Buccaneers claim National crown
The Chorley Buccaneers Under-13s Red Beards squad have been crowned national champions after winning the title at the Brit Bowl in Sheffield.
The team beat London Blitz 14-12 in a thrilling final after three wins in the group stage.
Bucs, who were ranked the No.1 team nationally ahead of the tournament, fought off competition from Waveney Wolves, Leicester Huntsmen and the London Blitz to bring the title back to Lancashire for the second time in three years.
The day consisted of group stage matches where all teams played each other, with the top two then playing again for the national title, and the Bucs won every game on the day.
The final was a rematch of last year’s controversial final, when an age-range misunderstanding meant that London were allowed to play with players older than all other teams, including Chorley.
Tensions were high on the Chorley sidelines, but on the field the Bucs players were cool and relaxed.
Quarter-back Harry Coyne continued the excellent form he had shown in the group stage, orchestrating two first-half drives which both resulting in long touchdown passes, the first caught by Joe Heeley, and Daniel Schofield catching the second.
The second half was a similar story of methodical ball control on offense from the Buccaneers.
They were able to pick the London defence apart keeping their offense on the field and in doing so preventing London from scoring.
A long touchdown catch for London brought the blitz within two points but, as the clock counted down, Chorley withheld a series of aerial attacks.
With just five seconds left, a London receiver went out of bounds after catching a good pass, sealing the win for the Bucs.
This is the second national title the Buccaneers have won at the Under-13s age group and the team were ecstatic with the victory.
Head coach Keith Schofield said: “We’re all just really pleased for the players and happy they could demonstrate the level they are capable of playing to.
“They’re a great bunch of friends, whether they win or lose, and I’m proud of every single one of them.”
The Chorley Buccaneers Under-17s also played at the Brit Bowl Championship which guaranteed them a top-four ranking in the country for 2016.
They were at a significant disadvantage when it came to age, height and size against all three of their opponents, but performed magnificently, keeping all three games close and proving to be very competitive.
The Buccaneers field mixed teams at Under-13s, Under-17s, and Under-19s, with a ladies open age group team
They are always welcoming to new players and will be running rookie camps for new players in January 2017.
Anyone interested in being the next national champion Buccaneer should contact [email protected]