North West Series kicks off its second year in Manchester

Mon 23 Apr 2018

The first of three North West Series co-ed slowpitch tournaments in 2018 took place at Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury, Manchester on Saturday 21 April under clear sunny skies and with temperatures, unusually, reaching 25 degrees.

Ten teams took part in Manchester’s first outdoor tournament of 2018.  Six of them had played in the Series last year, including the 2017 North West Series 1 winner the Detonators, while four teams made their debut in the competition, which is aimed at C-grade and D-grade teams.


Format​

Teams were seeded into two groups based on last year’s results and organisers’ knowledge:

GROUP A
Bobcats (Leeds)
Rippers (Manchester)
Yorkshire Dales (Yorkshire)
Titans (Manchester)
Maelstrom (University of Manchester)

GROUP B
Detonators (Leeds)
Tigers (Manchester)
Dynamite (Leeds)
Meteors (Manchester)
Base Invaders (Manchester)

Round-robin games were played on three fields, with no new inning after 50 minutes, but finals were played over a full seven innings.

Three finals were played at 4.00 pm, with the winners from each round-robin group contesting the Gold final, second-place teams playing the Silver final and third-place teams from each group meeting in the Bronze final.

 

Finals

The Bronze final was a reprise of a fixture that’s becoming a regular derby on the Manchester softball scene, with the Rippers defeating the Tigers 24-11 to take the trophy.  It was the Tigers’ captain, Dave Wareham, who had helped with the formation of the Rippers and who supported them through their three years of existence, but is now finding his coaching skills may have been too good, as his pupils are becoming the Tigers’ nemesis.

The Silver final was won by the Bobcats over their Leeds compatriots, the Detonators, as the Bobcats came back to win 18-17 in the seventh inning with a walk-off double by Jenn van Doorn.

The Gold final was a nail-biter.  The Titans were already happy with getting to their first final, and they gave their all to take Dynamite to extra innings.  But the Leeds team scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning, then turned the screw with tight defense to capture the top spot in the tournament by a final score of 24-21.

Here are the final standings and points after North West Series 1:

Comments

BaseballSoftballUK Development Manager and tournament organiser Luis Arrevillagas said, “It’s really hard not to please softballers when the sun is out and temperatures make players ran out of water by mid-afternoon.  It was an incredible day of softball, and it never stops to amaze me how softball can bring so many different kinds of people together -- different sexes, ages, shapes, backgrounds, skills and abilities, all in one place playing the same game and being competitive.  I know I’m biased, but softball is unique.”

Detonators co-captain Tom Waltham said, “These one-day tournaments really suit us now that we have a young family.  Of course, I’d love to play softball over two days, but being able to play a full tournament on the Saturday then do family stuff on the Sunday really fits our lifestyle at the moment.”

BSUK North West Coach Linni Mitchell wasn’t at the tournament, but sent a message from Canada.  “I’m clearly enjoying my holidays with my family in Canada,” Linni wrote, “but today I kept following the action via the tournament’s Facebook page.  I’m a bit jealous not to be there, especially as it is so sunny!  It looked like a great day and I’m really happy our tournament continues to grow and attract teams.”

The second and third North West Series tournaments will be played on 30 June and 15 September respectively.  Registration is already open for the second tournament on this link

The organisers would like to thank the tournament’s official photographer, David Grice, and you can see pictures from the tournament on the North West Series Facebook page.  

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