Pulling The Flag

Bulls March Forth

It was a busy weekend of flag in Scotland, and not just in the HNC North.

The all-conquering Kirkcaldy Bulls were among the teams in action as the Carnegie Steelers hosted the first ever Forth Bowl on Sunday. Carnegie’s David McColgan reports from a soggy tournament

Forth Bowl Logo

Whilst many teams were locked in a play-off battle (or engrossed in a twitter feed that would announce their passage to the play-offs or not) the newest fixture in the Flag Football calendar was getting off to a wet start.

Yes, whilst the flag football aficionados were trying to work out all possible scenarios in the HNC North, some of us took to the field in an end of season hurrah that wasn’t one bit dampened by the biblical rains that would have floated Noah’s Ark in minutes.

Carnegie American Football Club hosted the inaugural Forth Bowl with the Kirkcaldy Bulls placed firmly in the favourite’s chair. Carnegie fielded two teams: The Carnegie Steelers (fresh off their first season in BAFA competition) and their Golden Eagles squad. The Edinburgh Outlaws and new outfits Dunbeth Dragons and West Lothian Astros completed the line-up.

From the off – ignoring the weather – it was like being in Pamplona as Arnold et al plunged into any innocent bystander who was either too brave to step out the way or too dumb. In the opening games for the Bulls they faced off against the Carnegie Steelers and the West Lothian Astros. The Steelers walked off the field on the wrong end of 51-6 scoreline and the Astros fell to a 55-2 defeat.

Forth Bowl grant

With the finalist from Conference One decided, the Steelers faced the Astros for the privilege to appear in the 3rd/4th place final. The Steelers would be the team that came out on top, with a 20-6 victory sending them in to the 3rd final and the Astros to the 5th/6th clash.

Over in Conference Two, things were a bit less predictable. The Carnegie Golden Eagles took on new outfit Dunbeth Dragons and quickly set about establishing a strong lead, finishing 59-12 winners.

The Golden Eagles might have been victims of playing first as the Outlaws had a target to hit, and duly did that by recording a 78-6 victory over Dunbeth.

Game three was “win and you’re through” and the tension was evident. Both teams poked and prodded but struggled for a break through. Eventually the deadlock was broken but both teams made sure to keep in touch.

In the dying minutes of the game the Golden Eagles held an 8 point lead. However the Outlaws – only needing a draw to progress – had other plans. After an impressive drive forward they scored, and on the ensuing two point conversion sealed the draw at 21-21. It was the second time in a week Carnegie had drawn with the Outlaws, following a 19-19 draw that ended the BAFA season for both teams.

The result sent the Outlaws through to face the Bulls and set up an all-Carnegie affair in the 3rd place play-off.

In the 5th/6th place final, the Astros and the Dragons played out a game of two halves. The Astros stormed to a 38-0 half-time lead as they sought to record their first competitive victory. However, the second half saw the Dragons come back. After holding the Astros to only 6 points in the second half, they recorded 18 of their own – but it wasn’t enough to overhaul the Astros impressive first half showing.

The 3rd/4th place final saw the Carnegie Steelers play their club counterparts the Carnegie Golden Eagles. It was the Golden Eagles that got off to the better start, leading 14-13 at half-time. However, the Steelers came out the traps sprinting in the second half and recorded 19 unanswered points to secure 3rd place with a 32-14 victory.

Forth Bowl Jules

And so to the final. Well, we all know how it ends.

We’d all love to read that it was somehow different but in the end the Bulls were the far superior team, winning 59-6. However the victory wasn’t all plain-sailing, as Edinburgh’s only score came on a pick six from QB Neil Arnold.

The Forth Bowl was the first tournament that Carnegie American Football Club have held in their first year in existence. All the teams played in good spirits and more importantly left the day achieving their personal goals.

David McColgan, General Manager of Carnegie American Football Club said, “Today was a great day for Flag Football in Dunfermline and Scotland as a whole. To host this tournament and have 6 teams involved is great for our club and our teams but also great for the sport in Scotland.

“Following the success of 2014 we will be looking to build on this and deliver a bigger and better tournament in 2015.”

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