After last weeks beating at the hands of the British Champion Tamworth Phoenix, the Wolves gathered themselves for what was one of the biggest games in the franchise’s long history. Not a championship game, but a Game of Thrones. The throne to be crowned the best in Scotland.
As is customary on the Wolves closest home fixture to June 12th, the club takes the opportunity to celebrate the life of Calum Veitch, a talented young Wolves player who sadly lost his life 7 years ago. The event was marked with a minutes applause by all in attendance before kick off and added an additional sense of purpose to the occasion, the Wolves players came off the celebration with a steely look in the eye, ready to complete the double over these huge rivals.
East Kilbride won the toss to take the ball to start the game. Stubborn defensive play and possibly some nerves from both teams saw punts exchanged early on. It took until midway through a long first quarter for the Wolves to break the deadlock. A nice 4 play passing drive culminated in a 39 yard arrow from franchise QB Jamie Morrison to rookie WR Dylan O’Shea (Dilly, Dilly) who weaved through defenders on his way to his first ever TD for the Wolves. Lloyd Dignan converted the extra point with a slick field goal from the Wolves Special Teams unit.
The Pirates rarely allow for plain sailing…
The first play of the 2nd quarter saw the Pirates move the ball with ease against a patchwork Wolves defense and QB Neil Baptie found WR Andrew McBride who in turn scorched the Wolves for a 56 yard touchdown, Steven Kane added the kick to even up the scores. Having seemingly found a connection, Baptie then again found McBride just before the 2 minute warning to put the Pirates in the lead, good pressure from the Wolves line ensured a missed PAT.
Halftime score 7-13.
The second half began in the same fashion as the first, with both teams exchanging punts. It wasn’t long before disaster struck for the home side, a wayward pass from Morrison landed right in the hands of Pirates DB Andy Shaw who was able to celebrate on his way into the end zone for a ‘Pick 6’.
The Wolves have often been touted as the comeback kings and desperate times calling for desperate measures, Wolves OC Dan Cameron unleashed his secret weapon RB Calum Davidson.
Davidson ignited the Wolves attack bringing an entirely different skill set to that of RB Steven Wilson. His powerful inside run and long outside threat meant the Pirates defense had no choice to focus on him which quickly bore fruit allowing QB Jamie ‘Snakehips’ Morrison to slink his way into the endzone. Bruce Callan converted the PAT in his first ever points for the club.
Lovely Stuff and the Wolves were back in the game. 14-19.
The Wolves following drive required just 1 play for ‘Hotter than Hell Tattoo MVP’ and all round superstar Davidson to make a mockery of all things defensive with a 51 yard run evading multiple tackles on his jaunt to the end zone, a stunning turnaround for the Wolves and an incredible impact from the Team GB running back. Morrison and Davidson fooled more than one Pirate on the 2 point attempt as the latter crashed into a host of bodies in the middle only for it to be discovered the ball had actually been lobbed over to Wilson in the corner.
Early in the final period the Wolves managed to move into an important 2 score lead, a short drive was capped with another Davidson run, this time somehow evading tackles up the middle before breaking out wide behind his blockers for a 41 yard score, Callan again converted keeping the Special Teams 3/3 on the day and the wolves up by 10 and feeling good.
The Pirates, to their credit, did not stop pushing. Baptie opened up his offence and took a few shots downfield before connecting with WR James Lightbody from around 30 yards to pull a score back. But great pressure from the Wolves D denied the additional 2 points. The Pirates would line up for an onside kick attempt in order to take back possession of the ball but with the Wolves sending out the ‘Hands Team’ it was easily recovered and the Edinburgh boys took a knee to see out the game.
Final score: Edinburgh Wolves 29-25 East Kilbride Pirates.
‘Hotter Than Hell Tattoo MVP’ Calum Davidson.
A productive 2nd half of well over 100 yards rushing on 6 carries, including TD runs of 51 and 49 yards. The young rusher continues to dominate the teams score sheet. Davidsons two score performance edged the Wolves out in front and out of reach of the Pirates.
The victory sees the wolves keep their winning record, moving to 3-2 on the season.
The Wolves were looking at this game as a morale booster heading into the second half of the season. HC Don Edmonston was ecstatic after his Gatorade bath.
“Being able to do twice in one season what no Scottish team has been able to do in more than 20 years is absolutely amazing!!” He then stumbled his way through Chumbawumbas iconic 90s banger ‘Tubthumping’ in his post game address to the players.
The Wolves will now enjoy a bye week which will include moving training back to a newly refurbished South Queensferry Rugby Club before taking on the Merseyside Nighthawks.
Saturday 23rd June
Peffermill Playing Fields
Entrance nearest the left end of the car park.