The Buccaneers 2012 kitted team faced their first taste of action on Saturday 7th April as they hosted the Standish Raiders in two friendly games. This was going to be a big test for the Bucs who had only five players remaining from the 2011 team as the rest graduated up to the Lancashire Wolverine Colts and the added blow that captain and veteran running back Avais Shah was out injured.
It would be the Raiders to start off with the ball in first game and a fumbled snap left the Raiders taking second down their own one yard line, with the next snap strayed over the Quarterbacks head and bounced out of the back of the endzone to give the Bucs a 2 - 0 lead. As the Bucs offense took the field they managed to drive down field but fell short of scoring and so the Raiders regained possession. The Raiders still to shake of their nerves on offense retook to the field but were faced with the same problems as strong play from Buccaneer Lee Blundell forced the Quarterback to fumbled and then pounced the loose ball in the endzone to give the Bucs an 8 - 0 lead. The Raiders once again on offense continued in their nervy form and third fumbled exchange in the backfield saw Buccaneers captain Alan Barrow scoop on the ball to give increase the lead to 14 - 0 with Bucs once again unable to get the extra point conversion.
As the Raiders came out again they knew they had to get their act together and they did just that with Quarterback Aiden Hill connecting with Receiver Andy Van Biljon for a full length touchdown to show that they Raiders weren't going to give the Bucs an easy ride. The Raiders went for a two point conversion but were unsuccessful making the scoreline 14 - 6. As the Bucs took to the field on offense it looked like it was their turn to make mistakes as on third down a fumbled snap saw the Raiders defense recover the ball and possession in the Buccaneers half of the field, but the Raiders were faced with a strong defense and couldn't produce anything from their possession.
The Bucs wasted no time with their next possession with Quarterback Arron Taylor passing to running back Rocky Widdowson over the entire Raiders defense with Widdowson then out pacing them to the endzone to give their Bucs offense their first touchdown of the day. Taylor then added the one point conversion with a pass to rookie Receiver Jason Hoyle giving the Bucs a 21 - 6 lead. As the Raiders took the field they looked to go back to their passing game but an interception from Hoyle soon stopped that and returned it all the way for a touchdown but a Buccaneers block in the back brought the touchdown back. The Bucs drove down to the two yard line and then it was time for Bucs Captain Sam Thompson to get involved as he scored on a reception but this time it was Rookie QB Kit Varney who produced the pass. Varney then connected with Captain Brendan Berry for the one point conversion taking the score to the 28 - 6. As the two teams traded possessions, it was the Bucs who were to strike again with a full length pass from Varney to Hoyle leaving the score at 34 - 6 at half time.
As the second half began it was the Bucs to start off with the ball and running back Berry wasted no time as he broke several tackles and ran the full length of the field to give the Bucs a 40 - 6 lead as the extra point conversion was unsuccessful. The Raiders took the field on offense but it seemed to be the Brendan Berry show as some great coverage lead to a one handed interception which he then returned to the endzone to give increase the lead to 46 - 6 for the Bucs. As the two teams traded drives it was the Raiders turn to pull out a highlight play, with Receiver Andy Van Biljon making a superb one handed catch and then ran the rest of the way to take the score to 46 - 12.
The game saw no more touchdowns but did see some fantastic football with the only other points coming for the Raiders when Buccaneer Jason Hoyle, made an interception and upon trying to make a productive run went backwards and got tackled in the endzone to make it a safety leaving the full time score at 46 - 14.
The second game got underway and once again it was the Raiders that started with possession but a strong Bucs defense saw them barely move the ball and so the Bucs took possession from their own five yard line and drove downfield well with Berry getting the first points of the game with a fifteen yard run to give the Bucs a 6 - 0. As the Raiders took the ball they once again struggled to move the ball and handed the ball back to the Bucs offense, and it took only one play for them to take advantage as full length pass from Varney to Hoyle for a touchdown and then Varney connecting with Berry for the extra one point made it 13 - 0.
The Raiders were next to put points on the board with a pass from Hill to Matthew Swift taking the score to 13 - 6. The game then saw both teams defense stand strong and no team could get anything going until a strong tackle from Buccaneer produced a fumble which led to Berry scooping it up and running it in for the score taking the score to 19 - 6. As halftime drew closer the Bucs struck one time with QB Varney once again connecting with Hoyle to take the score to 25 - 6 at the half.
The second half started with the Bucs in possession and they drove downfield superbly with strong running from Rookies Derry Holt and Alex Garcia, however it was Alan Barrow that produced the next points with a six yard run for a touchdown making it 31 - 6 with conversion being no good. The Raiders then took the field on offense and on trying a reverse, a thunderous hit from Berry saw the ball come loose and as every player tried to pounce on it in the endzone it was that man Berry that grabbed it to get another score for the Bucs taking it 37 - 6.
The Raiders still unable to move the ball productively as the Bucs defense stepped it up another level and swarmed to every play and once again gave the Bucs possession. A pass from Taylor to Blundell for the Bucs saw the Raiders strip it and give their offense the ball with just four yards to go and a short pass from Hill to Van Biljon gave the Raiders a second score for the game and then the same two added the two points to take the score to 37 - 14. The Bucs regained possession and drove down field well both through the air and on the ground, it was then time for Rookie work-horse Derry Holt to get his first points for the Kitted team as he ran in from seven yards carrying two defenders with him to take the score to 43 - 14.
As the game started to draw to a close the Raiders couldn't get anything going against a tough Bucs defense and it was the Bucs who took the last possession with just eight seconds left. QB Taylor passed to Hoyle with a fantastic thirty yard pass but the Raiders managed to tackle Hoyle at the two yard line to stop the score and also end the game giving the Bucs a 43 - 14 victory.
After the games Bucs Head Coach Ian Nicolson said "It was a fantastic team display in both games and we produced some fantastic football with everyone player doing their part. It's clear from today that we still have things to work on though before our first league tournament and I'm looking forward to training next week." He then added "We'd like to thank the Raiders for coming to us today and showing great sportsmanship throughout both games and I hope that they took as much out of the games as we have."
The Buccaneers now have three weeks till their first league tournament in Birmingham and if you're 14 - 16 and would like to get involved with the Bucs kitted team then you can email