Monthly Archives: May 2018

Royals make top 4 at Diamond 1

imageThe Maidenhead Royals began their quest for the 2018 Diamond Series championship over the weekend of May 19th and 20th. Following the disappointment of relegation from NSL 2 last year, the Diamond series represents the first steps in trying to gain promotion back this year.

The Diamond series runs over 3 weekends during the summer. Teams compete for the individual event titles, but also the series championship. The Royals are back in the “B” Grade competition and are looking for a high finish in the series.

The “B” Competition this season consists of 16 teams who are divided each event into two groups of 8. The teams play each other once to determine places and who progresses to the Cup and Plate competitions. The Royals were drawn in Group 1, along with Spitting Camels, TV Typhoons, Bristol Monkeys, Nottingham Pyros, OAPs, Dodgers East and London Flames.

The day didn’t start as well as the Royals had hopped. In a very imagetight game, they fell just short 9-7 against the Spitting Camels. Game two was a local derby as the Royals faced the Typhoons. Both teams had just meet in the opening week of WMSL League season, and this encounter was their 3rd so far, having also played in the WMSL First Ball competition. The Royals ran out 22-2 winners. That doesn’t tell the story, the Typhoons had the misfortune early on as they lost their right fielder, Sam Croft to what turned out to be a broken hand. We wish Sam well and speedy return to the diamond. The Royals were making hard work of their group games, and OAPs, didn’t make it any easier. This game went right to the final minutes of the game and a Home Run by Dom Shepherd drove in the winning run as the Royals came from behind to win 9-8.

The Royals weekend was series of outstanding batting games followed by a drought. Against Bristol Monkeys, the runs poured off the bat. The 24-5 win was the third in a row and set up the final game of the day against the Nottingham Pyros. Late on Saturday, the Royals wished they could have some of the runs from the previous game as a dogged Pyros teams kept edging in front every time the Royals seemed to have got ahead. In an almost identical finish to game 3, it was the last hit of the game that sealed it, unfortunately it was a Pyros hit and they edged the game 9-8.

The Royals started very early on Sunday against Dodgers East. Both teams starting the day 3-2 following Saturdays games. It was the Dodgers who woke first raced into an early lead, the Royals rallied and won their fourth game of the competition 10-5. The last group game was against a familiar foe, the London Flames. The two teams have met in some epic encounters over the years in the Diamond tournaments. This latest encounter will be added to the list. A back and forth encounter again went to the wire, with the Royals coming out on top 13-11 as the Flames just feel short in the last inning.

Their 5-2 record put the Royals in the Cup competition following a 3rd place finish and encounter with Ducky Fuzz in the Quarter final. Ducky Fuzz came into the game as the higher seed, but from the off the Royals demonstrated how potent their offense had been at it’s best on Saturday. Two huge innings against a fading opponent saw the Royals into the Cup Semi final with a 24-4 win.

The Semi-final was a rematch with Pavs Knicks, a team the Royals beat twice in the WMSL First Ball competition, including victory in the final. The game was the mirror opposite of the Ducky Fuzz game, with the Knicks on the front foot from the start and the Royals could not get anything going at all. As with Saturday, the batting deluge in one game was followed by the drought in the next. So, the day belonged to the Knicks who ended the Royals quest for a Diamond Cup title, with a 15-7 win. The Knicks would go on to win the Cup themselves and will be a force to be reckoned with over the summer.

A top 4 finish was a very good return to the Diamond series. In Diamond 3 last year the Royals fail to win a game, so 6 wins and 3 defeats over the weekend was a real morale boost and keeps them right in the hunt for the series championship. The Royals now look forward to Diamond 2, which starts on June 9th, with real optimism.

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No Balls Retains C.W.S. Title

No Balls Retains C.W.S Title

clip_image002The first all-female tournament of the year took place on Sunday May 13th under blue sunny skies at Farnham Park. 10 teams ranging from Solent, to Lakenheath including 4 teams made up of the ladies from 4 of the clubs in the Windsor League, took part. The teams were divided into two groups of 5 playing out a round-robin. Group 1 containing the reigning CWS Cup winners, No Balls, saw the all the teams being a little inconsistent with everyone beating each other. The current holders looked to be in trouble when they lost their 2nd game of the day and their qualification into the Cup was in the balance right up to the last game. It took an edgy 8-6 win in their final game against Pitches Be Crazy to top the group by a solitary run and avoid a potential clash with last year’s runners up and previous winners, LadyHeath. Group 2 was an extremely hard-fought group by all teams, and up to the last game any two of the top 3 teams could have all qualified for the Cup. Tropi-gal Twisters had lead the group from round 1, Chavs and LadyHeath had vied for second spot. Into the final game, a LadyHeath win would put them through, Chavs had to win otherwise they would miss out. Tropi-gals need to match Ladyheath’s result to win the group. In the end the Tropi-gal Twisters unfortunately lost out right at the end following a defeat by Chavs and a Ladyheath win over Cleats and Cleavage. The group was thatclip_image004 close, that 1st ended up 3rd with just one loss in the group phase. Group two also saw the Scorch-Hers, not only score a run this time out, but also win a game. They had the mis-fortune to go through the 2017 event without a run or a win. They are now on the board and took their place in the Plate competition for real. The bottom team in each group played out their own Spoon final, this year that was between Cleats and Cleavage and RG Blue Sox, with Cleats and Cleavage taking the honours. The Plate semi-finals saw the Tropi-gal Twisters again miss out, as they fell to the Diamond Squeezers. Blitches halted Scorch-Hers winning run in the other semi. The Cup semi-final saw No Balls beat Chavs to set up a final against Pitches Be Crazy who defeated last years runners up, LadyHeath.

clip_image006The finals saw Blitches over come Diamond Squeezers to win the Plate competition in their first outing in a female event as a club. The main final saw No Balls retain their title beating Pitches be Crazy. The team from Solent were the first team other than No Balls or Ladyheath to reach this stage, which was a huge step forward for the girls from the south coast.

This was the third running of C.W.S and each year the level has risen. The group stages this year were the most keenly fought of all and while No Balls have reached the final each time, the other teams are certainly catching them. A third straight win is not a foregone conclusion when C.W.S 4 returns in 2019.

Royals Add to early Season Honours

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The Maidenhead Royals started the outdoor season in the same way they finished the indoor season, winning a Trophy. Following on from collecting the Indoor League title, the Royals took part in the traditional season opening WMSL First Ball Tournament. The club had both their First Division teams competing on the day, and both faired differently on their opening games. The Rebels lost a tight game to the Wildcats, while the Royals eased to a 20-4 win over Blitz Havoc. The Rebels would improve on the day, winning their next two group games 12-5 against the Rattlesnakes and 27-0 against the Baffin Brewers. That was enough to see them qualify for the Cup Semi-final in the Rec section. The Royals, got imageoff to a bad start in their second game and trailed 9-0 after two innings. But a strong couple of innings helped them to an 11-9 win over Pav’s 40 Knicks. A 17-2 win in their final group game set them up for a Semi-final against RG Blue Sox. The two teams had different outcomes in the semi-finals, the Rebels played and lost to MK Diamonds, who would go on to win the competition, the Royals beat the Blue Sox to set up a rematch with Pav’s 40 Knicks. This time there was no need for a dramatic comeback and the Royals swept to a 17-5 victory and the first WMSL First Ball Cup win since 2006.

With a third competition win so far in 2018, Club has made its most successful start to a season in its history. With the 2018 League starting this week, the Royals are aiming to add that title to the growing list.

Mixed Opening Week for the Maidenhead Teams

All three Maidenhead teams began their 2018 league program with mixed outcomes. The Maidenhead Rebels hosted the Windsor Knights at North Maidenhead Cricket Club.

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The Rebels did very well to survive their first season in the top flight and played the Knights on opening night last year too. Then they lost 23-3, this time they managed to score more runs, but last seasons league runners up powered to a 31-10 victory. There were positives to take from this result and Rebels season won’t be defined on games against last season’s top 4 teams. The Royals travelled to TV Typhoons on the same night. Fresh off their impressive outing at WMSL First Ball, a lot is expected of the Royals this season. A 3rd place finish last year is the minimum requirement this term, but with the improvements in the squad there is optimism this team can go all the way. This expectation was not damped as they won 24-4. Next up for the Royals and Rebels is their first meeting in the club derby.

The Maidenhead Rascals started their season at home the BA Flyers. The teams finished 4th and 5th respectfully last season. Like the Royals, the Rascals came out on top 24-4 behind a very strong batting performance. Division 2 is sizing up to be very competitive this season and this was a very good start from a team that contains all the current group of development players. The Rascals next game is tough away trip to RGF Blue Sox 2, one of the Divisions favourites and joint runners-up from last year.