Category Archives: Diamond Series

Top 6 finish for Royals and Rebels at Diamond 2

It was a good weekend for the two MSC team playing in B Grade at Diamond 2. Both teams finished inside the top 6. For the Rebels this was a huge step up from Diamond 1. The Royals improved their standing from Diamond 1 by 1 place with a 3rd place finish.

The Competition Begins

Rebels D2The Rebels failed to win a group game at Diamond 1 and faced a tough opening game against the Oxford Angels. In a hard fought game, the Rebels came out 11-10 winners to record their first win at this level and get off the the perfect start on a day that would see them play 6 games. The Royals started the day against The Mob. Neither team had played each other in the first event, so this was the first encounter of the season for both. Like the Rebels this one went down to the wire with the Royals coming out winners 8-7.

So, with winning starts for both teams confidence was high for the next games. Both teams faces opposition they had meet in Royals D2Diamond 1, Rebels face Bristol Monkeys whom they faced in the knockout phase and had beaten. Royals faced Pyros, whom they meet in group play and had narrowly lost to. History repeated itself. The Rebels won easily the Royals again lost by 1. The Rebels were enjoying an excellent run and would extend that run as they faced and beat TV Typhoons.

Long Afternoon For the Rebels

With a record of 3-0, the Rebels now faced the hardest part of their day, The odd schedule meant they would play 3 games in a row. After that, their worst result of the day would be eliminated. Three games in the heat of Saturday afternoon was a lot, and while they came close against Ducky Fuzz but the winning streak came to an end here. Next up the London Raiders, who were too strong in the batting line up for the Rebels. This was their biggest defeat of the day and would be the result that would be discarded. Going into the last game against Dodgers East the Rebels were are 3-2. But this was a game to far and a third lose did take a little shine off the day. However, with an overall record of 3-2 this was a vast improvement over Diamond 1 and was good enough to qualify for the Cup competition on Sunday. 

The Top four all meet.

The Royals afternoon was equally as tough as the Rebels, but in relation to opponents rather AnnaCatchthan game timing. The Top 4 from Diamond 1 were, Pav’s Knicks, Misfits, Spitting Camels and Royals. All four were in the same group and the Royals had to face al three starting with the Misfits. The Royals had played the Misfits twice in NSL 2 and once at BA last season and managed only 1 win. This was the first encounter this season and the Royals came out on top to improve to 2-1 on the day. Next up came Pav’s Knicks for the 4th time this year, The were Royals leading the overall series 2-1, but had yet to beat the Knicks at Diamond event. That was soon put right and whereas the Semi-final at Diamond 1 was  a disappointing performance from the Royals, this was more like the norm. Good defence and excellent offense saw the Royals over the line and improve to 3-1 on the day. With a top 3 finish in the group just need to qualify for the cup, the Royals were in strong position with one game to go. Diamond 1 had started with a lose to Spitting Camels, unfortunately Saturday at Diamond 2 ended the same way. The Camels again proved too strong offensively and left the Royals 3-2. That was good enough to make the top 3 and a place in the Sunday Cup competition along with the Rebels.

Derby Sunday

The Top 3 teams in the two groups from Saturday formed a new group for the Cup competition on the Sunday. Teams in this new group played a cross over schedule against the teams from the opposite group to the one they were in on Saturday. This meant the Royals and the Rebels would meet in a Tournament at B Grade for the first time. With only the top two in the Cup group making the final and only 3 games it was critical to get a good start. As you would expect when two club teams meet, there was banter, nerves and someIMG_5190 great plays. On this occasion it was the Royals who came out on top 8-5. It made the Rebels chances of a final spot extremely slim. That didn’t stop them putting it all into their remaining two games. They would face the No. 1 team and No. 3 team from Diamond 1 in Pav’s Knicks and Spitting Camels. Unfortunately neither game went in the Rebels favour and they would end the day bottom of the cup group. While that sounds a poor result, to come 6th from 16th in Diamond 1 is a huge improvement and tribute to how the team adapted to the higher level they are playing at this year.

So close for the Royals

After victory in the derby match, the Royals were in a good position to to make the finals, next for them where the winners of the other group from Saturday, the London Raiders. This was a different encounter for the Raiders compared to their match against the Rebels the previous day. In the end, 1 run in the last inning settled it in the Raiders favour. The result dented the Royals chances, but with one game to go and the other teams at the top all playing each other it was getting tight. Last up for the Royals were Ducky Fuzz. The two had clashed in the quarter final at Diamond 1. The Royals won that encounter by some distance. This time around it was a much closer affair. Having already been in 3 games settled by fewer than 3 runs, it wasn’t a surprise that this one went the same way. The Royals edging the game by two.

The long wait

With both teams having finished their programs the wait was on. Rebels lost all 3 games and were out. The Royals had a chance thanks to their defence on the Sunday. With one more round of games, The Royals were hoping the London Raiders could beat the Knicks or at least score 11 runs. In the end neither result happened and the Royals were left 3rd missing out on the final by a couple of runs.

A 3rd place finish was an improvement on Diamond 1’s 4th place and there were lots of positives from the weekend. Pav’s Knicks went on to win the Cup and are in pole position for the series. For the Royals to win the series now, they will have to win Diamond 3 and hope Pav’s fail to make the top bracket. Regardless of whether that happens, this has been a fantastic Diamond series and sitting in the top 3 and a chance of a runners-up spot is the result performance at B grade by the team. it will be a long wait till Diamond 3 at the end of July.

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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.

Club Review of the Year Part 12. The End of one Year, Start of Another.

So we’ve come to the final part of our journey through 2015. Over the last 22 days and 11 parts we’ve tried to convey the highs and lows of the year. So as 2015 draws to an end and we look forward to 2016, we can take one last look at the fond memories of this year. My personal favourites moments both came against London Flames at the Diamond Series, sorry London Flames. Our two encounters in 2015 Diamond series were both epic. The only regret about them was that so few people actually got to see them, especially the Diamond 2 final.

Winners-2015-2The Winners

But enough from me, let’s celebrate the winners ones last time before we look ahead to 2016. Congratulations to the players, Giannah, Julia, Natalie, Alex, Evan, Grant and John “Eddy”, the 2015 Club MVPs and MIPs. To the teams, the Royals team that came top of the tree in the Diamond Series, the Rebels team who won at BA, the development team that came so close at the Raiders tournament. The Marlovians for their best league finish. To be honest, everyone was a winner in 2015, it was that kind of year, everyone played a part in all the successes.

Let’s not forget the other events.

The past 11 posts focused on the main events of 2015, but the club did enter other events and did well in those too. The first outing outdoor was a trip down to the south coast to the Chichester Charity event and out outdoor year started as Plate Winners. That was soon followed up with a Runners-up slot in the Plate at GB Open. We played at MLB and Leicester Labour day, without success this year. The last honour of the year can in the last main tournament where we reached the Cup final of the Windsor Last Ball event. Sadly that ended in defeat, but was the gauge for what will come next year.

History on Display

All those events have helped fill the trophy cabinet we finally got installed Cabinetthis year. 38 different honours spanning 15 years. The club history on permanent display in the club house at our own ground. To get this point we needed to collect the spoils from all those years. Without a home before, the trophies have spend many years hidden away awaiting the cabinet. So we reached out to past members who helped build the foundation of this club, they helped us fill in a number of gaps we had in our history and the gaps on the shelves too. It was not just trophies they provided, but cuttings and photos. So it was interesting to see that the earliest photos we have show the club playing in white, we spent a long time playing in blue before switching to white a couple of years back, a decision that now harks back to those early days.

What is next?

The indoor season is nearly upon us and a time when we try and blood as many new players as we can in preparation for the outdoor season. The club plans to make the step up in grade this year. The tournament Royals team will play in B-grade and the Rebels team will be the primary C-Grade team. It will be tough, especially for the Royals, but a step that is needed to keep developing the club forward. The ladies team will be invested in, both in training time and tournament entry. The club plans to hold an all-female event in May 2016, something we’ve been planning for a couple of years in conjunction with Hit and Run, which will be back for a 4th year. The Newlands satellite will continue and be the corner stone of the development program for all ages. We also hope to start of improvements to our home ground, that will be a long process but worth the journey.

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016.

It will be sad to say goodbye to 2015, we had a such a great year and will be fondly remembered. Now we look ahead to making 2016 even better.


The review of the year in full.


What is Softball?

Co-ed slowpitch softball is a social and enjoyable game that’s easy to learn and play, even for people who are not “athletes” or don’t have much experience of team sports.

Softball is a lot like baseball in terms of the rules, but because the ball is pitched slowly to each batter (as the name implies!), it’s easy to hit the ball and succeed at the sport’s central skill. The fact that men and women play together in the same team and on an equal level gives the sport a social buzz, and most softball games are followed by sessions at the local pub!

Come and Get Involved

Maidenhead Softball Club runs weekly sessions every Friday at Newlands Girls School in Maidenhead. Sessions from 6pm until 7:30pm and are open to anyone 11 and up.

All sessions are free, no experience needed and all equipment to get you going is supplied.

For all under-18’s attending, a parent must be in attendance at the beginning of the first session to sign permission paperwork.

For more information, email maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com or visit www.maidenheadsoftballclub.co.uk

MSC Review of the Year Part 8. Rebels at the 2016 Diamond Series

Royals and Rebels D3 2015

As I look back in on the Rebel’s year the one trend I’m searching for is progression. Did they squad get better? Was there a mark improvement in the way they played and the results they achieved. When looking in isolation at the Diamond Series, and this is a series I use as a gauge, I can safely say, there was progression in the right direction.

To develop a club, sometimes you have to make hard choices about teams. 2015 was the year we put a lot more into the Royals at the Diamond Series and entered a development team in the Diamond Series. The difference in the way the squads were selected made it no surprise the two never met through the summer, but at the same time the squads were never divided so one team would fail, the Rebels squad had a lot of very talented players, it was whether they could gel together.

Diamond 1 back in May was the first real test and after the first Saturday, there were some doubts about if this was going to work as they finished bottom of their group. Granted the team was drawn into a group with Raiders Rewind and Retro, United Nations and Oxford Oddsoxs, but they did pull off a fantastic victory over the United Nations to give them something to cheer about. The Rebels Spoon challenge unfortunately didn’t materialize on the Sunday and ended in the first game, and with two more defeats, they unfortunately came bottom of the pile.

Diamond 2 was no kinder on the draw for the Rebels, United Nations were again in their group, plus London Flames who were one of the favorites for the series and the Mob who were runners-up in D1. As with D1, the Rebels again came bottom having won just one game again. Sunday started the same way, with an opening game defeat, but they day was not a complete blow out and the Rebels won a second game to at least place. Small steps are what we look for and 1 win at D1 was followed by 2 at D2, if they could manage to make it 3 wins at D3 they could have a shot at a final.

Diamond 3 and while they were being overshadowed by their sister team, the Royals going for the series, they went in knowing they could win games. Over the season you have to say the Rebels were unlucky with the draw. In the final group, London Flames again, Death Stars and Creamers all had cup competition pedigree, the Zoo were in their group along with RG Blue Sox. The Rebels were consistent over the year, coming in the bottom two of their group, having won one game on the Saturday. Sunday saw the Rebels catch a break, they got a bye in the quarter final stage to give them their first Semi-final appearance against Nottingham Tigers. Following their past trends, the Rebels won the second game and now had a Spoon final to look forward too. The final was rematch with RG Blue Sox, the team they had beaten on the Saturday. Was it possible that not only would they Rebels win a 3rd game but also a final? You have better believe it, the Diamond series ended with a Rebels victory and their highest finish of the year, a not to be laughed at 19th out of 24 for this very much developing team.

Progression is the key word and that is what we saw, 1 win, 2 wins, 3 wins and a Spoon victory. Something to build on and with the Rebels being the primary club team in the C-Grade section of the Diamond Series for 2016, more expectation.

That is all for 2016, for now we can feel proud that this squad, a squad that contained 6 players under 18, many playing the tournament scene for the first time. Well done Rebels a fantastic achievement.


Missed Parts 1 to 7?


What is Softball?

Co-ed slowpitch softball is a social and enjoyable game that’s easy to learn and play, even for people who are not “athletes” or don’t have much experience of team sports.

Softball is a lot like baseball in terms of the rules, but because the ball is pitched slowly to each batter (as the name implies!), it’s easy to hit the ball and succeed at the sport’s central skill. The fact that men and women play together in the same team and on an equal level gives the sport a social buzz, and most softball games are followed by sessions at the local pub!

Come and Get Involved

Maidenhead Softball Club runs weekly sessions every Friday at Newlands Girls School in Maidenhead. Sessions from 6pm until 7:30pm and are open to anyone 11 and up.

All sessions are free, no experience needed and all equipment to get you going is supplied.

For all under-18’s attending, a parent must be in attendance at the beginning of the first session to sign permission paperwork.

For more information, email maidenheadsoftballclub@outlook.com or visit www.maidenheadsoftballclub.co.uk