by Harry McArthur
The Stirling Clansmen recorded a convincing 33-0 victory over the Bath Killer Bees to stake their claim in the BUCS national semi-final. A week after being crowned Northern Premier League champions for the second consecutive year, the Clansmen have found their top form at the best possible time.
Stirling Clansmen 33-0 Bath Killer Bees
For the second consecutive season these two team faced off, and for the second time in two years the Clansmen destroyed the Southern Division bottom seed. The Clansmen had a buzz about them from the start and it was a complete performance, they played well on offence and particularly on defence, and the Bees just weren’t pollen their weight.
There were two touchdowns scored for the Clan in the first half, QB Crowe and running back Campbell. The first was the pick of the bunch, Alex Crowe, on a draw play from the 36 yard line, hurdled a line man and muscled his way through the Bath defence, bundling over the line for a touchdown. Campbell scored his on a power run from the 20 yard line, and followed his blockers well to the end zone. The PAT was converted on the second touchdown, giving Stirling a 13-0 lead at halftime.
The offence scored a further two touchdowns, running back Bawa picked up his first playoff score in the third quarter on first and goal, and that put the game beyond reach for the Bees. Daniel Kovacs – rookie quarterback this season – stepped in for the second half after Crowe picked up a knock, and threw his first two touchdowns for the team. The first of which, from the 15 yard line, he found Prince on a post route and the second he found tight end Donat Garcia, who caught the ball on a drag route and punched it in for the score.
The defence also played fantastically, racking up over 10 sacks on Bath’s Queen Bee, and they recorded four turnovers. It was a special day for the defence, who forced their first shutout of the season, and had a wide range of players make good plays.
The first turnover forced was recovered by Pasquali in the first quarter, who also led the team with four sacks. The next big play on defence was a clutch fourth down stop on the Clansmen’s own five yard line. The Bees just could not break down the stingy defence of the Clan, and that stop just emphasised how much the defence dominated proceedings.
There was a first interception for three players: Edd Keeler – a rookie cornerback; his cornerback partner, second year Loizos Savva; and QB-turned-safety Andres Donat Garcia. Some excellent reads from the trio and safe hands ensured it would be plain sailing for the entire Clansmen team. A potential pick six from outside linebacker Masayila was instead emphatically smacked to the ground, which was the only real scoring opportunity for the defence.
There was no outstanding MVP for today’s match, it really was a complete performance. Both the offensive and defensive lines dominated at the line of scrimmage; the offence moved the ball with ease, and the defence remained confident and swarmed the Killer Bees offence from the first snap to the last.
Next up for the Clansmen is the Derby Braves, who they recently triumphed over with a score of 48-14. With a win in that match Stirling will be in the final for a fourth consecutive season.