The Boston Buccaneers ended their inaugural season in the Midlands Premier League with a heartbreaking golden point defeat in the Plate final.
After finishing tied at 28-28 with Sherwood Wolfhunt, it was the hosts who snatched victory from a penalty to secure a 30-28 score.
Fielding a young and under-strength squad, the Boston team, who established their position in the league through grit and determination, arrived full of professionalism, team spirit and motivation.
The game started brightly for Boston when stand off John Stanfield found a gap in the defence and scored the opening points for the Buccaneers.
Coach Mark Bean’s squad kept calm despite the bullying tactics from the opposition and the pack, under the direction of hooker John Stanfield snr, moved the ball around the park to set up forwards Sam Johnson and captain Craig Dowse.
After just 15 minutes Dowse was forced to leave the field after suffering an ankle injury.
The introduction of impact player Will Scupham saw his scything and decisive runs bring a new intensity to the game plan.
Despite the Wolfhunt levelling the scores, the Buccaneers’ back line linked up well to send James Andrews over the whitewash to regain the lead.
However, by the interval the hosts were leading 16-10.
Barely three minutes into the second half, Boston scored through Stanfield snr, followed by another score when the Andrews brothers forced an error on their opposite number.
They capitalised on the loose ball and found half-back Cory Stobart, who darted under the posts for four points.
Speed demons George Baldwin and Jaron Cowern, normally at home on the wing, came to the support of the pack and, together with Dan Piggins, continued the forward running.
Half backs Stanfield and Cory Stobart upset the opposition defence through their mazy runs, putting fellow backs Cowern and Luke Exelby through to further upset the defence.
The Buccaneers demonstrated true grit and determination and lead 28-22 with 20 minutes left following a typical sprint finish from Cowern.
Constant pressure from the Wolfhunt eventually resulted in them levelling the scores at 28-28, forcing the game into golden point.
The Buccaneers aimed for the posts in a bid to set the half backs up for a one pointer in front of the sticks.
But the pressure and intensity of the game saw the ball swap sides.
This gave the opposition the offer of a penalty in front of the Buccaneers’ posts.
A devastated Boston team could only look on as the kick secured the cup for the Wolfhunt.