Midland League Cup
Birmingham Bulldogs 54
Boston Buccaneers 16
The Boston Buccaneers made the long trip to Birmingham for the Midland League semi-finals on Saturday, their hopes of reaching the final dashed with a 54-16 defeat.
Due to work commitments, injuries and holidays the Buccaneers could only muster 15 players for this important post-season fixture.
Despite having good possession the lack of key players and that final touch saw the Buccaneers squander scoring opportunities.
Paul Lucas and Jack Wright were influential in keeping the Buccaneers’s drive alive but a strong and well-organised Bulldogs team kept the visitors out of the points.
As mistakes born of frustration crept into the Buccaneers’ game the Bulldogs took full advantage and were clinical in their attack.
To the Buccaneers’ credit they continued to make good yards, young Tom Balderstone playing in an unfamiliar Hooker role, distributed the ball well.
Centre Jamie Jenkins made a welcome return after injury kept the high tempo going in the middle of the field, but a resolute Bulldogs defence stood strong.
A glimmer of hope did come when Lucas smashed his way over for the Buccaneers opening score.
At half time the Buccaneers trailed 32-4.
The second half saw a rejuvenated Buccs team.
Backs John Hummel and Jaron Cowern caused the Bulldogs defence problems with their jinking runs.
Rusty Wright, in his first game, ran strong lines along with Luke Fowler and Mike Gray.
Some great handling from Brad Nixon, Steve Kippax and Wright soon put Jaron Cowern into space on the right wing , beating a defender he touched down in the corner.
Ten minutes later Cowern scored his second with a superb 70 metre effort, but despite the improved performance it was too little late.
The 54-16 scoreline demonstrates how clinical the Bulldogs were but nothing should be taken away from the commitment and passion shown by the Buccaneers.
The man of the match accolade was awarded to Jack Wright for his strong ball carrying and ferocious defending.
BUCCANEERS: Philpott, Kippax, Stanfield, Cowern, Hummel, Fox, Lucas, Balderstone, Jenkins, Wright Jnr, Wright Snr, Nixon, Fowler, Gray.