Successful North West Series comes to a close in Manchester

Tue 20 Aug 2019

The third and final weekend of the 2019 North West Tournament Series took place on 17-18 August in Manchester, with series winners declared in both the Rec and Comp divisions.

Rec Tournament

Eight Rec teams came to Manchester on Saturday 17 August for the third one-day North West Series tournament of the year, and the weather gods were kind after a week of rain, with blue skies for the majority of the day.

This fun one-day tournament series gives Rec teams an opportunity to play in a relaxed and friendly environment where players can sharpen their skills.  The teams play a minimum of six games on the day, which is equivalent to around a third of their league season.

The Rec tournament at North West Series 3 included three rookie teams who had formed during 2019, including The Good, The Bat and The Ugly, who came together just two weeks before the competition following Manchester Softball League rookie sessions. 

BaseballSoftballUK North West Coach Linni Mitchell, who coached all three of this year’s rookie teams, said, “I’m delighted to see the rookies, some of whom have played for only a matter of weeks, improve game on game during this tournament.  Seeing the improvement from the first game to the last game is fantastic.”

Results

Once again, Leeds teams dominated the tournament, with the Bobcats (shown above) and Yorkshire Dales competing for the top spot in the table.  In the end it was the Leeds Bobcats, with a 9-5 win over the Dales, who confirming their status as both tournament champions and Series winners.

This makes the Bobcats the third Leeds team on the trot to win the North West Series, following Leeds Lightning, who were Series winners in 2017 and Leeds Detonators, who were champions in 2018.

Thunder II (shown below) beat Freeze 7-5 in their final to take home the Silver trophy.

The Bronze final was a close contest, with the Tiggers and Stingers tied at 12-all in the last inning.  But the Tiggers clawed their way to victory in extra innings, beating the Stingers by a final score of 18-13.

Final standings

Final standings in the Rec tournament at North West Series 3 were:

Gold Winner -- Bobcats
Gold Runner-up -- Yorkshire Dales
Silver Winner -- Thunder II
Silver Runner-up -- Freeze
Bronze Winner -- Tiggers
Bronze Runner-up -- Stingers
7 -- Swingers
8 -- The Good, The Bat & The Ugly


Comp Tournament

The Comp half of the North West Series 3 tournament was held on 18 August, and the Mavericks went unbeaten and were crowned tournament and Series winners for 2019.

This tournament was a quieter affair than on Saturday, with four teams competing.  However, these teams got to play seven games in one day, which once again proved popular with players who were able to get the maximum amount of game time.

Teams played each other twice, home and away, in 45-minute games.  Then the top two teams from the double round-robin played for the tournament title while the remaining two teams played for third place.

In the final, the Loan Sharks (shown above) led the top-seeded Mavs by two runs in the top of the penultimate inning.  But in the bottom of that inning the Mavs dug deep and scored eight runs in a marvellous two-out rally, building a lead that was too much for the Sharks to chase.  The final score was 11-6 to the champion Mavericks.

In the third-place game, the Camels (shown below) gave the Latinos the hump by beating them in the final after tying and losing to them earlier in the day.

Standings

Final standings in the Comp tournament at North West Series 3 were:

1 -- Mavericks
2 -- Loan Sharks
3 -- Camels
4 – Latinos

Comments

BaseballSoftballUK Development Manager Luis Arrevillagas said, “Value for money is the key here: we don’t know of any other tournaments where you play this many back-to-back games in one day.  At some tournaments you barely get eight games in two days so seven in one day is fantastic.  Although it seems a lot, the back-to-back games keep your body warm, and the day after there are fewer aches and pains.”

Linni Mitchell added, “Captains are a big fan of the amount of game time teams get at our North West Series and we’re really happy to give the players what they want!  As ever, we like to add special touches to make our tournaments stand out from the rest, from bunting lining the pitches to our signature instant raffle with free NWS sunglasses.  Feedback from this year has been fantastic and we’re already looking forward to North West Series 2020 next year.”

To check out a full spate of photos from the event go to: https://www.facebook.com/NorthWestSoftballSeries/.

Photos by David Grice

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