Severn Vale claims Gloucestershire School Games title

Thu 20 Jun 2019

Hartpury College in Gloucestershire once again hosted the county finals of the Gloucestershire School Games softball competition on Friday 14 June. What followed, in what some would call challenging conditions, was a great day of softball between some very capable and talented players, with Severn Vale emerging as champions.

With nine schools participating, two groups were drawn, with teams from the same qualifying district kept apart. In Pool A, reigning champions Farmors succumbed to a heavy loss to Wydean in their opening match and then drew their second match with Chosen Hill to make qualification for the final an uphill struggle. Last year’s runner-up, Archway A, started on the front foot, seemingly scoring runs for fun in beating Wydean, Chosen Hill and Farmors to end the group unbeaten.

Group B, however, was a much more competitive affair. Dene Magna opened with a victory over Archway B and Pittville scored an impressive win over Severn Vale. This sparked the Gloucester-based school into action, as Vale then reeled off three successive victories to lead the group standings. The remaining group matches were shared between Dene Magna, Pittville and Farmors B, who all took points off each other. Amazingly, all three sides ended on eight points, with Farmors B only progressing based on fewer runs conceded in their games.

With the rain continuing to fall and forcing a delay in the morning's play, the lower play-off games were cancelled to allow the competition to conclude on time. Farmors (pictured below) overcame Wydean 7-3 in the third-place game and in the final, Severn Vale posted a competitive total of five runs in their inning. Archway (pictured above), who were faced with a similar situation 12 months ago, could not however gain any momentum in their inning, with several players popping up fly balls. They eventually managed to get three runners round, handing a deserved victory to Severn Vale!

“It was another amazing, if slightly soggy, day of softball at the Gloucestershire School Games County Finals,” remarked Chris Rawlings, Head of Development for BaseballSoftballUK. “It is amazing to think that this is the seventh staging of this event and as ever, the standard of play at the Gloucestershire School Games County Softball Finals has improved from last year.”

Baseball and softball were added to the Sainsbury’s School Games programme in 2012, with 12 counties now including softball in their Level 3 county-level event. Further district qualifiers have aided the development of the sport in schools, with five districts in Gloucestershire alone. Stroud, Cotswold, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Forest of Dean all qualified two teams to the final, with one team unable to take part.

“It's great to see the young people of Gloucestershire taking so readily to softball,” concluded Rawlings. “What struck me most today was the level of commitment and ability from the girls in every team! Congratulations to Severn Vale on their title – no doubt Archway, Farmors and the rest will be back next year to try and wrest the title away from them! Many thanks to all of the umpires at the event today, particularly to the Bristol Softball Association for supporting the event yet again.”

Reports from the past five Gloucestershire School Games are available below:

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