|· Portal||Help Search Members Calendar|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|
|Welcome to East Kilbride Pirates Forum. We hope you enjoy your visit.|
You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free.
Join our community!
If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:
Posted: Sep 5 2012, 08:17 PM
Member No.: 248
Joined: 5-May 09
East Kilbride Pirates 17 – London Blitz 21
The Pirates attempts to follow up last year’s Division 1 title with an appearance in this year’s Premier Division showdown came to a premature halt last weekend, but not before they had given reigning British champions, London Blitz an almighty scare.
The Londoners’ preparations for the game suffered a setback on Saturday night, when their team bus was broken into, vandalised and subsequently set on fire, outside their Glasgow base. Undaunted, they arrived in Hamilton determined to take the big step towards retaining their crown. They received the opening kick-off but were immediately forced to go 3-and-out. A short punt return from Euan Rennie set up the first drive for East Kilbride, who quickly moved the ball downfield on seven plays before QB Ryan Hunter connected with Jamie McLaughlin for a 16-yard touchdown. Steven Wilson successfully kicked the Extra Point to give the Pirates an early 7-0 advantage. The second Blitz drive was slightly longer than their first, but as they reached midfield, Jimmy McIntosh forced a fumble which Scott Findlay recovered and returned to the London 32-yard line. Despite the shortened field, East Kilbride eventually had to settle for a 30-yard Field Goal attempt, only to see Wilson’s kick blocked at the line of scrimmage. The two sides then traded punts, with the visitors in possession as the game moved into the second quarter.
London then put together a concerted drive and moved the ball deep into Pirates territory, where a Defensive pass interference call saw the ball placed on the 1-yard line. Oliver Bishop duly carried the ball home and James Wyatt’s conversion tied the scores at 7-7. The Pirates’ ensuing drive faltered and London again moved the ball steadily upfield. This time it was they who had to settle for a Field Goal attempt, but the kick from 32 yards drifted wide left. Again, with both Defenses playing well, the sides traded punts with the Blitz coming out ahead in the battle for field position, regularly pinning the Pirates back inside their own 20-yard line. Eventually London went ahead following a drive, elongated by penalties from both sides. Defensive PI was immediately followed by an Offensive PI call and then a Face Mask call against the Pirates saw the ball stutter its way towards the East Kilbride endzone. It ended up there after a 12 yard pass from Fred Boyle to N’Diaye Talla. Luke Naughton converted this time to extend the Blitz advantage to 14-7. The Pirates had one chance to reduce the leeway before half time, but a Marcus Dilley interception thwarted the home side, and the break arrived with no further scoring.
After the interval, the game seemed to be progressing to the same blueprint as the first, punts being traded and EK being left with a long field to negotiate. The big momentum change came when Dominik Wiest picked off a Fred Boyle pass and left the Pirates near midfield. A short drive was capped off by Hunter, who ran the ball home from 19-yards on a 4th-and-1 play and Wilson tied the score at 14-14 with the Conversion kick. Home heads were up, and the Blitz once more had to punt, doing so successfully, downing the ball at the Pirates’ 9-yard line. East Kilbride then moved the ball steadily all the way to the London 4-yard line on the back of a well-balanced, 14-play drive that moved the game into the final period, before having to settle for 21-yard Field Goal. Wilson’s kick saw the Pirates take a 17-14 lead and raised hopes in many of the home supporters. The Blitz were again held on their next possession, but once more their Special Teams did a wonderful job, downing the punt on the 1-yard line. The Pirates did make some yardage but soon had to punt the ball back. The Blitz looked to have taken the lead when they returned the kick all the way for a TD only for it to be negated by them having 12 men on the field. The score wasn’t delayed for long though as the Blitz then had a quick drive which concluded on a 9-yard scoring pass from Boyle to Charlie Joseph and the PAT made it 21-17 in their favour. As the game moved inside the last two minutes, East Kilbride needed a touchdown to win, and looked to be building up to a grandstand finale as they moved into Blitz territory. However, a fumbled hand-off went to ground and was gleefully recovered by London, who subsequently forced EK to use their remaining Time Outs before taking a knee to finish the encounter.
So despite a gallant effort, the Pirates season has come to an early conclusion. Players can be proud of their endeavours and there is certainly no shame in losing so narrowly to the top team in Britain. After a short break, plans will be put in place for the 2013 campaign with designs to go at least one step further next year.
By Bill Campbell