Tag Archives: Tournaments

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.

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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 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.

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.

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.