It was the dawn of a new era for Flag Football in Renfrewshire today, as the rebranded Raptors made their debut with a gameday at Renfrew Leisure Centre.
Just six months ago, the once-Spartans struggled to muster a team for a league trip to Aberdeen. But the hard work behind the scenes since was rewarded with a 17+ strong squad, boasting a number of new and exciting players, pulling on the club’s new kits for clashes against the Midlothian Sabers - Flag American Football Team and the Glasgow Hornets (Killerbees).
A 12-16 defeat to the Sabers in the opening match-up was as close as the scoreline suggests, a second half resurgence by the Raptors was ultimately quelled by the limited remaining time of the 30min game clock. A close scoreline with touchdowns for debutant Greg Dalglish and the more familiar face of big Jiggy. The latter’s outrageous touchdown, while making a rare appearance on offense, was the team highlight, while a number of the Raptors’ new players impressed during their first outing of competitive action on both sides of the ball.
Meanwhile, quarterbacks Ben Wilson and Jason Dale also bagged a TD pass apiece, while defense chipped in with three interceptions, coming from Dalglish, fellow new-boy Paul Johnstone and last season’s safety Craig Ritchie.
The second game of the day against the Killerbees may have boasted a more lopsided scoreline of 33-6 to the visitors, but another stunning Jiggy touchdown from a laser-like Wilson pass has surely given Coach a headache ahead of Iron Man next week.
All in all, today simply marked another step in the journey of the Raptors despite results not going our way. But more importantly debuts for Ben Wilson, Greg Dalglish, Alan Miller, Paul Johnstone, Fraser Hillhouse, Adam Hyslop, Jordan Larkin, Steven McGoldrick, Ross Lawtie and Stewart Fleming are testament to just how far the club has come. We are keen to see this team develop ahead of our HNC Div One campaign.
Our thanks go to the Sabers and Killerbees for playing their part in an enjoyable afternoon of football, while we would like to also thank photographer Allan Picken for coming down and grabbing some great action shots of the team against the Sabers and pre-game (📸Credit: Allan Picken Photography)