The newly promoted Edinburgh Wolves travelled through to Hamilton on Sunday to kick off there Premiership campaign as they took on the East Kilbride Pirates .
The Wolves lost the coin toss and had to kick off, however the defence stepped up to the challenge and forced a quick 3 and out.The Wolves offence then took to the field and picked up where they left off last season with a quick drive which had the Pirates on there heels, QB Jamie Morrison found Lloyd Dignan with a long bomb to open the scoring for the Wolves. Dignan’s PAT ricocheted off the post putting the Wolves up 6-0. A long pass from the pirates QB found star wide receiver Craig Black deep into Wolves territory. The Wolves defence held strong, however a hands to the face penalty gave the pirates a fresh set of downs and on fourth and 1 the pirates QB was able to burst over the line. The extra point was made and the Pirates led 7-6.
The Wolves defence once again came out on to the field. The Pirates QB had a pass intercepted by Steve MacDonald and he took it down inside the Pirates 20. The Wolves capitalised on the good fields position Morrison again found Dignan after going for it on 4th down. Again Dignan missed the PAT, 12-7 Wolves. The Pirates offence marched down the field and got inside the wolves 5 yard line, however an errant throw was intercepted in the end zone by Cassian Graham ending the drive. After the pirates intercepted a Jamie Morrison pass, the Pirates offence came on and a jinking run by the Pirates QB saw him go 60 yards to the endzone. The extra point was made and the pirates took a 14-12 lead into the half..
After the half, the Wolves came out energised. A fantastic kick return from Stuart Galloway took the wolves deep into Pirates territory and after some strong running by Steve Wilson, Ross Young came on to punch in the score from the 1 yard line. The third time proved to be the charm for Dignan and the PAT was successful 19-14 to the Wolves. The Wolves defence continued to hold the Pirates offence, the Pirates QB was forced to scramble for his life on several occasions because of the tight coverage from the Wolves DB’s. At the end of the 3rd quarter Morrison added his third TD when he found Stuart Harrison in the endzone. Again the PAT was made 26-14 Wolves.
In the 4th quarter the Wolves thought they had the game all but won, Ross Young intercepting the QB and returning it for a 80 yard TD, however a flag was thrown for apparent defensive pass interference on the play.
The Pirates came back on with the back up QB in after the starter was knocked out briefly from the game. The Pirates managed to score quickly with a nice run up the middle, the extra point was blocked by Jon Young making the score 26-20.
The Wolves then slowed the tempo trying to eat up the clock. However with the starting QB back in a fantastic catch down the side-line gave the pirates good field position. The Pirates ran in for the score with 30 seconds left. The extra point was pushed wide right and the score tied at 26-26.
The game ended 26-26 with the Wolves giving a good account of themselves in there first Premiership game, and feeling unlucky not to have been the first Scottish side to beat the Pirates in 20 years.
The Wolves next play the Sheffield Giants on April 23rd.
Your Whistle Stop Barbershop Game MVP – Stuart Galloway