out without any real scares.
The win, combined with Doncasterís loss to Leicester Falcons sees the Pirates consolidate their position at the top of the Northern Conference, with the Falcons looking likely to be their nearest challengers. The two sides meet at Hamilton Rugby Club on Sunday June 24 with a midday kick off.