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Glasgow Tigers 12 Aberdeen Roughnecks 8

June 12th 2016

After two narrow defeats to the Roughnecks in 2015, the Glasgow Tigers were eager to right some wrongs and make a big statement against one of last year's play-off teams.

This match turned out to be the proverbial game of two halves. Glasgow struggled to make anything happen offensively for the first two quarters of play as the offence seemed to be having a shocker. Although Aberdeen had the better opportunities, neither side could get on the scoreboard as the punters were kept busy. Aberdeen capitalised at the start of the second quarter when stalwart Graeme Reith intercepted a Glasgow pass and ran it back around 30 yards before an excellent tackle by our own QB Paddy O'Donnell stopped him inside the Glasgow 5 yard line. After a couple of failed attempts, Aberdeen finally found the endzone after some great blocking by their men up front. The PAT attempt was just wide to the right leaving the score 6-0 to the Roughnecks.

Midway through the third quarter and it was still all Aberdeen, as their full-back broke some tackles for a huge run up the middle. This left the Roughnecks in prime position to score once again. The Tigers defence, however, had other ideas. After a couple of failed runs on first and second down, Defensive Lineman Dean Jardine correctly guessed the snap count, hurdled over their O-Line and sacked the QB within a second of the ball being snapped. Unfortunately, this would be his last play of the game as he was force to come off due to an ankle injury.

Despite the sack, the Roughnecks went for it on 4th down. They handed the ball off and for a split second it looked like de ja vu as their running back seemed to be cruising into the endzone. Then linebackers Fearghus Maher and Thompson Sunerton combined for a thumping hit, stopping him short of the goal line. The Tigers sideline was exuberant and there was a real sense that this may have been a turning point and could inspire the offence to start moving the ball.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the case as the Roughnecks came crashing through to tackle our running back inside the Tigers endzone, resulting in a safety. Glasgow then had to kick-off, giving Aberdeen the ball again with a lead of 8-0.

Four plays later, the Tigers had the ball back and finally they started to do something with it. A 20 yard completed pass from Paddy O'Donnell to wide receiver Stuart McNeil finally gave a spark to the offence. A couple of plays later, Glasgow found the endzone thanks to another great pass, this time to tight end Scott Vallance. The two-point conversion attempt was missed so Glasgow still trailed 8-6. Momentum was now with the Tigers as Defensive Back Alex Hooper-Lanning intercepted a wayward Roughneck pass to give Glasgow the ball back with great field position, just before the end of the third quarter.

The Tigers had finally found some rhythmn in the run game with Krys Krol consistently powering through for impressive gains thanks to his ability to find significant yardage after contact, often carrying multiple Aberdeen defenders with him. With the endzone in sight, Paddy O'Donnell threw his second touchdown pass of the game, this time to wide receiver Robb Gould who caught the ball in the corner of the endzone, in what seemed to be a carbon copy of his touchdown in the previous game against Carlisle. Once again, the two-point conversion attempt was no good but the Tigers finally had the lead: 12-8 with around 12 minutes to play in the 4th Quarter. Aberdeen did their best to get back into the game but the 4th Quarter was all Glasgow. Cornerback Nathan Brodie picked off another Aberdeen pass, running it back 45 yards to the house. The Glasgow sideline was pandemonium and the relief and joy was obvious. However, a penalty after the pick saw the touchdown chalked off. The Tigers still kept the ball and managed to hold on for the rest of the game, eventually taking knees to run out the clock.

This 12-8 victory against the Roughnecks was a huge one for Glasgow who now sit at 4-1 at the halfway point in the season. Aberdeen (2-3) and Dundee (2-3) are the nearest rivals to our second place, with only the Newcastle Vikings (5-0) ahead. Although this puts Glasgow in great position for a play-off spot, there's still a lot of football to be played. Our next game is Sunday 19th June, when we welcome the Northumberland Lightning to Nethercraigs. The match is an early kick-off once again, this time at 12pm.

Pictures courtesy of the Aberdeen Roughnecks.

Aberdeen almost intercept a long Glasgow pass

WR Stuart McNeil takes on two Roughneck defenders

QB Paddy O'Donnell scrambles to keep the Tigers offence on the field