Juniors miss out on trophy
Having secured the Scottish divisional title, East Kilbride Pirates’ under-17s came up just short in their bid to retain their British championship crown.
The young team lost out to Cobham Cougars Blue in the final after coming through their first two matches with relative ease.
Pirates stormed past Leeds Academy with a 32-12 victory in the quarter-finals before sinking Manchester Titans So u t h i n th e s e mi - f i na l s, winning 22-12.
However, they fell at the final hurdle, losing out 2720 to Cobham.
The final was a repeat of the 2016 contest, with Cobham out for revenge.
Pirates started quickly with a Jack Cochrane interception halting Cobham’s opening drive. He then switched to offence where he reeled in Scott McKigen’s pass for the go ahead touchdown.
It was t he Cougars who scored next with a passing TD and PAT. Then, after an interception of McKigen, they added a rushing TD and PAT to take a 14-6 lead to half time.
A second pick of McKigen early in the second half allowed Cobham to increase their lead following a strong ru n by th e i r bi g ru n n i n g back. Undaunted, the Pirates bounced back and McKigen found Ben Gallagher with a further scoring pass.
The to-and-fro continued and Cobham emphasised t heir advantage when t he running back took the hand off, only to pass to their QB who gl eef ul l y ra n t he ball home.
Wi t h t i me no w ag a i n s t them, EK continued to fight and nar rowed t he l ead t o on e sc o r e . Mc Ki ge n an d Gallagher was again a fruitful partnership, adding both a TD and the 2PAT to make the score 20-27.
They now had to prevent Cobham from making a first down and hope that there was still enough time on the clock for one last hurrah. The game came down to 4th-andinches. The Cougars running back was always getting the ball and the Pirates defence were waiting for him. There was a massive collision and the Cobham player made just enough progress to see the nose of the ball cross the gain line, allowing his team to take a knee to end the game.
So despite a valiant effort, t he Pirates f ailed t o retain their title by the narrowest of margins. There was no shame, however, in losing out to a very good Cobham side who were worthy champions on the day. Champions
Kirsten Mills and Ian Richmond receive the prize from President Ken Macaulay
So close EK against Cougars