It didn’t take long for Indoor to become a distant memory. No sooner had the indoor kit been put away we were right into the outdoor season. The one thing that is striking looking back is how cold it was at First Ball. It’s hard to imagine now, looking back at the images and seeing the grass so green and the dirt so dark, when for rest of the summer we just see everything brown, dry and hot.
So, with the weather update out the way, on to First Ball. Unlike Indoor, First Ball and Maidenhead teams do have a good history. Both the Rebels and the Royals have won trophies in three of the last four years, the Rebels doing especially well with both a Cup Winner (2016) and Runner-up (2017) trophy in that haul.
The Royals went into the event fielding a very strong team, First Ball was the testing ground for the League team and the target of a push for the league title. 10 of the 12 players who played would eventually play the majority of the league program. The Rebels weren’t in the same boat, they could only field 7 from their 12 who would go on to play league. It was still a strong team, bolstered with tournament players, and expectation of victory were as high with them as with the Royals.
The Rebels Story
The Rebels days didn’t start the way they had hoped, a 5-run defeat to the Wildcats, a team who have had the Rebels number over the past few years, put them on the back foot right away. In a 4-team group you have to win 2 of 3 to stand any chance of a Cup place and the pressure was on now. The Rebels bounced back after that early disappointment with a confidence building 12-5 win of Rattlesnakes. Early disappointment was then completely put to bed as they quickly followed their first win with an emphatic win 27-0 win over the Brewers. Their 2-1 record left then 2nd in the table behind the unbeaten Wildcats and set-up a Cup Semi-Final against the other unbeaten team in the competition, the MK Diamonds.
This was the Rebels third consecutive Cup Semi-Final and having won the last two, confidence was high of making it three finals in a row. However, the MK Diamonds had other ideas and ended the Rebels trophy sequence as they won out 11-4. The Diamonds showed they were the class act of this park of the competition as they would go onto win the Cup, beating the Wildcats 17-11.
The Royals Story
The Royals day started with a bang. A 20-4 win over Blitz Havoc put down a marker to the other teams in the competition. If that win didn’t establish the Royals as the team to beat, then the win over Pav’s Knicks surely did as the Royals came from 9-0 down to win 11-9. The Royals then finished off their group games to top their group with a 17-2 win over the TV Typhoons. That set up a semi-final against the Blue Sox. This was a potential rehearsal for the league title encounters later in the season, and it was the Royals who made the first statement as they progressed to the Cup Final with a hard fought 10-5 win. The Royals group dominated the Cup competition as the Knicks overcame the Blitz Bombers to set up a rematch of the earlier encounter. The final didn’t live up to the earlier game. The Knicks never really got going and the Royals never let them. The 17-5 win gave the Royals the Cup, a perfect 5-0 day and the best platform to go into the league season.
Come and Try Softball
We run sessions on Friday’s throughout the year to enable anyone interested to try Softball. If you think you would like to give Softball a try, or to learn more about Maidenhead Softball Club and to get involved in Softball, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.