Tigers Tamed in Roughnecks' Final Home Game of the Season

Looking to bed into a new home field against the Tigers, we would take the field at Woodside hoping to keep our hopes of finishing 3rd in the division alive with a win, and keen to hit the ground running #6 RB Lewis Hughes set right to it.

Having won the toss Glasgow opted to receive the ball and following a quick 4-and-out (including an attempted fake punt) the Roughnecks offence took to the field and almost immediately would find the endzone. The aforementioned running back would find a chasm in the lefthand side of his offensive line before dancing 30 yards through the Tigers’ backfield, and a PAT would make it 7 - 0 Roughnecks.

Despite looking strong on defence too in the early stages of the game, the Tigers would be the next to find the scoreboard as a long pass down the sideline would set up the Tigers in the Redzone. 3 plays later, including an impressive interception potentially erroneously overturned by the side judge the Tigers would be forced to settle for a field goal as the defence refused to be beaten both on the ground and through the air. That would continue all day, as the Roughnecks defence would get off the field again and again, either forcing turnovers or quick punts to allow the offence to get back to work.

With both teams often running the ball, the first half would draw to a close quickly however not before the two Breen brothers would hook up to extend the Roughnecks’ lead to 10 points. Provided with short field by #20 Darren Henderson and #22 Gamu Mukuredzi forcing and recovering a fumble on a Tigers’ punt return; #1 WR Sean would then get himself open in the back of the endzone, and given all day by the offensive line #16 QB Chris found him with a lovely weighted pass.

The second half would continue in a similar vein to the first, with again the Roughnecks offence would move the ball, and the defence would get off the field. The next score of the game would come through the returning #35 RB Dave Obatolu who had powered the offence into scoring position for most of the proceeding drive, before finding the endzone twice, once for six points, and a second time - this time untouched - for 2 more points; 21 - 3 Roughnecks. Defensively it was more of the same, with multiple turnovers, #85 LB Rob Hayes and #20 DB Darren Henderson would get interceptions, #22 DB Gamuchirai Mukuredzi would pick up a fumble on kick-off but the play would be whistled dead before he could reach the endzone. #56 LB Chris Adam and #95 DL Winston Ojei would also come up with fumble recoveries, forced by Darren Henderson, Winston himself, and #45 Che Mueller.

The game would finish 28 - 3 however as #13 RB John Strang would find his way into the endzone to cap off a fine drive, and a fine afternoon for the Roughnecks, with the PAT sailing through the posts.

FT: Aberdeen Roughnecks 28 - 3 Glasgow Tigers

MVPs, Scorers & Turnovers

Offensive MVP: #6 RB Lewis Hughes

Lewis got the game off to a brilliant start for the Roughnecks with a quick, opening drive touchdown, and the rest of his afternoon was just as important to the offensive effort. He ran hard and didn’t give the Tigers’ defence a chance to catch its breathe.

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Defensive MVP: #45 Che Mueller

Che wouldn’t give the Tigers’ QBs or RBs any chance to get going and along with the rest of defensive line colleagues would find himself in the opposition backfield all afternoon. Che’s hard work and engine shut down the Tigers’ gameplan and any down he was not on the field his absence was sorely felt.

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MVP: #20 DB Darren Henderson

Darren had a great day on both defence and special teams. His long snaps would allow successful punts and PATs but in getting down field, set up the second Roughnecks’ TD of the day by forcing a fumble on a punt return. Hendo would force another fumble, and make a nice catch to pick off the Glasgow QB down the sideline.

Scorers

Rushing Touchdowns: #6 RB Lewis Hughes, #35 RB Dave Obatolu & #13 RB John Strang

Receiving Touchdowns: #1 WR Sean Breen, thrown by #16 QB Chris Breen

Rushing 2PAT: #35 RB Dave Obatolu

Kicking PATs: 2x #4 K Stuart Don

Turnovers

Interceptions: #20 DB Darren Henderson & #85 LB Rob Hayes

Fumble Recoveries: #56 LB Chris Adam, 2x #95 DL Winston Ojei & 2x #22 DB Gamuchirai Mukuredzi

Roughnecks Humbled on the Road

Looking to break the Pirates’ perfect season we would take to the road again with Glasgow the destination to face the East Kilbride outfit.

From the off that task immediately looked like a difficult one as the Pirates would draw first blood early on. Taking advantage of a blown defensive coverage they would go 6 - 0 up and continue to punish the usually stout Roughnecks defence quickly adding two more scores. The offence though would move the ball at times, with mistakes hurting drives which looked good. They would find paydirt in the second quarter however, as #16 QB Chris Breen found #18 WR Rhys Elmslie in the endzone, following #6 RB Lewis Hughes’ hard work on the ground throughout the drive. With neither team having converted a PAT, the score would be 18 - 6, with special mention to Jack Conn on FG block preventing three early Pirates PATs.

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Unfortunately that would be as close as it would get last Sunday afternoon as the Pirates would pull away for the remainder of the afternoon, as the bossed the Roughnecks’ defence about all over the field to the tune of 52 points.

Fulltime: Aberdeen Roughnecks 6 - 52 East Kilbride Pirates

MVPs, Scorers & Turnovers

Offensive MVP: #1 WR Sean Breen

Sean made numerous catches across the middle of the field for the offence, and kept the Roughnecks on the field, whilst giving his all to support the running and screen games by providing blocks for his peers.

Defensive MVP: #23 DB Huseyin Yildirim

Huseyin stood out on the defensive side of the ball as one of few positives. Not only did he make his first interception of the season (on a long contested catch), Huseyin also made some great tackles to slow drives and was deployed all across the defensive backfield in an assured performance.

MVP: #6 Lewis Hughes

Lewis once again ran hard on offence, and special teams this week, and not content with only moving the offence down the field, he would find himself in the defensive backfield too - covering for injuries. Unlucky not to score any points on the afternoon, Lewis will hold his head high after a strong performance across all three phases of the game.

Scorers

Touchdown: #18 WR Rhys Elmslie from #16 QB Chris Breen

Turnovers

Interceptions: #85 LB Rob Hayes & #23 DB Huseyin Yildirim

Roughnecks Send Senators Home Sombre after 56 - 0 Romp

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Looking to get back on track, we would face the Gateshead Senators on Sunday in our 7th game of the season determined to come away with the win.

Winning the coin-toss and opting to defer, the Roughnecks defence would get on and then off of the field quickly, a feat repeated nearly all day with 3 and outs followed by quick, decisive scoring drives from the offence. Finding the endzone on their first drive through #6 Lewis Hughes the offence wouldn’t look back adding another six touchdowns to their first half tally.

In no particular order for the rest of the first half touchdowns, Lewis would find the endzone twice more to equal his own personal best tally, and the Roughnecks individual single game record with 3 touchdowns, adding 4 more points to the team’s tally through two successful 2PATs. WR #18 Rhys Elmslie would haul in two touchdowns, coming down in the endzone both times having leapt above the Senators’ defensive back to secure the ball both times. WRs #3 Wako Anindo and #9 Greg Keenan would both score their first ever touchdowns, both weaving through traffic on their way into the endzone after receiving short passes from QB #16 Chris Breen who himself would total 4 throwing TDs for the day. Chris and TE #85 Rob Hayes would also combine for a 2PAT in the first half, with K #4 adding two PATs to make the score 50 - 0 to the Roughnecks at the end of the first half.

With the deficit greater than 35 points in the second half, the game would proceed under a running clock for the remainder of the game. This would mean that the 30 minutes on the clock in the remaining two quarters would only stop for an injury timeout or a team timeout. The defence would continue to stand resolute throughout, only conceding one first down, right at the end of the game, and never allowing Gateshead to gain any type of momentum. Continuing to move the ball throughout the second half, the offence would find the endzone once more as second half QB #18 Rhys Elmslie would find TE #85 in the endzone to round out the day with the scoreline at 56 - 0.

FT: Roughnecks 56 - 0 Gateshead Senators

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MVPs, Scorers and Turnovers

Offensive MVP: #6 Lewis Hughes

Hat trick hero Lewis weaved in and out of defenders giving Gateshead no chance to catch their breathe on defence. One particularly impressive run saw Lewis almost impossibly staying on his feet to set up the second half touchdown showing no mercy to stand out amongst his peers on offence.

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Defensive MVP: The Whole Defence

Everyone on defence gave their all, and only gave up one first down right as the clock hit triple zeros. The Senators could never get the ball moving, with tackles for a loss a plenty racked up by the defensive linemen, and nothing given up through the air by the defensive backs. All in all a solid performance with the Pirates coming up this Sunday.

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MVP: #16 QB Chris Breen

Chris’ excellent work saw him given the opportunity to sit out the second half having built a comfortable 50 - 0 lead in the first half alone. Chris marshalled the offence up the field making smart decisions and with crisp passes finding all of his receivers and given all day by his offensive line Chris picked the Senators defence apart.

Scorers

#6 Lewis Hughes: 3 Touchdowns, 2 2PAT
#18 Rhys Elmslie: 2 Touchdowns (+ 1 Passing Touchdown)
#85 Rob Hayes: 1 Touchdown, 1 2PAT
#9 Wako Anindo: 1 Touchdown
#3 Greg Keenan: 1 Touchdown
#4 Stuart Don: 2 PATs (Kicking)
#16 Chris Breen: 4 Passing Touchdowns, 2 Passing 2PATs

Turnovers

#73 Andy Watts: Fumble Recovery (Botched Snap/Hand-off)
#56 Chris Adam: Fumble Recovery (Forced by #72 OL Doug Pearson)

Roughnecks Come Up Short Despite Battling Performance in Glasgow

Looking to bounce-back from last weekend’s disappointment we would face the most familiar of foes in the Glasgow Tigers at their Nethercraigs home.

With #22 Gamuchirai Mukuredzi managing to haul in an interception on the opening play of the game (Glasgow having opted to receive the opening kick-off of the game) the Roughnecks would immediately be set up in great field position. Looking to press home this early advantage we would opt to go for it on a short 4th down, but coming up infuriating short, Glasgow would get the ball back inside their own redzone. A long drive entirely on the ground, would provide Glasgow with an early opportunity to score themselves, managing to power the ball into the endzone on an outside run to take the lead with a successful PAT making the score 7 - 0.

With the ground game providing some good avenues down the field, Running Back #6 Lewis Hughes and Quarterback #18 Rhys Elmslie would begin to move the move the ball downfield, although either the Tigers defence or costly mistakes would see the end to drives and a blocked field goal would see the first half finish with just the one score, 7 - 0 Tigers.

With a change in the offensive backfield, the Roughnecks would find joy in the 3rd quarter with Quarterback #16 Chris Breen finding - now Wide Receiver - #18 Rhys Elmslie down the right sideline to get the momentum going, and it would be that link-up which provided the first Roughnecks score of the game. Rhys corralling a long pass down the right sideline beyond the Tigers’ cornerback to stroll into the endzone, although a blocked PAT would leave the score at 7 - 6. The defence had been holding up its end of the bargain creating turnovers to get the ball back for the offence but would allow the Tigers to extend the lead in the 4th quarter as the Tigers quarterback would tuck the ball under his arm, and weave his way into the endzone from about 15 yards out, although the missed PAT would leave the difference between the two teams at 7.

Again moving the ball through the air and on the ground, the Roughnecks would find the endzone, this time through a brotherly connection with Chris finding #1 WR Sean Breen who squeezed through a tackle to find the endzone. Opting to go for 2 rather than the usual PAT, following two previously blocked kick attempts, Chris would nearly find brother Sean again this time though the ball would be just out of reach for Sean to leave the score at Roughnecks 12 - 13 Tigers. Looking to bleed out the clock the Tigers would keep the ball on the ground the rest of the way, holding on to get the win, despite some playground theatrics from the Roughnecks offence on the final play of the game as the Tigers defence would swarm to the ball and prevent the laterals from creating the required space.

FT: Aberdeen Roughnecks 12 - 13 Glasgow Tigers

A much better showing than in the previous week against the Rams, despite coming up just short, we take the positives to build upon and negatives to learn from ahead of our game against the Gateshead Senators in 2 weeks time.

MVPs, Scorers and Turnovers

Defensive MVP: #64 DL Josh Bahru

Josh had his best game as a Roughneck today, getting to the QB, tackling in the running game, and recovering a fumble. Josh stood out from DT - a tough thing to do - and gave his all from start to finish.

Offensive MVP: #18 QB/WR Rhys Elmslie

Starting at QB, Rhys created yardage through the air, ran the ball hard and conducted the offence. In the second half at Wide Receiver he would find the endzone, and make a couple of important catches from QB Chris Breen, laying everything out for the team, it was Rhys’ legs keeping the game alive on the final play of the game

MVP: #22 DB Gamuchirai Mukuredzi

Appointed captain due to a couple of absences, Gamu would step up producing two turnovers, with one interception and fumble recovery from free safety. Game would also find success tackling Glasgow’s running backs, blitzing the QB and in the kick return game, providing the energy and impetus for a strong defensive showing.

Touchdowns:

#18 WR Rhys Elmslie and #1 WR Sean Breen both from #16 QB Chris Breen

Turnovers:

Interception: #22 Gamuchirai Mukuredzi

Fumble Recoveries: #64 Josh Bahru and #22 Gamuchirai Mukuredzi both forced by #95 DL Winston Ojoi

Safety proves costly in defensive clash with Rams

Last Saturday would prove to be a very frustrating outing for the Roughnecks. Playing at Harlaw Academy playing fields rather than The Rig, the Yorkshire Rams would make the trip north of the border and made it immediately apparent that they were a much improved team from the side we faced in the previous fixture.

The game would start as it would continue to go on, with both defences standing resolute, with neither offence able to get into a rhythm. Taking advantage of good field position the Rams would be awarded a safety in the first quarter, as the Roughnecks punter would accidentally take a step onto the white line at the back of the endzone before getting his kick away to make it 2 - 0 to the Yorkshire side.

The scoreboard would remain unchanged for the rest of the day with the flow of the game never changing, as both defences stood up to everything thrown at them. Both sides would have chances from field goals, although one blocked, and one finding the right upright for the Roughnecks would allow the Rams defence to hold onto their clean sheet and win the game.

FT: Aberdeen Roughnecks 0 - 2 Yorkshire Rams

A highly frustrating day at the office leads to a loss by the lowest possible score in a game of football. Much improvement required across all three phases of the game before the trip to Glasgow to face the Tigers on Sunday 9th.

Defensive MVP: Darren Henderson

Captain Darren Henderson would lead by example, making plays and tackles all day to hold the Rams offence to no points.

MVP: Phil McCall

Phil could be find breaking up runs, batting passes and making plays in the Rams backfield throughout the game. Unlucky also not to get an interception, Phil singlehandedly blew up a Rams 4th down and goal attempt to keep the score at 2 - 0 in the second half.

Club Statement 04/06/2019

Following discussions earlier this week and throughout the season Coach Ruari Collinson has decided to take a step back as the Offensive Coordinator for personal reasons.

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank Coach Collinson for all the hard work that he has done for this club and acknowledge that he was instrumental in this team's success over the last 2 years. I know he will enjoy his time away from the position as this allows him to spend more time with his young family.

Moving forward Coach Matthew Watt has been named Acting Offensive Coordinator until the end of the season.

At the half way mark of the season I feel we have established ourselves as a genuine and legitimate division one team. We have been very disappointed with the results especially at home and the coaching staff will do everything they can and more to ensure the players are in the best position possible to be successful.

- Head Coach, Bryce Stevenson

Roughnecks Execute Order 36-to-6 over Senators

Making the second of our three trips to England this season we were looking to restore balance to our record, return to .500, and start a long run of fixtures which will define our 2019 season with a positive result.

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With Gateshead looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat to the hands of the Northumberland Vikings last weekend, the Senators would opt to forego punting the ball on their opening offensive drive, a decision the Roughnecks defence would make them regret immediately. Linebacker #55 Phil McCall would intercept the pass from the Senators QB at the half-way line before taking off behind a wave of Red blockers, to find the endzone - a first for the defence since the 2017 season. Immediately back on the field following the PAT and kick-off the defence would again force a turnover, this time Lineman #69 Matt McCall would come up with a fumble recovery and, despite an unsuccessful lateral pass during the return (which his brother Phil would recover for him), set the offence up deep in Senators’ territory. And it wasn’t long until the offence added 6 points of their own. Quarterback #16 Chris Breen deciding his best course of action was to tuck the ball under his arm and carry it in himself. Another successful PAT later it was 14 - 0 to the Roughnecks and the match looked to be over as a contest. Although at only two scores down, no-one’s ever really gone and the Senators would begin to gain a foothold in the game, stiffening on defence and reducing their mistakes on offence meaning that the first quarter and then first half would finish at 14 - 0.

Challenged to step-up in the second period the Roughnecks offence would kick into gear finding success in moving the ball throughout the second half, but failing to add to the cushion. A change in Quarterback from the Senators would also provide a spark to the home side, as they began to grow in confidence, and only a redzone fumble recovery by Lineman #90 Ross Elrick (forced by fellow Lineman #67 Che Mueller) would stop them from reducing the deficit. Continuing to move the ball, both through the air and on the ground the offence would find pay-dirt again, this time with WR #6 Lewis Hughes carrying the ball into the endzone behind the left-tackle to finish off an impressive drive and make the score 20 - 0. The Senators offence however would again come out fighting, and made strong process down the field to score points of their own - running the ball in on third down preventing what was nearly another strong defensive stand in the shadow of our own goal posts. Phil McCall would burst through the Senators offensive line to give the selected run play no chance on the 2 point after try making the game a 14 point affair once more.

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The remainder of the game would be marred in controversy with back to back plays leading to back to back injuries to Roughnecks running backs and neither drawing a penalty. As the second injury stoppage would require an ambulance, and with concerns to the head and neck area of Running Back #80 JP Broughton there followed a lengthy delay to fourth period, one which would galvanise the Roughnecks and see any hint of a Senators comeback truly quashed. Despite some worrying scenes on Sunday, JP was discharged from hospital later on that evening to return to Aberdeen with scans revealing there had been no bones broken in the neck.

Following the restart the Roughnecks would finish with a flourish. On offence Quarterback Chris Breen would throw the ball Wide Receiver #18 Rhys Elmslie’s way, and with a beautiful toe-drag catch Rhys would haul in the catch just inside the back line of the endzone, 26 - 6. Deciding to punish the Senators for turning down the opportunity to kneel out the game amidst the injury concern to JP, the offence would successfully add on the 2PAT making the lead 22 points. But not to let the offence have all of the fun, and not to let his elder brother get all of the praise, Defensive Lineman #69 Matt McCall would catch the ball in amongst a botched QB/RB hand-off by Gateshead and find the endzone for 6 points of his own. Again opting to go for 2 points, Running Back #21 Sean McDonald would repeat his success of 4 plays earlier added his 3rd and 4th points of the afternoon to finish the scoring.

FT: Roughnecks 36 - 6 Senators

MVPs, Scorers and Turnovers:

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Offensive MVP: #6 Lewis Hughes

Lewis took the game by the scruff of the neck on Offence, running the ball with force and purpose in the second half to finish the game with 196 yards. Lewis allowed the offence to manage the clock in the second period, and his touchdown provided an unassailable cushion to guarantee the win.

Defensive MVPs: #55 Phil McCall & #69 Matt McCall

Whilst they were both in the right place at the right time to clone one another’s scoring efforts, the two brothers were inseparable for Sunday’s defensive award.

Phil got the game started but was found in the right place on more than just that occasion, stopping Senator drives in their tracks, and making tackles wherever required.

His brother Matt might have been a little risky in trying to lateral his first fumble recovery to a teammate to provide them with an opportunity to score, but Matt would be found in the Senator backfield throughout the day dragging the running back or quarter back down, before getting his just rewards at the end of the game with 6 points of his own.

MVP: #73 Andy Watts

Andy, like his defensive counterparts could be found in the Gateshead backfield to stop plays and drives, and driving the Senators backwards, but it was his efforts on offence that set him apart. Andy created huge openings in the Senator’s defence affording running lanes to allow the backs to matriculate the ball down the field early and often in the second half!

Touchdowns:

#55 Phil McCall, #16 Chris Breen, #6 Lewis Hughes, #18 Rhys Elmslie & #69 Matt McCall

2PAT:

#21 Sean McDonald (2)

PAT:

#4 Stuart Don (LS: #20 Darren Henderson, Hold: #18 Rhys Elmslie)

Interceptions:

#55 Phil McCall (Returned for TD)

Fumble Recoveries:

Matt McCall (2, One returned for TD), Ross Elrick

Roughnecks Come Close in Tight Affair with Vikings

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Having returned to .500 following the trip to Yorkshire, we were looking at another tough challenge as the Northumberland Vikings made the journey north to The Rig. This would be the first time of two ‘familiar’ foes we are to face this season, having previously met the Newcastle Vikings in division 2 prior to their amalgamation with the Northumberland Lightning.

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With a strong wind blowing down The Rig it became apparent early on that it would be an important factor and by extension as would the direction which each team would be attacking. This would present the Vikings the favour of the opening exchanges, winning the early field position battle, to find their way deep into Roughnecks territory. A couple of short drives for each offence and the wind effecting punt distances again would see Northumberland make it into the Roughnecks redzone, this time resulting in a score. A short screen pass left would provide a Vikings’ wide receiver with a running opportunity, a missed Roughnecks tackle would leave them outmanned giving the visitors the lead with a good snap, hold and kick to follow making it 7 - 0 to the Vikings at the end of the first quarter.

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The change of direction in the second quarter would put the Roughnecks on the front foot, as the field position battle would swing in our favour. The Roughnecks offence were moving the ball well through the air, with QB Chris Breen finding several receivers quickly and allowing them to make first downs, but the Vikings defence would condense and stiffen up with the endzone remaining out of reach, although a 34 yard FG would be reduce the deficit to just 4 points at the half time interval.

Scoring chances for either side would come few and far between for both teams in the second half, with the Roughnecks coming close early on only for the Vikings’ defence to stiffen up once again, this time getting off the field following a failed 4th down attempt inside their 10 yard line following a strong drive from the Roughnecks offence. The Roughnecks’ defence thought that they would have a chance of their own, forcing a fumble from the Vikings’ QB only for the referees to whistle the play dead deeming forward progress had been stopped despite the quarterback fighting tooth and nail to escape the oncoming D-line like a swarm of land-sharks. With the Vikings opting not to throw the ball for the entire second half, both the 3rd and 4th quarters would waste away, ultimately leaving the score as it was at the end of the 1st Half.

Fulltime: Roughnecks 3 - 7 Vikings

Head Coach, Bryce Stevenson, had this to say about the game and the season so far:

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“[Sunday] showed how much this team has developed and I'm incredibly proud of how we have played our first 3 games. Yesterday's loss was dissapointing not to come away with the victory however we can take an awful lot of positives away. We will break down our performance and look at how we can win this reverse fixture. Special thanks to all who came down to support and I promise we will do everything we can to ensure our next home game we get that W. The team are upbeat and are about to start a 4 game in 4 week stand after 3 weeks of preparation for these 4 games. We are on target to hit our preseason goal of remaining in Division one and after these next four games I believe we shall be looking forward to trying to achieve our second target. Full credit to Northumberland who on the day took their chance and fought solidly to keep our offence from taking the lead. "

Scorers, Turnovers and MVPs

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DMVP: #69 D/OL Matt McCall

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Matt made play after play on defence, stopping Vikings drives singlehandedly with sacks and tackles for loss. He wreaked havoc all day long and gave his all. His effort did not go unnoticed on the offensive line creating lanes for the running game and providing QB Chris Breen with plenty of time to find a receiver downfield

Offensive MVP: #18 WR Rhys Elmslie

Rhys made some incredibly impressive catches with Northumberland players draped all over him. Not even Pass Interference would be enough to stop Rhys as he kept the offence moving down the field.

MVP: #85 LB/TE Rob Hayes

Rob had another excellent day, shutting down running lanes, getting to the ball carrier making tackles and showing his leadership as captain from start to finish. On offence Rob’s willingness to stay in and block created opportunities in the running game whilst demanding respect from the Vikings in the passing game too!

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Scorers

FG: #4 K Stuart Don (35 Yards) S: #20 Darren Henderson H: #44 Grant Travis

Turnovers

Interception: #22 FS Gamuchirai Mukuredzi

Roughnecks Go Lambing in Leeds on Easter Weekend

Leaving Aberdeen at 6am we were headed to Leeds for our first road game of the year against the Yorkshire Rams. Having finished 6-4 last season behind the Northumberland Vikings and Lancashire Wolverines, the Rams would be looking to get their season going with a win having been touted to be in contention for the division crown.

Having chosen to receive the opening kick-off the Rams offence struggled to get their run game going as the Roughnecks front 7 on defence swallowed up running backs and the quarter back in the backfield allowing the Roughnecks offence to take to the field and whilst a punt ended the first drive of the day they never looked back. Quarterback #16 Chris Breen would get the scoring started as he found Tight End #85 Rob Hayes in the endzone on a long pass downfield on third down; Roughnecks 7, Rams 0 with a successful PAT. A short Rams drive later would end with a botched punt snap which #27 Ross Herbert scooped up only to be stopped at the Rams 1 yard line. Running back #35 Dave Obatolu would happily then take to the field to convert the turnover into 6 points powering his way into the endzone however a blocked PAT would leave the score at 13 - 0 at the end of the 1st quarter.

Kicker #4 Stuart Don would make it 16 - 0 with a successful ~30-yard FG early in the second period, and a turnover from DB #22 Gamuchirai Mukuredzi would provide #35 Dave Obatolu another opportunity to find the endzone. This time he would receive a short pass from QB Chris Breen before taking the ball 35 yards, weaving through the Rams defence; Roughnecks 23 - 0 Rams, this time with K #23 Phil McCall tacking on the extra point. Pinning the Rams offence back from the ensuing kick-off would let the defence pin their ears back and getting pressure on the QB led to an intentional grounding penalty in the endzone, which by rule is a safety. 2 points to the defence, and a 25 - 0 lead at half time for the Roughnecks.

Determined not to give anything away in the second half, the defence continued to stand resolute forcing and recovering fumbles to get the offence back on the field and earn much needed rest on what was a sweltering Yorkshire afternoon. On one such occasion however Punt Returner #6 Lewis Hughes would ensure that rest wouldn’t be for long, almost finding the endzone on a long return only to be stopped agonisingly short, allowing #35 Dave Obatolu to complete a hat-trick in the 4th quarter again powering in from close-range. With Phil McCall having earlier added his first ever field goal to the score from ~35 yards out, Dave’s touchdown would make it 34 - 0 the PAT hold compromising the kick attempt. A final score of the game would ensure the game ended under a running-clock, with QB #18 Rhys Elmslie having to improvise with a wayward snap , forcing him to roll out of the pocket before delivering a throw to Tight End #85 Rob Hayes who rose above the Rams defence to come down in the back of the endzone. Rhys would then run in the 2PAT making the score 42 - 0 and sealing the deal on what was a very productive day for the Roughnecks.

FT: Aberdeen ROUghnecks 42 - 0 Yorkshire Rams

Following the disappointment of last weekend, it was great to be able to make amends and return to .500. We now prepare for the visit of the Northumberland Vikings to the Rig on the 5th of May.

Coach Stevenson had this to add:
"I’m immensely proud of what the guys went out there and did today. Not many had given us a chance of getting a result and to do so in the manner which we did really shows the hard-work and improvement this team strives for on a weekly basis. Credit also to my coaching team who keep working to ensure the guys remained upbeat after the tough result last week. 24 hour rule applies as always and then we move onto Northumberland.”

SCORERS, Turnovers AND MVPs

Defensive MVP: #44 DL Grant Travi

Trav really personified what we were looking for on defence yesterday with unrelenting effort, shutting down the run game early and with the help of the rest of the front 7 never let up.

Offensive MVP: #57 OL Angus Wright

All day long the offensive line gave both Quarterbacks all day to deliver dimes. Gus stood out standing strong and giving up nothing to the Rams D-Line.

MVP: #35 Dave Obatolu

Dave found pay-dirt 3 times and ran hard all day, carving through the Rams defence and carrying defenders with him.

Scorers

Touchdowns: 3x Dave Obatolu, 2x Rob Hayes

Kicking: Stuart Don (FG, PAT), Phil McCall (FG, PAT)

Turnovers

Gamu Mukuredzi INT, Ross Herbert FR, Grant Travis FR, Andy Watts FR, Matt McCall FR

Pirates Prove to be Formidable Foes in Opening Day Clash

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Whilst we have shared a field with the East Kilbride Pirates before, most of our current playing and coaching staffs would fail to remember that day back in 2014. Still donning our green uniforms back then, we hosted the Pirates for a combined scrimmage during our inaugural campaign. Needless to say the then Premiership outfit came out the better of the two sides quite comfortably but this time we were determined to show just how far we had come since that day, and that our promotion was by no means a fluke.

Gamuchirai Mukuredzi finds photographer Gail Davis during his TD return

Gamuchirai Mukuredzi finds photographer Gail Davis during his TD return

Receiving the opening kick-off of the season we would get to work on offence following a strong kick-off return just short of Pirate’s territory. Both sides would struggle to move the ball early on with the defences holding strong and forcing punts early. Following a blocked punt the field position battle would swing in the Pirates’ favour which their offence would capitalise on towards the end of the first quarter as the QB would find the endzone on a 14 yard run. The PAT would be tacked on and the lead was 7. Following that disappointment however the defence would stand tall again in the second quarter with neither team troubling the scoreboard again before the end of the half with a particularly brave goal-line stand from the Roughnecks to leave the score 7 - 0 in the Pirates’ favour.

Last season’s Rookie of the year, #22 DB Gamuchirai Mukuredzi would get the Roughnecks’ second half off to a brilliant start though, scooping up the ball following a blocked punt and finding the endzone to get the team on the board. Roughnecks 6 - 7 Pirates with the PAT failing to make it through the posts. The Roughnecks offence were steadily improving through the game, however the Pirates would extend their lead in the third quarter with another touchdown on a long QB run, PAT and a safety to make it 16 - 6 to finish the 3rd quarter.

Rob Hayes (Right) just after cutting the deficit with his receiving touchdown

Rob Hayes (Right) just after cutting the deficit with his receiving touchdown

The Pirates’ QB would find the endzone another time before the end of the game to make it 23 - 6 but the Roughnecks offence would strike back. Quarterback #16 Chris Breen would find #85 TE Rob Hayes in the back of the endzone with a 17 yard pass to reduce the defecit to 11 points with the 2PAT coming up short. A failed onside kick attempt would gift the Pirates great field position and allow them to salt away much of the remaining time in the game - something we could ill afford as the game drew to a close 23 - 12 to the Pirates.

FT: Aberdeen ROughnecks 12 - 23 East Kilbride Pirates

All in all a disappointing day for the Roughnecks as a few opportunities were allowed to slip through our fingers, but congratulations to the Pirates who’s defence stood resolute throughout. We now look to our next game, this Saturday against the Yorkshire Rams.

Head Coach Bryce Stevenson speaks with the Head Referee ahead of the game

Head Coach Bryce Stevenson speaks with the Head Referee ahead of the game

Head Coach Bryce Stevenson added: “Sunday's game was a frustrating one to say the least. I feel we didn't capatalise on opportunities we provided for ourselves and EKP took advantage of theirs. It's dissapointing but I know this team will move on from this result and we will ensure we do everything right to put the players in the best position to succeed. We have a short week against the Yorkshire Rams this week playing away on Saturday evening but I know the players are keen to ensure we move to .500.”

Ruari Collinson, our Offensive Co-ordinator, echoed those sentiments as a whole but added that he is keen to draw on the positives from Sunday’s game and focus on improving consistency going into our clash with the Rams.

MVPs and Scorers

Offensive MVP: #85 TE Rob Hayes

Rob played well all day on Sunday, staying in to block in the run game and coming away with the Touchdown reception on a beautiful over the shoulder catch in the back of the endzone.

Defensive MVP: #4 CB Stuart Don

Stuart was great in pass coverage all day, allowing no receptions on balls thrown his way, and funnelled the run back inside well.

Match MVP: #95 DL Winston Ojei

Winston’s showed great discipline in rushing, and was a nightmare in the opposition back field against his former team, a few sacks and a goal-line fumble added the stats to back up a fantastic debut effort.

Touchdown Scorers:

#22 Gamuchirai Mukuredzi - Punt Return TD

#85 Rob Hayes - 17 Yard Reception TD

Photographs from the Incredible Gail Davis

Match MVP Winston Ojei tackling an East Kilbride runner from behind

Match MVP Winston Ojei tackling an East Kilbride runner from behind