With the weather typically Scottish, the Hurricanes welcomed league newcomers Northumberland Lightning to Morgan Rugby Club.
Both teams struggled to get things moving in the first quarter, opting to primarily run the ball. The weather was playing its part in keeping the passing game away. Whilst both teams defence managed to force the other 3 and out for the first 3 drives, the Lighting offence were first to score when QB Callum Paterson connected with WR Ross Conway for the opening score of the game, and also the Lightning’s first league score. They were unable to convert the PAT, leaving the score 0 – 6.
After this the Hurricanes came out and started putting some drives together with great running by Liam Thomson, Fraser Thomson and Craig Denham closing out the quarter.
It was early in the second quarter that Craig Denham was able to break away for almost 80 yards to level the score 6 – 6, with the PAT converted by Billy Mitchell.
This fired up the Dundee defence and the ball was quickly back in the Hurricanes hands, where Fraser Thomson was able to connect with his brother Bruce for the ‘canes second TD of the day. Unfortunately the point after wasn’t converted and the ‘canes closed out the half 13 – 6.
With the Lightning receiving the ball in the second half they started to move the ball, but the Hurricanes managed to force an interception which put the ‘canes in striking distance of the Lightning endzone. In only his second game, Liam Thomson ran up the middle for his first TD, and the ‘canes further converted the 2 point attempt to bring the score to 21 – 6.
After the kick-off the Hurricanes where further able to deny the Lightning’s offence any momentum with another swift interception from Andrew Henderson, within the Northumberland half. The Hurricanes quick to capitalise on this showed some great spirit with some fantastic running from Liam, Craig and Fraser. Fraser was able to find his way into the endzone on a QB keeper, but this was called back due to a suspect hold on the Hurricanes Offence. However, not to be kept out to long the Hurricanes were able to move the ball to the Lightning 1 yard line which signalled the end of the 3rd quarter.
On the first play of the 4th, the ‘canes punched the ball into the endzone with a dive up the middle by Craig Denham for his second score of the day. With this the ‘canes went for another 2 point conversion which saw QB Fraser again connect with Bruce bringing the score to 29 – 6.
The ‘canes defence again proved to be too tough for the Lightning’s offence and it wasn’t long before the Lightning were forced to punt the ball away. Mike Dotts caught this on the bounce and managed to make good yardage on the return to set up the Hurricanes final scoring drive.
Putting in a mixture of quick pass and run plays the ‘canes where quickly inside the Northumberland 30 yard line, where the ball was given to Kris Phillips on a reverse who thought that he had made it into the endzone, but alas stepped out of bounds at the 5 yard line. With this great field position the ‘canes bought in a heavy set backfield to force the ball through the middle for the ‘canes 5th TD of the day thanks to Fraser Thomson. Again the Hurricanes where able to convert the 2 point after and close the day out at 37 – 6.
Head Coach Ross Macpherson said of the day “Once we got things going in the second half, I was happy with the way everyone played. The first half was nerve racking for me, unsure what was happening with the lads, but am glad we got the win and hope to bring the momentum of the second half into next week.”
The Hurricanes also want to thanks those brave supporters who came down today to cheer the team on in the bitter weather. Next week the Hurricanes host the other league newcomers the Newcastle Vikings at Morgan Rugby club, with kick off at 1430