Monthly Archives: July 2013

Rampant Royals put last weeks horror show behind them.

A rampant Royals display put the memory of last weeks horror performance to bed with a 22-6 revenge win of the Wildcats.

With three changes to this weeks line-up the Royals went into the game knowing a win will almost certainly guarantee division 1 ball next season.

Unlike last week, the Royals needed a fast start and while lead off Chris Fletcher was unlikely to see his drive snagged by the pitcher, 3 of the next 7 batters scored to equally last weeks total. Although this looked a poor return as the Wildcats batted around to score 5 and take a 2 run lead.

The Royals then took control of the game. An excellent 2nd inning saw the Royals send 14 batters to the plate and score 9 runs. The Royals defence then followed up with three consecutive shut out innings for the Wildcats, which included a stunning tag out at 3rd by Dallas Huntley.

Wildcats failure to score in the middle three innings of the game allowed the Royals to build on their 7 run lead, by adding 10 more runs over the next three innings themselves, with some impressive hitting from Ellie Wheeler and Heather Williams, both hitting massive 3 base hits, and Brian Moores with four of the Royals 9 doubles on the night.

A small rally in the bottom of the 5th added 1 run to, but was not enough for the Wildcats to keep the game going and the Royals had exacted a mercy rule revenge for the previous weeks results.

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Rebels leave it late,again, against Scorchers

This is going to sound very familiar to the last Rebels report. A similar story of leaving it late to take the points. This time the hero was a different player, but the outcome was the same.

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The unfortunate recipients of the late Rebels rally this week were the Bracknell Scorchers. The Scorchers had inflicted the Rebels first defeat of the season when they meet in May, so not only where the Rebels seeking revenge for that defeat, but the Scorchers were also the team one place above them in the table.

The game started as many Rebels games do, getting two outs without conceding a run, then letting the opposition in. This time they allowed 2 Scorcher runs, but responded quickly with 3 runs of their own thanks to hits from Naj Khan, Gemma Jones, Joe White and Gary Green. The second inning saw the Scorchers hit back with two more runs to take a 4-3 lead as they blanked the Rebels.

That Rebel out then began a sequence of 3 scoreless innings from both teams. A combination of indifferent batting and excellent fielding that included a double play between Chris Fletcher and Gemma Jones and a great line drive catch by Charlotte Trimby.

As with the Ascot game, the drama started in the 6th. Finally a team managed to score, with the Scorchers adding to their 1 run lead. This mean the Rebels had to hit back quick, which they did by repeating the 3 run sequence they managed back in the first. Going into the 7th they had a slender 1 run lead, which the Scorchers erased to tie the score and keep the game going. That run ensure the Rebels would avoid a league double by the Scorchers, but they wanted more. The inning started well, with Ellie Wheeler reaching first base, in part thanks to an errant throw, but the Rebels had a base runner. Now could Paul Roche, (pictured above) drive in the winning run? His triple down the left field line allowed a quick Ellie Wheeler to make the long run from first to score the required run and seal a dramatic victory.

The Rebels win allowed them to close the gap on the Scorchers to 3 points, with a game in hand, without change their respective league positions.

Wildcats profit from Royals horror show

The Royals fell to a heavy defeat at the hands of the Wildcats. The 18-3 lose was as much due to a horror show performance by the Royals as a solid performance by the Cats. Conceding 11 runs in the first innings effectively put the game out the Royals reach before they even batted. The night was a catalogue of dropped catches, overthrows, lack of concentration, poor base running and poor batting.

All credit goes to the Wildcats for taking full advantage of the many fielding errors the Royals made and then backed it up with some excellent fielding of their own. It’s hard to see why the Cats are bottom of the league on this showing.

The Wildcats do seem to have the Royals number. This was the 4th time the teams have meet this season in League or Tournament play and the Cats have now won all 4.

The only positive from the evening was that by a quirk of scheduling the Royals play the Wildcats in the next game.

Rebels leave it late against Blue Jays

The Rebels left it late against 9 man Blue Jays, but a 3 run blast in the bottom of the sixth from Chris Fletcher was enough to secure an win 11-8.

Another hot, dry evening in Maidenhead welcomed the Ascot Blue Jays to town. They didn’t stay long as this one was all over inside 75 minute as defence mastered offense in a low scoring game. 9 man Ascot set of determined to leave town with 3 points, and for 5 innings they held the Rebels and the lead.

Chris Fletche's 3 run blast sinks Blue JaysThe Rebels couldn’t find their bats and gave Ascot chance after chance to land the killer inning that would finish this one off. However, they couldn’t get that one hit that would bust open the game.

Ascot took the lead in the first, 3-2 and looked to have the measure of the Rebels offense. Neither team was able to score more than one in the next 3 innings, leaving the game balanced. A 3 run 5th inning looked to have been the moment, but it was then the Rebels found a way to score, a 4 run 5th put the Rebels noses front, but the Blues Jays pulled level in the 6th, before Chris Fletcher’s 3 run home run finally sealed the game and a first league double of the season.

While the result keeps the Rebels 6th and the Blue Jays 5th it probably ends either teams title ambitions.

Royals edge Flames in another last inning thriller

For the third time this season the Royals pulled off another dramatic last minute result. This time the unlucky recipients where the Chalfont Flames, who have every right to wonder how they didn’t come away from this game with three points.

With both teams sitting mid-table, Royals 5th Flames 6th at the start of the day, a win was essential to keep any hopes of a late title push alive for either team. That and the heat made for a nervy affair, batting was at a premium and the defences were definitely in a hurry to get off the field as quick as possible to try and stay cool.

It was Flames who took the early imitative scoring three runs in the first inning. An inning notable for two incidents. A Royals double-play executed with only 9 players as Heather Williams was off the field receiving treatment for injury sustained when she as hit on the ankle form a errant throw and a towering hit to left field by Flames Helen Brown. With that and the player advantage, Flames will think they should have made more of this opportunity, but they maintained a 1 run lead as the Royals failed to convert all the base runners in their first at bat.

Leaving runners stranded was the theme of the evening for the Royals who failed to score in 2 of the first 4 innings. During this time the Flames had extended their lead from 1 run to 3. Although in the backs of their mind must have been the knowledge that their first team lost a 13 run lead to the Royals two weeks ago and 3 was not a safe margin.

With four very hot innings in the book, the game moved into the business end. Flames scored two in the 5th to extend their lead to 5 runs, but the Royals top order responded with 3 to cut the lead going into the 6th to just 2 runs.

Neither team troubled the scorer in the 6th to set up the dramatic finale. 7th innings saw Flames add 2 to stretch their lead the biggest margin all night. Could the Royals respond. Dallas Huntley lead off with a ground ball to the Flames Shortstop, their throw was off mark to give the Royals a base runner. A Steve James double and a walk by Anna Lisney loaded the bases for Mark Carter. His single drove in two to halve the lead. Cyndi Appleton came to the plate as the tying run, she hit into a fielders choice to leave the Royals 1 down, 1 on and the winning run at the player. Alan Le Marquand, who’s two run home run had snatched victory from Chalfont Phoenix two weeks earlier, was next up. Could history repeat itself? This time no, a double put the tying run on third and winning run on second. Heather Williams now had the chance to win it. The tension was high and rose further as Heather flied out. 2 down, 2 on, 2 to win. It fell to Martin Bitmead, with the game on the line. Could this be any more dramatic? it could, Martin grounded to second, the game was the Flames for the taking, but the throw to 1st was wild and high. The two base award pushed the winning run on 2nd home and the most dramatic of games was over.

You have to have sympathy for the Flames and their second baseman. They lead the game right up to the last batter and one error was all it took. If that error had happened at anytime prior to that point the games was the Flames, but fate is cruel sometimes.

The result will be recorded as 11-10, but Softball was the winner. This was a great Division 1 clash, this is what Softball is all about, close games, played competitively and in great spirit. There were of course great individual performances, Julia Barlow making 8 outs at first for the Royals, James Rice leading off the Flames batting, Martin Bitmead will not forget his final contribution nor Helen Brown’s drive that sailed over his head. All four players won their respective teams MVP awards.

The results in other games did nothing for either teams league position, Royals stay 5th and Flames 6th. Both are now looking to end the season in the highest position possible.

Rebels Sweep Royals in Annual Inter-team game.

On a glorious summer evening the Rebels beat the Royals 2-0 in the annual inter-club game. Playing a double header, the Rebels won 19-12 and then 8-3 to exert some revenge on the two defeats they suffered in the 2012 league campaign.

Although no league points were on offer and the evening was more a social gathering, the Rebels have the bragging rights for 2013 and levelled the overall series at 2-2.

Injury robbed the game of 3 Rebels and 1 Royal. Each team fielded near their full strength teams, with the Royals fielding 7 of the 10 who played in the recent 20-20 draw with Chalfont Phoenix, and the Rebels bring the batting that produced in their 30-10 win over the Hawks these were two good encounters.

Roll on the next encounter.

Royals Fight Back Stun Phoenix

The Royals fought back from 20-7 down to tie 20-20 with Chalfont Phoenix. This really was a game of two halves. Phoenix coming out the gates on fire to post 20 runs in three innings. That stunned both the Royals and Umpire on the night Jes Sandhu, who said after the game, “I really didn’t this game would last beyond 4 the rate they [Phoenix] were batting”.

While Phoenix had scored heavy, the Royals had been picking up runs in each inning and managed to just keep themselves in the game. A few fielding adjustments by the Royals then paid dividends. The change in the field held Phoenix to 4 scoreless innings. This platform allowed the Royals to keep chipping away at the lead to set up a dramatic 7th inning.

Top of 7 and Royals are 3 runs behind, Brian Moores leads off with a triple. Cyndi Appleton then drives Moores in, but at the expense of the first out. A Single from Mark Carter brought the tying run to the plate, however Anna Lisney was unable to advance the runner and left the Royals on 2 outs still trailing by 2. The gap was finally closed and scored tied with a 2 run home-run by Alan Le Marquand. While Dallas Huntley was unable to continue the rally, she would have the final say in the game.

Phoenix now need to manufacture 1 run with three outs to take the game. It didn’t start well, first batter striking our, however Neil Turner’s single did put the winning run on. Phoenix found themselves 2 down as their number two hitter flied out to second base still with the winning run 195 feet from home. Chris Yoxall then hit a double to left that should have won the game, however pinpoint throw from Royals Left fielder Sam Smillie to Dallas Huntley set up a dramatic tag-out at third to end the game.

This was a fantastic advert for the game of Softball, played on the new purpose built Farnham Park pitches. The venue, only open for a few weeks, will see many games in it’s life time, but few will rival this one for dramatic conclusions.