Category Archives: Tournaments

Season Review Day 12. Back where we started.

As we come to the end of this series we are back full circle to our last big event of the 2018, Not Jingle Balls 2. There was no snow to interrupt this second running, and it’s huge credit to the teams that attended that they supported the event twice in 2018.

IMG_4278We try to encourage everyone to get into the Christmas spirt, dress up and just have fun. The 10 teams who competed didn’t disappoint as they really got into the spirit of the event, firstly dressing in a variety of Christmas based outfits and generously taking part in the tombola.

The idea behind NJB is to get everyone into the Christmas IMG_4328mood, plays from ball and raise money for good causes. The first NJB earlier in the year raised £1,082 that went to helping the children at Hope Mosjoen Skole school in Gambia. While we didn’t set any targets for the second edition, the aim was to at least match that total. As before, we want to say a very big thank you to the Nuffield Gym, who run the Royal Masonic School for Girls Sports Hall, for being very generous in their support of us using the hall. they bought into the idea right away and they get our fund raising off to a great start.

IMG_4474The 10 teams, a mix of 6 local WMSL teams from Bracknell, Thames Valley, Reading and an MSC team, plus teams from Swindon, Milton Keynes, Portsmouth and London. were split into two groups of 5, appropriately name Mince Pies and Christmas Puddings. (Group names no reflection on the teams.). Using a variation of the outdoor rules the 5 teams in each group fought it out, in a typically seasonal manner.  The results from the two groups fed into the again appropriately named Bauble and Tinsel competitions.

IMG_4536The entire days saw some extremely close games, with lots of fantastic hitting and fielding, even more so when the outfits were taken into consideration. It’s great to see a group of Santa’s trying to make an out at second.

As we entered the final stages of the competition, the Bauble Semi-finals saw Mad Batter and Panthers face off, while perennial Indoor winners KK’s took on the host team Maidenhead Santa’s. The Tinsel semi-finals saw RG Blue, Portsmouth Dodgers, Thames Valley the Yellow team from Bracknell face off. The bottom 3 teams in both the Mince Pie and Christmas Pudding group had to go to the 3 deciding factor, as all 3 teams finished level on

IMG_4477points and also 1-1 records against each other. The two teams that missed out on the main competition were the Red’s from Bracknell and the Elves from Milton Keynes.

They played their own little final, and it was, in good tradition, the Elves who triumphed.

The finals themselves were between the Mad Batters and Maidenhead Santa competing for the Bauble, and Bracknell Yellows playing the Portsmouth Dodgers for the Tinsel.

The Results

  • Bauble Competition Winners: Mad Batters
  • Bauble Competition Runners-up: Maidenhead
  • Tinsel Competition Winners: Bracknell Yellow
  • Tinsel Competition Runners-up: Portsmouth Dodgers

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Thank You , Thank You, Thank You

While the Mad Batters and Bracknell may have walked off with the winner’s awards, it will be the good causes that will benefit from the over £1100 that was raised during the day.

Everyone at Maidenhead Softball Club, would like to thank everyone who helped make the tournament a success, from the Umpires who volunteered their time freely, the members of MSC that put on the food and tombola, and of course a big thank you to the teams, without whom the event just wouldn’t work.

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As the year goes on we will post details of the good this money is doing.

A date for your diaries, Not Jingle Balls 3 will return on December 8th 2019.

Remember, There is Still Time To Make a Difference

Of course, this is not the end, outside of the NJB event, we continue to support the Hope Mosjoen Skole through donations. If you are reading this and would have any children’s clothes, games, books or other items you would like to donate, or even items you aren’t sure about, please contact maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com and we will arrange collection.

And that is it for another year.

Another year over and another series over. There was an awful lot that happened in 2018, more than we manged to get into 12 episodes. As usual there were lots of highs and lows and we expect 2019 to be the same.

For this year, we will sign off remembering someone we lost – Don Chester, Player, Umpire and Friend.

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Season Review Day 10. PSL All-Stars Shine at Hit and Run 6

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The London based PSL All-Stars make it back to back London team success at  Hit and Run 6. The  annual 8 team event is aimed at helping developing teams provide game time to new players.

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This year, along with four teams who play within the Windsor and Maidenhead league, there were 2 London based teams PSL All-Stars and COMO hotels, Herts Buzzards from Hertfordshire and the longest travellers of the day, Eastbourne Bombers. The first half of the day saw the 8 teams compete in a 2-group round-robin and from the first games it was clear the days front runners would be PSL All-Stars and RG Blue Sox.

The Round Robin – Group 1

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The All-Stars started with an 15-8 win over the Eastbourne Bombers, while the London based Hotel team COMO edged passed home team Rascals 13-12 in a thriller. Round two was a little more convincing all around COMO put 20 on the Bombers in a 20-7 win, the All-Stars posted 19 as they beat the Rascals 19-9. With both winning teams from the opening round playing winning their second games it meant the Cup/Plate divide was already decided before the last round. That last game was simply a way to decided the semi-final line up. In another 13-12 score line, the All-Stars pipped COMO for top place. The Bombers and Rascals played out an exciting 11-11 draw that left both teams in same 3rd and 4th order they started the game in.

The Round Robin – Group 2

Group 2 started with a local match-up at the Blue Sox and Hurricanes faced off. The Blue Sox triumphed in a 11-8 in a close encounter. The other teams in the group, Herts Buzzards and Bracknell Scorchers, played in the other opening game. Again, a local team came out on top as the Scorchers won 13-6. Unlike group 1, round two in group 2 pitted the two winning teams from the first round against each other as the Blue Socks and Scorchers played out another local derby. As the first round, the Blue Sox over came their local rivals 14-5. The other game was the highest scoring game of the day as the Hurricanes beat the Buzzards 20-10. Going into the final round, the Blue Sox already had a Cup place booked and the Buzzards knew they would be in the plate. The Hurricanes and Scorchers would play for the last Cup place. It was the Scorchers who sealed the place with a 15-5 win. The Buzzards pushed the Blue Sox all the way and took a lot from a narrow 10-6 defeat.

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The Semi-finals

The Cup semi-finals saw the local teams fair very differently. The Scorchers found the All-Stars too strong and went down 30-1, the Blue Sox had a much tighter encounter and only just overcame COMO 12-11 to set up the final that looked on the cards from the start. The Plate semi-finals saw both local teams fair a lot better as both overcome their oppositions, Rascals beating Buzzards 21-9, while the Hurricanes went on to beat the Bombers 14-2.

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The Finals

The Rascals have been perennial finalist over the 6 years of the competitions, but have consistently fallen short, and 2018 was another instance of that as the Hurricanes, who only just missed out on the Cup competition, took the Plate title with a convincing 18-8.

The Cup final was an encounter that was a fitting end to the day, both teams unbeaten on the day and both playing well. The was also a first appearance in the Cup final for both teams, the All-Stars had been Plate runners-up last year, while the Blue Sox had the same fate in 2016. This year both teams took the next step to Cup Final and it was the All-Start who took the crown as they squeezed past the Blue Sox 12-9.

clip_image002The standard of play and popularity of the event have gone from strength to strength over the past 6 years and looks to continue next year, now with a new winner’s name on the Roll of Honour.

Come and Try Softball

MSC LogoWe 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 maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com.

Season Review Day 9. Familiar Name on the C.W.S Honour Board

Our first big event of the year was C.W.S 3 way back in May. Back at Farnham Park for 2018 and under blue sunny skies we hosted 10 teams coming from far and wide. Making up the 10 this year, we had two teams ventured up from Solent, regulars Ladyheath, Chavs and No Balls took their place along with 4 teams made up of the ladies from 4 of the clubs in the Windsor League entered and new team Blitches from the Blitz softball teams.

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Group 1

We did our usual of dividing them all into two groups of 5 playing out a round-robin. The action in Group 1, which contained the reigning CWS Cup winners, No Balls, saw the all the teams being a little inconsistent to say the least. With everyone beating each other this was turning into a very interest group. At one point No Balls looked to be in trouble when they lost their 2nd game of the day and their qualification into the Cup was in the balance. It all came down to their last game, and it took an edgy 8-6 win 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.

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Group 2

Group 2 was an equally 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, (Never a good thing for the organiser when trying to get teams to the right pitch for their play-off games).

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Tropi-gal Twisters lead the group from round 1, Chavs and LadyHeath had vied for second spot through the first two rounds. With pen and paper in hand, the permutations were simply really, if LadyHeath won their game against Cleats and Cleavage that would be enough to put them through, Chavs had to win otherwise they would miss out on the Cup competition altogether. Tropi-gals, who faced Chavs, just needed to match Ladyheath’s result to win the group, anything else and they could drop into the Plate competition.

In the end it was the Tropi-gal Twisters who unfortunately lost out in this final game shoot out as they lost to Chavs. They then needed Ladyheath to loose, but they beat Cleats and Cleavage to secure the final cup place. The group was that close, that 1st ended up 3rd with just one loss in the group phase.

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Progress

Group two saw the Scorch-Hers, returning for a second year, not only score a run this time out, but also win a game. Scorch-Hers had the mis-fortune to go through the 2017 event without a run or a win. They are now, not only on the board, but also took their place in the Plate competition for real.

The Trophies start to be handed out.

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. IMG_4952IMG_4962IMG_4901

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 somewhat surprisingly defeated last year’s runners up, LadyHeath.

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The 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.

clip_image006This 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 previous events, 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.

Come and Try Softball

MSC LogoWe 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 maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com.

Season Review Day 8. All That Glitters Is Gold

Rebels2018NationalsGroupAugust saw the Rebels take their place at the BSF League Nationals. Having won the Bronze competition in 2017, each section winner was given a place to defend their title. Twelve months ago, Saturday at the Nationals wasn’t very kind to the Rebels, they lost all four games in their group.

Better Than Last Year

This year the Rebels started with a high scoring encounter against Golden Sombreros. A high tempo start from the Rebels was matched by a late rally from the Sombreros. It got a little closer than the early exchanges would have indicated, but the Rebels managed to win the game 23-15.

Next up was a familiar opponent for the Club. Games against the Leicester Royals are usually close encounters and while they are rare these days, this one was right in the tradition.

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Close all the way through and right down to the wire, the Rebels pulled out a 16-14 victory to move to 2-0 on the day.

A Small Blip

So far, the day was being defined by close, but high scoring encounters. The game against the Chokers only fill one of those traits. This was also the first game where the Rebels trailed and had to chase. Both defences ruled the game and after 70 minutes of frantic softball, it was the Chokers who came out on top 9-8.

IMG_1174IMG_1225IMG_1244IMG_1250It was a little set back on the day, but even at 2-1 this was a already a good day. With one more game to go, the next day’s seeding was still up for grabs. Win and it could be the Gold section, loose and it could even be a return to the Bronze section.

Meet the Fockers

The trend of close games continued into this last game on day 1, also the trend of the games becoming lower scoring continued. The Rebels continued their strong day and ran out 10-6 winners and earnt themselves a 3-1 record and a place in the Gold competition.

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In With The Big Boys

The second day couldn’t have started any harder. Current reigning Gold Champions, the Fuzzy Ducks. The Rebels fought hard, pushed the Ducks all the way to the last inning and with a 12-5 lead, an amazing victory was within grasp. The Ducks were not the champions without being able to get out of tight situations and in true champion form a stirring final flourish snatched victory 17-12.

It was a big disappointment to have come so close and lost out. Maybe there was a hangover going into the next game against Mouse Rat.

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The game was back to the traits of Saturday, low scoring and very close. The Rebels had their chances to win the game, but couldn’t get their offense going enough to finish the job and finally went down 10-11.

The second defeat put further progression in the competition in the balance. The Rebels previous day record was in their favour, but they simply had to win their last game against Raiders Gold.

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A Valiant Effort

0-2 on the day and it was now a win or go home game. The Raiders faced a similar situation, along with Mouse Rat, all 3 teams were now playing a one-off game for a Gold Semi-final place, With Mouse Rat losing to Fuzzy Ducks to finish 1-2, this meant a Rebels win would leave three teams on 2-1 and a tense wait to see who would go through. The Rebels put everything into the last game, but the Raiders were in the end too strong and took the game 12-6 and clinched the semi-final place.

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It was a valiant effort from a team that 12 months ago had to wait until the Sunday to win a game. It was a big jump from Bronze to Gold, but in no way did the Rebels just make up the numbers. They had chances to advance and on another weekend the games might have gone their way. As it was, their adventure finished in the Gold Group stages

Come and Try Softball

MSC LogoWe 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 maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com.

Season Review Day 7. Rascals Grove to a Disco Ball Title

clip_image0022018 was the year the Rascals won their first ever trophy with victory in the “Grove” Final at Disco Ball. This was the third time the Rascals have entered this Disco themed development tournament and the first time they have progressed beyond the semi-final stage.

Made up mostly of the team that was putting in good league displays but getting little reward, there probably wasn’t much optimism that the team would get any future than in past years.

It is amazing what a lot of glitter can do for a teams performances.

Getting their Grove on Early

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The Rascals got off to the best possible start with 10-5 win over Baffins. In a small group event, winning early is key and while the Baffins had fought back from 6 runs down, the Rascals showed early league form and held their nerve and the lead.

A “W” on the board and time for a Mexican, Mexican Mashup to be precise. This was a game decided by a tactical mistake by the Mashup. Their pitcher has a game to forget and it was a mistake not to replace them sooner than they did. Unfortunately, by the time they did two innings in, the damage had been down and the 14 runs had been conceded. The Mashup did very well to pull it back to 16-13 and it was even their grasp to win the game, but the Rascals showed resilience and not a small amount of skill to end the game on an outstanding tag play at the plate to end the Mashups revival.

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Unbeaten going into the last game!

The last game of the group stages was a match-up of the two unbeaten teams. This was indeed uncharted territory for the Rascals. Usually this is when they working out which final they will be going to watch. The opponents, Bristol Bam, would test the Rascals to the full. The Rascals did very well and kept in the game, they pushed Bristol Bam all the way, but in the end just fell short going down 7-4.  This was just a minor trip on the Disco floor. Two wins and only 1 defeat, this was already a good day.

Semi-Final Time

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Second in the group meant a semi-final against Game of Throws, a familiar foe on the tournament scene. On paper, Game of Throws where the stronger, more experienced team, but Rascals started on the front foot took an early 5-3 lead and following some power hitting and intelligent base running took the game 12-4 with an impressive performance.

Grove Final Time

Victory in the Semi-final set up a final against the Tournaments host team, Disco Inferno. It isn’t good form to beat your hosts at their own party, so totally against protocol the Rascals raced into an 8-0 lead. Whether it was shock, or maybe manners, but the Inferno let the Rascals play. When they did finally get something going late on and get on the board, it was too late to stave off the inevitable. The Rascals saw out the final inning of the game and were very deserved 9-3 winners, and off to lift their first trophy.

20180630_20015020180630_20060320180630_200759 - CopyThis is a fantastic achievement for the club’s development team, the new players excelling themselves and were ably led by Silvia Rosenmayer. To top it all off, Bala then picked up the MVP award for the final.

The team of 2018 have set the bar for the team of 2019, the Glitter ball is pride of place in the club’s 2018 honours list.

Come and Try Softball

MSC LogoWe 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 maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com.

Season Review Day 3. Maidenhead at First Ball 2018

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. IMG-20180429-WA0006

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

20180429_165619The 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 20180429_183619teams 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

MSC LogoWe 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 maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com.

 

Season Review Day 2. Christmas in February

42611195_1854567527961237_7052712169799942144_oThroughout the year MSC runs two different events, one for female teams and one for developing teams. Way back in 2014 after the first Hit and Run had run, we started to think about the idea of having a charity event. The main problems back then were the availability of a venue and date, Cricket will always take priority at our ground, even if it is booked for something else, and NMCC was our first choice. Also, ironically, the weather was factor. We wanted to make sure the event actually took place and a charity would benefit.  When the league started to running successful indoor events in November, we thought that an indoor event could fit the bill. When a date in December became available, it all seemed to align and the [Not] Jingle Balls event was born.

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As soon as Hit and Run 5 was over we began to put together the first festive themed event. We had it all ready. Raffle prizes, games, teams, fancy dress and a full Christmas festive food menu. However, the weather had other ideas. We had to postpone an indoor event due to weather. So NJB 2017, became NJB 2018 a Nuffield, who run the Royal Masonic School for Girls venue honoured out December date in February. We really, really appreciate their support, they have been fully onboard with this Charity event from the moment we proposed it.

So, in slightly better conditions 9 of the original teams, plus a new team from MSC tried again.

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The Day

Group 1 pitted 4 local teams together along with the London based “Scratch” Team.  The 4 locals teams tried, but failed to stop the “Scratch” Team topping the group. In the scrap for the second spot and a place in the Bauble competition, it was Bracknell who pipped the Rebels thanks to their 50-14 win in their encounter. That meant the Rebels joined the Blue Sox in the Tinsel competition thanks to the Blue Sox win over FP. FP finished bottom of the group and would play for the “Christmas Candy”.

Group 2 contained a mix of teams from all over. KK’s were the favourites, but would not have everything their own way as the Swindon based Panthers are a formidable indoor force. Those two did indeed fight it out for the Bauble competition places, while local based TV, Solent based Tomahawks and MK Diamonds fought out for Tinsel. The MK Diamonds found the group a tough, they would finish 5th and go onto meet FP. Tomahawks and TV battled to see who would play the Blue Sox or Rebels.

After 5 frantic hours of group play, the Tinsel competition would be between the Rebels or TV who faced off, or Tomahawks and Blue Sox who played the other semi-final. The Bauble would be between Bracknell or KK’s and Panthers or “Scratch” Team.

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The Christmas Candy was won by MK Diamonds, who beat fellow basement team FP in their encounter.

The Tinsel final saw the Rebels, who beat TV 40 to-15 face the Tomahawks, who beat the Blue Sox 25 to -8. The Bauble semi saw a close encounter between Scratch and Panthers go Scratch’s way 10 to -2. The KK’s overcame Bracknell 50 to -8.

The climax to NJB 2017 (2018) saw Tomahawks take the Tinsel crown with a 56 to 14 win over Rebels and KK’s take the Bauble crown 31 to 12 over the Scratch team.

Final Standings

  1. KK’s
  2. Scratch
  3. Panthers
  4. Bracknell Scorchers
  5. Tomahawks
  6. MSC Rebels
  7. TV
  8. RG Blue Sox
  9. MK Diamonds
  10. FP

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

The Softball community was very generous and supportive through their donations and they continued this support at Not Jingle Balls, which raised an amazing £1,082. The club had decided before the event that whatever monies were raised, that simply donating it to the school would not provide the biggest impact. So, since February, Julia has been working through a list of items it was felt would most benefit the school.  10 boxes full of Fancy dress clothes, play tents, giant dominos’, cars, dolls, balls, 35 rucksacks (for the children that can’t afford them), clothes, treats, puzzles, books and much more, where collected.

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It took about 3 weeks for the boxes to arrive and the generosity of everyone involved finally to be realized.

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Everyone at Maidenhead Softball Club, would like to thank everyone who helped make the tournament a success and helped us to provide these items. Of course, this is not the end, we’ll still be helping the school through donations from the club members.

Still Time To Make a Difference

If you are reading this and would have any children’s clothes, games, books or other items you would like to donate, or even items you aren’t sure about, please contact maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com and we will arrange collection.