Highland Bowl I – Sponsored by The Carpet Emporium and PJC Entertainment
Culloden Academy Raptors 20-26 Millburn Academy Eagles
Saturday 15th March 2014
Officials: Edan Gardner (Referee), Daniel Woodley (Back Judge), David Smith (Field Judge), Tom Green (Line Judge)
Millburn Academy Eagles Scorers:
Ally Gibson (x2)
Culloden Academy Raptors Scorers:
Last Saturday the Millburn Academy Eagles took to the field against the undefeated Culloden Academy Raptors in the inaugural Highland Bowl hosted at Bught Park. From a neutral’s perspective it was the close final that the HACL deserved. The Millburn Academy Eagles managed to overcome the Raptors and won the match 26-20 to make them the first ever Highland Bowl champions.
The Eagles opened the scoring early on in the half when Alasdair Howie received a well-timed pass from the Eagles quarterback Haris Ryalls to open the scoring. Millburn then elected to go for the two point conversion and Fergus Mackenzie managed to successfully convert it to put the score at 8-0 to the Eagles.
It was clear after this that Millburn had the momentum in the game and followed up this score with a second touchdown which was scored by Ally Gibson as the result of a well-timed pass from Ryalls. Although it wasn’t converted, it left the score at 14-0.
It didn’t take long for the Raptors to get back into the mix as Seumas Ross scored a touchdown to keep the Raptors dreams of a perfect season alive.
The Eagles scored a further two touchdowns in the game from a superb rushing play from Fergus MacKenzie and then – on the following drive – a pass to Gibson gave him his second touchdown of the game. This gave quarterback Haris Ryalls three passing touchdowns for the game which in the end made the difference.
Culloden kept the Eagles on their toes during the second half as well and managed to score two more touchdowns for the cause. One of them was scored by James Stewart and the second one was scored by Cameron Robertson.
In the end though this wasn’t enough to take the Highland Bowl title but the Raptors had a sensational regular season campaign.
James Hudson, Head Coach of the Millburn Academy Eagles described his team’s mentality going into the Highland Bowl and said that, “We went into the game knowing we were going to win.”
League Coordinator, Robbie Paulin said, “I’m really pleased with how the day went! There was lots of support from the players’ families and the volunteers did a fantastic job – as in all the other weeks too. The Eagles played brilliantly on the day and were clearly prepared to take on the Raptors. I think we have to recognise Culloden’s achievement in the regular season though; going unbeaten and just losing out in the final.
“The league was such a high standard and now I can’t wait to see how this translates over to the Youth Highland Wildcats in the National League.”
Article by Tom Green