Midlands Rugby League
Nottingham Outlaws 22
Boston Buccaneers 22
The Boston Buccaneers fought back from 22-0 down to secure a draw against the Nottingham Outlaws on Saturday.
Coach Jim Dearing did not have the best start to his match preparations with nine first-team players unavailable through injury or other commitments.
Debuts were given to George Stainfield, Nate Stainfield and Mike Duggan.
The game also saw the welcome return of ex-Sleaford Spartan hooker Ian Walker.
The Outlaws began well, using the quick ball to great effect and catching out the Buccaneers defenders, soon registering the first points.
Despite some great defending from winger John Hummel and prop Paul Lucas, the Outlaws were clinical in their attacks, racking up 18 unanswered points.
In a true game of two halves, the Buccaneers started the second half more strongly.
Loose forward Lewis Wilson, who had been causing problems for the Outlaws all game, seized on a pass from scrum half Brad Nixon to smash his way over the line for the side’s first score.
Barely five minutes later, debutant fullback George Stainfield weaved his way through the defenders to score under the posts.
It was all one-way traffic now with prop Diogo Felicio and centre Liam Croker making the hard yards and hooker Walker distributing the ball well to stand off Mike Gray.
Not to be outdone by his brother George, Nate Stainfield was next on the scoreboard as he outpaced defenders for a great 30 metre individual effort.
Tom Balderson kicked the extra points.
Everything seemed to be going the Buccaneers’ way and, with the help of a few penalties, they soon found themselves deep in Outlaws territory.
A superb passage of play involving all the backs ended with Wilson finishing well under the posts.
Balderson slotted the kick between the posts to bring the game all square at 22-22.
With both teams desperate for the win, mistakes started to creep in with neither team able to make much yardage.
With five minutes left on the clock the Outlaws were camped on the Buccaneers’s 10 metre line.
The visitors’ defence refused to be breached as they repulsed wave after wave of attacks.
The game looked set to end as a draw until a last-second penalty was awarded to the Outlaws in font of the posts.
Up stepped the Outlaws kicker, only to push the ball wide of the upright.
The Buccaneers can be proud of how, as a scratch team, they overcame a large deficit to record a superb draw.
The Buccaneers man of the match was Lewis Wilson.
The Buccaneers return to action on June 30, travelling to face Sherwood Wolfhunt (KO 2.30pm).
BUCCANEERS: Wellington, Hummel, Fox, Croker, G. Stainfield, Gray, Nixon, Coley, Walker, Lucas, Kippax, Overton, Wilson, Balderson, Duggan, N. Stainfield, Philpott, Felicio, Cuthbertson.