Category Archives: Windsor First Ball

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

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Royals Add to early Season Honours


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.

Royals Bitz’d in First Ball Trophy Final

First Ball 2014The season opener ended in mild disappointment for the Royals as they fell in the Trophy Final against Blitz C. Overall it was a good day, very early in the season and the first outing for many of the players.

The day started very well, even the weather was favourable, with a 8-7 come back win over Base Invaders. A tough 14-5 lose to Monmouth Rockets in the second game would ultimately cost the team a place in the main cup competition, but at the time the team just couldn’t get their batting going consistently and paid the price. With a 1-1 record going into the last game, a win over the BA Flyers would put them into the Trophy a defeat would mean a trip to the plate competition. The Royals put on a better performance against the Flyers on a terrible pitch, the previous days heavy rain left the grass very sodden and the dirt infield a quagmire. Both teams deserved a lot of credit for making a game of it under these conditions.

The 2-1 record set up a semi-final against another Windsor team, Rattlesnakes. This was a repeat of the semi-final from 2012 and the result was the same as Royals came out on top.

The Trophy final pitted the Royals against Blitz C. In glorious sunshine this was an exciting affair for 3 innings, with the lead changing hands each inning and defences getting on top. Going into the 4th inning with the score nicely balanced at 4-4 this was pointing towards a very low scoring game. However, a 10 run blitz, put the game out of the Royals reach and while they held Blitz in the 5th inning, the Royals ran out of time and energy to make an effective comeback.

A runner-up trophy on the first outing of the season wasn’t a bad result Overall a number of fine performances lit up the day, home runs for Mark Carter, Heather Williams and Joe White were the highlights of the batting, a full day out of Julian Evans returning after injury was a boost for the club. With the season just over a week away, this was a good game time for everyone. Next up the Royals travel to RP Eagles and Rebels host Rattlesnakes in league action.