Croker inspires the Buccaneers to a semi-final place

Liam Croker.
Liam Croker.

Midlands Division One

NEW Ravens 30

Boston Buccaneers 62

The Boston Buccaneers booked their place in the Midlands Division One semi-finals with an emphatic 62-30 win on the road against NEW Ravens.

In a change to the advertised fixture, the Boston outfit made the 250-mile round trip to Worcestershire knowing a win could put them in a play-off spot.

The Buccs, captained by Will Scupham, welcomed back Tom Andrews and Dan Piggins.

Receiving the kick off, the visitors played with speed, power and skill.

Hooker and man of the match Liam Croker directed the action with the halfback combination of Will Gray and Matt Bray tearing the Ravens defence apart.

It wasn’t long before the Buccaneers crossed for the opening score as Croker crashed over.

The forwards were involved in the Buccaneers’ next try with Scupham and Matt Coley punching holes in the Ravens line and making the hard yards.

The ball came out to Bray, who superbly flicked a chicken wing out to fellow halfback Gray to score.

Seemingly being able to score at will, the Buccaneers marched down field and, through slick passing and superb support play, Croker was again on the finishing end of his second try of the day.

A rare slip in concentration handed possession to the Ravens, who were only prevented from scoring by the sure tackling of Steve Kippax and Dean Harmston.

However, after a series of penalties, the Ravens crossed for their first score.

The resulting kick off saw the Ravens move down field only to kick away possession.

The loose ball was scooped up by centre Jaron Cowern on his own 10-metre line, and he then rampaged his way through the Ravens defenders, leaving them in his wake as he raced 80 yards for a superb individual try.

The final try of the half came from a cheeky offload by Andrews, gratefully received by Scupham, who raced the remaining 50 metres.

The second half saw Andrews was again involved in the next try as he offloaded to young Tom Balderstone, who dabbed down in the corner.

From the re-start, Cowern scored his second try as he tied the Ravens defenders in knots as they tried in vain to tackle him.

To their credit, the Ravens never gave up and made the most of rare Buccaneers handling errors, scoring two tries.

However, the visitors soon scored again through winger George Baldwin as he neatly stepped his way past defenders for the score.

With 10 minutes to go the Buccaneers pressed home their advantage, scoring three more tries - the first by Gray, ducking and diving his way over the line.

The final two tries were both long-range efforts.

The first wass an 80-metre gallop by Croker, the second by Balderstone from halfway.

The conversion from scrum half Bray brought his personal tally to an impressive 18 points with the boot.

BUCCS: Scupham, Gray, L. Croker, Baldwin, Andrews, Bray, Kippax, Harmston, Coley, Stevens, Cowern, Brogan, Balderstone, Piggins, Fox, M. Croker.