Despite a tough game away to the East Kilbride Pirates, the Glasgow Tigers know there is plenty of life left in their 2019 season as they get set for the back-end of the season.
After this week’s action the Tigers remain in third place, with the second-placed Northumberland Vikings set to visit Nethercraigs this coming weekend – and the Tyneside team have still to face the unbeaten Pirates again this year.
On their shortest away trip of the year, the Glasgow Tigers made life difficult for themselves with a fumble causing a change of possession inside their own thirty yard line from the very first play.
This forced the Tigers defence to step up and thanks to some great plays they forced the East Kilbride Pirates to turn the ball over on 4th down – but with the ball on the Tigers’ one-yard line, the Pirates seized momentum back and scored a safety after bring down a Tigers running back in the endzone.
Despite the early setback, Tigers punter Andy Mallichan boomed a 56-yard kick to give the team breathing room. After a big pass from veteran Pirates QB Neil Baptie came close to adding to their lead, East Kilbride finished the drive with a 20-yard Baptie pass and a converted kick to make it 9-0.
The score remained 9-0 heading into the second quarter, but the Pirates soon took a hold of the game with Baptie adding three more scores to their receivers as the Tigers struggled with injuries in the defensive backfield.
The Tigers headed into half-time scoreless, finding it difficult to move the ball throughout the first half but started better in the third quarter as they moved the ball well to set up a 31-yard field goal attempt from kicker Jason Maclean that sailed agonisingly left of the uprights.
The Tigers defence again pulled together well in spite of injuries to stop the Pirates, and when Blake Kyle blocked a punt to give Glasgow a short field it wasn’t long before quarterback Ally Kay – filling in for starter Jig McCoy, sidelined with a minor injury – ran the ball in from 14 yards out.
Jason Maclean’s extra point made it 30-7 before a mixture of penalties hindered both teams as the Tigers looked to get their teeth into the game.
The Pirates were the next to strike, and a bullet pass from Baptie found a team-mate for his fourth touchdown of the day, with an extra point making it 37-7 and putting the game truly out of reach.
The final score of the game came when the Pirates added their second safety of the afternoon after blocking a tigers punt, with the ball bouncing through and out the back of the end zone.
A tough day for the Tigers provided few highlights though defensive captain Sean Carney led the way with 12 tackles, while Craig Aitchison and Connor Nicholson both chipped in with nine tackles each.
The Tigers now regroup ahead of the visit of Northumberland Vikings in what will be a key game for both teams as they look to determine how this season will end. The game is at the Tigers’ Nethercraigs home on Sunday 30th June, with a 12pm kick-off. Get more information on the Facebook event page.