Leeds Detonators take the top prize at first North West Series event

Mon 8 May 2017

The first event in the new North West Series of one-day recreational co-ed slowpitch tournaments went down a storm with players despite the chilly weather on Saturday 6 May at Parrs Wood High School in Manchester.

Although the sun refused to make an appearance for longer than 20 seconds throughout the course of the day, teams were grateful to play in dry conditions with no threat from the heavens opening.

Ten teams entered the competition: three from Leeds, one from Liverpool, two university teams and the rest from the Manchester Softball League, including the MSL’s three newest teams.

Teams were split into two pools and played an initial round-robin before being placed in Gold, Silver and Bronze finals.

Results

In the Gold Final, the Leeds Detonators took the tournament’s top prize with a win over Manchester Phoenix.  The MVP was Thomas Waltham from the Detonators.

Leeds Lightning won the Silver Final with a win over the Eagles from Manchester Metropolitan University Crewe.  Diane Kemp from Leeds Lightning was the MVP.

The Bronze champion was the Whispering Hobos, who defeated the St Helens Sabres in the final, and Conor Battersby from the Hobos was awarded the MVP.

Series rationale​

The North West Series, new to the softball calendar this year, came about because the BSUK workforce in the North West saw a demand for a Rec-level tournament where no team would have to travel much longer than an hour to play.

BSUK North West Development Manager Luis Arrevillagas said, “Due to the increasing number of new teams in the area, we spotted the opportunity to offer this competition with the idea of creating more playing opportunities.”

The long-term goal for the North West Softball Series is to increase the number of C-grade and D-grade teams that can enter and then open spaces for B-grade teams to enter as well.

Compulsory helmets

The competition has also chalked up another first by instituting a compulsory helmet rule, whereby every player must wear a helmet while batting and running, putting the safety of players at the forefront, especially at a Rec level where so many players are new to the sport.

Martine Knight, who played with Gold winners Leeds Detonators, said: “A massive thanks for enforcing helmets.  One of the Dets was hit very hard on the side of the head going to third base and that could have been very nasty had the helmets rule not been enforced.”

BSUK’s North West Coach Linni Mitchell, who helped Luis Arrevillagas to organise the Series, said “We are really pleased with the feedback from the first edition of the North West Series, and we are proud to be leading the way with the compulsory helmet rule.”

Photos and updates are available on the North West Softball Series Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NWSoftballSeries/.

Entry for the second installment of the Series is open and teams can enter here: https://bsuk.wufoo.com/forms/zat4k4g1tq95qr/.


Photos by David Grice

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