Bucs U17 Flag make National Finals !

Posted by Keith Schofield on 12 July 2018

The Chorley Buccaneers U17 Flag team headed into their final regular season tournament still in the hunt for a National Finals place, but they needed to win at least 2 of the 3 games they had on the day and also hope for other results to go their way. The league scheduling hadn't helped them either, with confirmation that they would not be playing the league's bottom team on the day, meaning the Bucs strength of schedule over the season was the most difficult of all the competing teams.

They got a boost before the tournament with news that the Etone Jaguars had forfeited their game against the Bucs, giving the Chorley team a 1-0 victory, leaving just 2 games to play on the day with one more win needed.

U17 Flag

The Bucs first game was a tough one against the nation's #1 ranked U17 Flag squad, the Leicester Huntsmen. The two teams had squared off previously throughout the year with Leicester winning each time. The Chorley squad showed how much they had improved throughout the season by taking a 9-0 half time lead against the clearly shocked Leicester players and coaches. Unfortunately for the Bucs they just couldn't hold on to the lead, and despite battling hard and creating a couple more chances late in the game they eventually slipped to a 13-9 defeat.

U17 Flag team b

That left just one regular season game left, a winner-take-all affair between the Bucs and the Coventry Cougars, the victors would take the last spot at National Finals and the losers would leave empty handed with their season finished. The Bucs showed no nerves, started strongly on both sides of the ball, completely shut down the Coventry offense whilst scoring freely themselves. The final score was 32-0 to the Chorley Buccaneers, completing their regular season with a record of 5-7 and a spot in September's National Finals secured.

U17 Flag team c

Head Coach Keith Schofield said afterwards, 'The improvement from the squad throughout the year has been tremendous, going from a disappointing opening day loss against a team that eventually missed out on a Finals spot to giving one of the nation's top teams a huge scare by the end of the regular season. This Bucs squad is very young, mostly inexperienced, contains lots of recent U12s or rookie players, with two young coordinator/coaches. It's been a great effort from the whole group to become competitive with the best teams in the country but we have a lot of improving still to do if we want to win games at the Finals.' 



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