The 2017 Sapphire Series kicked-off in Glasgow last Saturday with the Titans’ Women’s team getting their first win under their belts beating out East Kilbride Pirates 55-4. Having competed in the inaugural 7v7 Premier Division in 2016, the Titans are once again in an expanded top tier, sharing the Northern Division with Leeds Carnegie, East Kilbride and the Edinburgh Wolves.
The game started perfectly with the first play going for a length of the field. The touchdown came from RB Sian Kersse, and Karis Smith added the extra point. The offense set the tone for what would be a dominating first half display from the blues. The Pirates tried to strike back immediately with a strong drive of short running plays but were kicked back by the likes of tackles from Emma McDermott and Louise Moran.
The Titans extend their lead just two plays later. Smith took it to the halfway before Kersse went to pay dirt for a second time. Jessica Elliot converted for the 2 points taking the Titans lead to 15-0. EKP went 4 and out on their next drive with Moran and Eloise Walsh combining for a sack. It wasn’t long before the blues scored again. A hat-trick from Kersse was added to by Smith 2 taking the scoreboard to 23-0.
A pattern appeared to be firmly established as yet again EKP failed to pick up the first down. This time graduated U17 player Ellie Partington and Sarah Webster led with the tackles and with the help of fellow former Titans U17s teammate Becky Bingle they moved the ball on 1st down. Kersse then when on to make it an incredible 4TDs from 4 different carriers, Keely Edmonds took the conversion successfully to take the tally to 31-0.
The Pirates’ hope of a second-half comeback was halted in its tracks as the Titans were just as fuelled after the break as before. Charlie Novak recovered a fumbled first play and soon after QB Sarah Ul-Haq found Vicky Evans for yet another blue TD. EKP’s second drive was as fruitful. A tackle from rookie Becca Taggart followed by a fumble deep in EKP territory caused and recovered by Moran, left it to Bingle to this time run the ball into the endzone.
EKP went 4 and out on the next drive with tackles by Partington, Walsh, Novak and Paula Cunningham stopping them short. EKP managed to register point though as a false start putting the Titans back on their own 2 yard line and QB Ul-Haq was then sacked in her own endzone. The Titans looked to strike back quickly and keep their momentum. Rookie Michelle Townsend and Edmonds ran the ball for a first down and Ul-Haw was unlucky not to connect again with Evans in the endzone on 4th and goal.
The Titans had not yet done adding to their tally. Novak recovered a fumble and along with graduated U17s player Nikita Walker who has taken over at QB, ran with Smith and broke the 50 point barrier for the Titans. The 2 point attempt was stripped and run back for another 2 points for EKP. The Titans forced another fumble, Jeorgia Woods and Chloe Moore combined on D-line to stop progress before another fumble recovery by Moran.
Zara Oram now at QB combined with Bingle who was able to run the ball safely home bringing the final score to 55-4.