The Glasgow Tigers claimed their third win of the season with a home victory against a sturdy Aberdeen side who made the home side work hard for every yard.
For those who remember past battles between these two sides, there was never much to separate the sides and this game would prove to be no different.
On their opening offensive play a pass bounced off the hands of a Tigers receiver, landing straight into the waiting arms of Aberdeen’s Gamuchirai Mukuredzi to give the visitors great field position. The Glasgow defence held firm, forcing the Roughnecks to go for it on a short 4th down and coming up big to prevent points from the turnover.
Starting inside their own 20,the Tigers put together a long drive powered forward by running from their talented stable of running backs. Mo Adams, Toby Jeffreys and Blake Kyle led the way before Steven Williamson ran it in from nine yards out for his first TD of the year. A successful point after from Jason Maclean made it 7-0 Tigers.
Roughnecks QB Rhys Elmslie kept his side moving with several key runs for first downs, but the Tigers defence again held firm and forced the visitors to punt after Ryan Cassidy and Paul Polson both sacked the Aberdeen QB. game was providing some yards with Quarterback Rhys Elmslie keeping his team moving with several important runs for first downs.
The drive finally stalled out when Benedict Boehnenm, in his first game of the season, blocked a field goal attempt from 38 yards out to send the Tigers into the half with the 7-0 lead intact.
Going into the second half, the Roughnecks changed things up at QB. With Chris Breen now under Centre, he took charge of the offence and found Rhys Elmslie – first half QB turned second half receiver – in the endzone with a 30 yard pass. Tigers cornerback Ryan Campbell blocked the PAT – a block that would prove crucial as it left the score at 7-6.
Tigers kicker Jason Maclean had the chance to extend the slim lead on the following drive but his field goal attempt came up agonisingly short, grazing the underside of the bar.
With the game on a knife edge, the Tigers stout defence again came up big to deny the Roughnecks. First, Ryan Cassidy intercepted a pass before the Roughnecks won the ball back off a Tigers fumble. Before the Aberdeen side could make it count, Tigers safety Scott McIntosh made his experience count with another key interception.
This turnover would lead to points for the Tigers, finally able to extend the lead after QB Jig McCoy tucked the ball in and ran 18 yards for the score. The PAT from Maclean was pushed narrowly wide, leaving the score 13-6 to the home side.
Late drama reared its head as Roughnecks QB Chris Breen found brother Sean with a 28-yard pass to make the score 13-12 to the Tigers. A successful point after kick could have tied the game, forcing the Tigers into their first tie of the year but a bold call from Aberdeen HC Bryce Stevenson saw them go for two and attempt to seal a big victory.
A pass to the left corner of the endzone sailed just over the Aberdeen reciever’s hands, leaving the Tigers just a point ahead with plenty of time on the clock. Glasgow got the ball back, aiming to run as much time off the clock while driving the ball upfield – and just as it looked like the Aberdeen defence could force a huge stop, QB Jig found reliable target Kenny Muir on a big 26-yard pass to ensure the Tigers kept the ball.
The pass led to a field goal attempt but the kick again fell short, giving the Aberdeen offence a final few plays to try and salvage the game. With barely any time left in the fourth quarter, the Roughnecks turned to lateral passes to try and pass their way to an unlikely victory, but the game was sealed when the Tigers defence once again came up big when required.
The narrow margin of victory moves the Tigers on to 3-2 at the halfway point of the season. Next up is an away trip to local rivals, the East Kilbride Pirates, at their Braidholm ground on Sunday 16th June with a 2.30pm kick off.