Buffaloes broadside sinks Scarborough Pirates.
Andy & Devon Johnson
On a sweltering afternoon, the Buffaloes coaching staff made several changes to ensure that every squad member had the opportunity to play before the upcoming cup semi-final in two weeks. Despite this, the selected 20 players appeared to be an incredibly strong side on paper.
The return of crowd favourite Keiran Hudson to the Buffaloes lineup proved fruitful, as he wasted no time in scoring his first try of the season in the 5th minute. The try materialised after a powerful break by Lochlan McGill, who had an outstanding first half, breached the Pirate’s defence. With a pass delivered to Keiran just 10 meters from the try line, he gracefully swept in to score on the right wing. Unfortunately, the conversion attempt missed its mark, leaving the score at Buffaloes 4 – 0.
Ten minutes later, Lewis Gaunt capitalised on a superb pass, evading the rooted Scarborough defence and sprinting 20 meters to score the second try. The conversion also missed its mark, resulting in a Buffaloes 8 – 0 score.
In the 12th minute, the Buffaloes swiftly added to their tally as they launched a strong offensive from their own half. Sam Neave found himself in the right position to receive the ball and dashed past the despairing Scarborough cover tacklers to secure another try. Martin Loveridge successfully converted the kick, increasing the score to Buffaloes 14 – 0.
Jamie Donnelly joined the scoring spree in the 19th minute, delivering back-to-back tries. He embarked on a 20-metre run for the first score, leaving his opposing winger in his wake as he reached the posts. Martin Loveridge successfully converted the kick. Ten minutes later, Jamie repeated his feat, benefiting from some splendid cross-field passing by the Buffaloes. However, the conversion attempt missed this time, leaving the score at Buffaloes 24 – 0.
In a turn of events in the 35th minute, Scarborough managed to breach the Buffaloes’ half for the first time in the match. The sequence began with the Buffaloes’ attempt to run the ball towards halfway when, in the eyes of the referee, Bailey Harmon was deemed to have held down his opponent for too long during the first tackle. As a result, the referee awarded a penalty and, to add insult to injury showed him a yellow card. The Pirates capitalised on their stroke of luck and scored their first try beneath the posts. The score now stood at Buffaloes 24 – 6.
Normal service was resumed shortly afterwards, and the Buffaloes regained their dominance when Mickey Wright embarked on a powerful run, bulldozing his way over the try line in the 39th minute. Martin Loveridge successfully converted the kick, extending the score to Buffaloes 30 – 6.
Before the Pirates could catch their breath, Dan Booth exploited some open space on the left-hand side, darting in for the Buffaloes’ seventh try of the half. However, the conversion attempt missed its mark, resulting in a score of Buffaloes 34 – 6.
Half-time Buffaloes 34 – 6
The second half unfolded much like the first as the Buffaloes continued their relentless scoring spree. Keiran Hudson crossed the try line for the second time in the 48th minute, marking the Buffaloes’ eighth try. It came about after an intricate run by centre Sam Neave, who cleverly passed the ball to Kez, allowing him to sprint in from 20 meters. Martin Loveridge confidently added the conversion, resulting in a score of Buffaloes 40 – 6.
Try number nine swiftly followed in the 52nd minute when Dan Booth notched his second try of the day. Displaying his sheer strength, Dan proved too formidable for the would-be Pirate tacklers, surging through to score an unconverted try. The scoreline now stood at 44 – 6.
In the 56th minute, the Buffaloes reached a half-century with their tenth try, courtesy of Sam Neave. Following a high last tackle kick, the ball eluded the Pirates’ defender, bouncing into Sam’s waiting hands. He swiftly manoeuvred past the Pirates’ defence, touching down under the posts. Martin Loveridge converted the try, bringing the score to Buffaloes 50 – 6.
Try number 11, followed shortly afterwards in the 60th minute. Bryn Perrott found himself with the ball in hand 15 metres out and shot through the Pirates tacklers to score. Martin Loveridge successfully converted the kick, extending the score to Buffaloes 56 – 6.
It appeared that Brad Wilson would secure try number 12 as he outmanoeuvred the Pirates’ defence and ran without a player in reach to touch down under the posts. However, the referee spotted that his foot had gone over the dead ball line, resulting in the score being disallowed – not something he will live down anytime soon.
Like the first half, the Pirates breached the Buffaloes’ half for the second time in the match. Dylan Mann carried the ball out strongly but was tackled by two Pirates’ forwards. There was some interference as he rose to play the ball, but the referee deemed that Jamie had attempted to headbutt the other player and sent him to the sin bin. The Pirates once again capitalised on the numerical advantage, scoring their second converted try. The score now reads Buffaloes 56 – 12.
This jolted the Buffaloes into action once more to score their 12th try through the powerful running of forward Billy Butterworth, who supported a decisive break by Cameron McLachlan. Martin Loveridge successfully converted the try, bringing the score to Buffaloes 62 – 12.
In the 80th minute, the Buffaloes secured their final try, the 13th of the match. This time, Cameron McLachlan noticed that the Pirates’ defence had relaxed early, seizing the opportunity to burst through from 30 meters out and touch down under the posts. Martin Loveridge converted the try, resulting in a score of Buffaloes 68 – 12.
The Buffaloes scored 34 points in each half, mirroring their previous encounter against the Pirates in the cup game on April 1st. The tired Pirates succinctly summarised the game with their post-match comment: “It was like chasing whippets all afternoon.”
Full-time Buffaloes 68 – 12.
Buffaloes: 1) Kieran Foster-Matthews, 2) Jamie Donnelly, 3) Daniel Booth, 4) Sam Neave, 5) Kieran Hudson, 6) Martin Loveridge, 7) Kieran McFarlane, 8) Tom Langton, 9) Bradley Wilson, 10) Cameron McLachlan, 11) Bailey Harmon, 12) Lewis Gaunt, 13) Lochlan McGill, Subs (all used); 14) Jack Boot, 15) Mikey Wright, 16) Lewis Johnson, 17) Bryn Perrott, 18) Billy Butterworth, 19) Ethan McFarlane, 20) Dylan Mann
Tries: Kieran Hudson (5, 48), Lewis Gaunt (10), Sam Neave (12, 56), Jamie Donnelly (19, 30), Mikey Wright (39), Daniel Booth (40, 52 ), Bryn Perrott (60), Billy Butterworth (65), Cameron McLachlan (80)
Goals: Martin Loveridge x 5, Mikey Wright x 3