Dundee Hurricanes 7 @ 7 Aberdeen Roughnecks
The Aberdeen Roughnecks (1-8) and the Dundee Hurricanes (1-8) fought out a 7-7 stalemate this past Sunday in the National North Conference, as neither side could take advantage of the wet and blistery conditions at ‘The Rig’ in Aberdeen.
Both sides were looking to finish their seasons strong, as the Roughnecks were coming into the game in confident mood after their 6-3 win against the Glasgow Tigers the week previous. Meanwhile the Hurricanes were hoping to complete the double over their opponents after a 40-13 victory against Aberdeen in the reverse fixture.
In the opening exchanges, neither side made significant yardage as both offensives struggled to move the ball comfortably in the damp conditions. The defences’ in particular started the game strong as some big stops from both teams halted any offensive production.
It would be the Hurricanes who made their mark on the game first when an interception by Fraser Thomson set up Dundee in good field position, as Quarterback Adam Ingram found his Running-Back, Kieran Welsh out wide as he reeled in the pass and ran it home for a 29-yard return. Craig Simpson converted the PAT to give the Hurricanes an early 7-0 lead.
The Roughnecks quickly replied however, and after some strong running earlier in the play, Running-Back Dave Obatolu finished off his hard work by rushing in from 13 yards. Craig Philips converted the extra point for Aberdeen as they soon tied the game at 7-7, heading into the second quarter.
As the conditions worsened, the offensive production began to suffer as back-to-back interceptions firstly by the Roughnecks, Ben Filmer followed by Hurricanes, Andrew Henderson showed that the defensive side of the ball was coming out on top. Unfortunately, neither team could capitalize on the defensive plays at the score-line remained level going into half time.
In the second half, it would be Aberdeen who would take control of the game, as an interception by Ruari Collinson would give possession back to the Roughnecks with good field position. With that, the offence put together a strong drive with Quarterback, Ash Šarčivić gaining positive yards along the ground after some tough pressure from the Hurricanes Defensive-Line. After finding themselves inside the Dundee red zone on two separate occasions, Aberdeen couldn’t add points to their positive drives as two missed Field Goals kept the score level, but the Roughnecks were beginning to threaten.
Heading into the final quarter, the game began to get tense. The Hurricanes couldn’t capitalize on an interception from Bruce Thomson as resolute defending from both sides was keeping the offences at bay. It looked as though a piece of brilliance would be needed to alter the result from an inevitable tie. The Roughnecks desperately pushed forward in search of the game winning score, however after a brave Quarterback scramble that resulted in a loss of yards, the Roughnecks were left to punt on 4th down, giving one last chance for the Hurricanes to snatch victory inside the 2-minute warning.
With the last play of the game, controversy arised as the Roughnecks defence managed to strip the ball from the Dundee Running-Back, and take it back to the house for what many believed was the gaming winning score. However, the referee’s called the play back and after much deliberation, the touchdown was ruled out. Whether the player’s knee was down or there was a flag on the play, the decision remained somewhat unclear. With the final call made and no option of overtime, the match ended in way of a tie with the Roughnecks and Hurricanes battling hard for what proved to be a fair, 7-7 draw.
Both sides will now finish the season on level points, with a (1-8-1) record apiece. The Roughnecks have performed admirably in their debut year with a victory over a solid, Glasgow Tigers outfit, coupled with their strong display against the Hurricanes. Their end of season form will give them great hope for the following season.
Meanwhile, The Hurricanes may have mixed emotions on how their season panned out. They ran the Tigers and West Coast Trojans close this term, with their sole victory coming on the opening day against The Roughnecks. On another day, perhaps the Hurricanes may have been challenging closer to mid-table rather than near the bottom.
Both sides will already to be turning their attentions to next seasons campaign and if the hard-hitting display at ‘The Rig’ was anything to go by, then both teams have a bright future ahead them.