The Boston Buccaneers returned to action this weekend against the experienced Derby City, suffering a 52-32 defeat.
In what’s been a recurring theme this season, the Buccaneers fielded a young squad with coach Jim Dearing handing out debuts to Curtis Key and Eddy Bateman.
The visitors started brightly, moving the ball well with their powerful forwards.
Despite some heroic defending by Sam Gray and Matt Coley, it was only a matter of time before Derby crossed the whitewash to open the scoring.
The home side’s first try involved new signing Key, who set up second row Luke Fowler, who galloped 50 metres for the score.
Veteran John Stanfield was next on the scoresheet as he tapped a kick through the Derby defence, then pounced on the ball to make the score 8-22.
On their next drive the Buccaneers scored after loose forward Steve Kippax bullied his way over from close range.
Strong tackling from captain Marc Miles and Dave Fox kept the home side in the game, but holes started to appear in the Buccaneers’ defensive line, which the more experienced visitors were only too happy to exploit.
Just before half time, Key was again involved making a break down the sideline deftly offloading to wing George Baldwin, who finished the move in the corner.
Injuries to Miles and fullback James Underwood put the Buccaneers under pressure, allowing Derby to score two quick tries.
Despite having a mountain to climb, the home side stuck to their task, explosive running from Adam Overton and Will Scupham making hard yards and keeping the momentum with the home side.
Buccaneers stalwarts Matt Bray and Stanfield combined well in midfield, feeding the ball to Key, who found fellow debutant Eddy Bateman to outpace defenders to score.
Minutes later a great probing kick from Stanfield was chased by Bray, who left Derby defenders stranded as he touched down the loose ball.
Derby never took their foot off the gas and punished Buccaneers errors, extending their lead to 52-26 with five minutes to go.
A consolation try was scored by prop Will Scupham from close range as he dived for the line.
BUCCS: Underwood, Cowern, Baldwin, Key, Fox, Scupham, Fowler, Overton, Johnson, Coley, Kippax, Cuthbertson, Bray, Miles, Balderstone, Bell, Felicio, Stanfield, Bateman, Gray.
The Buccaneers are without a match this weekend.