Ju­niors miss out on tro­phy

East Kilbride News - - SPORT -

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

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