Buccs beaten, but fight to the end

Herbie Laidlaw.
Herbie Laidlaw.

Midland Premier

Leicester Storm 48

Boston Buccaneers 28

The Boston Buccaneers were defeated 48-28 by table topping Leicester Storm on Saturday.

Player unavailability and injuries were always going to make the game challenging for the Buccaneers.

Game preparation did not start well with half the team stuck in traffic and, having barely 10 minutes to warm up, the Buccaneers were understandably slow out of the blocks and found themselves six points down after only two minutes.

The Buccaneers soaked up lots of pressure from the full strength Leicester Storm side with Will Scupham, Dan Piggins and Alexandros Ioannou putting in some big shots.

The Storm defence was proving a hard nut to crack, thwarting everything that the Buccaneers threw at them.

However, some great hands by hooker Herbie Laidlaw fed Tom Andrews who, in turn, offloaded to centre Jonathan Spencer who, with his signature bursting run, charged 40 metres downfield, brushing aside defenders and scoring under the posts to bring things all square.

The next 20 minutes saw both teams frustrated by poor ball handling, penalties and big collisions.

Winger Chris Cook was unlucky not to score when the ball was stripped from his hands on the goal line.

The deadlock was finally broken when the league leaders intercepted a wild Buccaneers pass to score.

In the final five minutes the extensive bench of the Storm paid dividends with them racking up a further three tries to end the half 30-6.

Despite injuries and fatigue, the Buccaneers regrouped and began the second half by out-playing the Storm.

A trademark move straight off the training ground gifted winger Michael Baldwin his first try of the season.

With confidence improving and the penalty count reducing, the Buccaneers scored again when the league’s top try scorer Spencer bullied his way past the Storm defenders.

Full back Chris Douglas, who had been superb under the high ball all day, made the hard yards in the middle of the park together with Steve Kippax and Dan Piggins.

Centre Jamie Jenkins, who had caused the Storm defenders problems all day, made a great beak down the middle of the park only to be cut down by the full back.

The re-start saw youngster Ryan Cuthbertson power his way towards the goal line, only to be held up short.

In the final 10 minutes, Laidlaw scored as he demonstrated a typical hooker’s try, scampering over from close range.

The final try was from scrum half Tom Andrews, who showed a great turn of pace to touch down in the corner.

Man of the match was fullback Chris Douglas.

On Saturday the Buccaneers entertain Derby City at the Princess Royal Sports Arena (KO 2.30pm).

BUCCANEERS: G. Baldwin, M. Baldwin, C. Cook, N. Speight, A. Ioannou, W. Scupham, D. Piggins, S. Kippax, C. Douglas, J. Jenkins, J. Spencer, H. Laidlaw, R. Cuthbertson, T. Andrews, D. Beever.