Of all the games we wanted to win- this was the one, the ‘Grudge’ match against our favourite opposition, the Voodicks.
The last time we met at Finabury Park we lost in the 8th thanks largely to some over zealous umpiring from Mitch. At least this time it was the Fuzzy Ducks so we should at least have a fair game, assuming Neil was on his best behaviour.
The only absentees from the game were Shorty (injured but cheered on from the sidelines), Nadine (moving house) and Viene (traffic issues). Luckily Natalia was available to play as was potential new pirate Olivia so we were able to play 6-6 with 2 subs and 2 DH.
Neil/Bola (SS), Josie (LF), Chris (SS/CLF), Alice (3B), Dave (LCF/DH), Shaz (2B), Gids (RCF/P), Marines (RF), Sohan (DH/1B), Natalia (DH/catch), Paul (1B/sub)/Phil (sub/RCF), Olivia (DH/catcher)
Neil was determined to punish the Voodicks and immediately started the process by taking the walk. Josie was narrowly out on first while Chris made second and Alice walked before both Dave (caught LF) and Shaz (OOF) were out. Not the best start although Neil made 1 run.
After scoring on 1 run we were happy to return the favour and got off to a great start by making a couple of easy outs (Gids catch, Chris catch) before Dave dropped a right field glove bobbler. Lucky Paul was in form as he made a diving stop at first and tagged the base before the runner made it. 1 run scored.
Pirates 1, voodoos 1
Unfortunately we didn’t see much improvement in the second with Marines, Sohan and Natalia were all left on base after Gids was out on a force running home and both Paul and Olivia were out running to first. So far that was 5 runners left on base in 2 innings! 😱
This should have been a gift for the Voodicks but they were unable to capitalise on our mistakes. This time it was even worse for them with a 3 up 3 down thanks to great infield play and another catch from Gids.
Pirates 1, Voodoos 1
With two innings gone and only 1 run at last the time had come for a Pirate rally. Neil took his second walk of the game and Josie, Chris, Alice and Dave were all able to RBI one another and make home. With Shaz out on first Gids and Marines were both able to hit and run before both Paul and Natalia were out on first. 7 much needed runs scored though!
Neil was clearly on a mission to try and finish the game before his 8pm departure. Just as the innings before we were able to make sime great infield plays for another 3 up 3 down, the plays coming from tight defence in the infield as well as a strike out from Neil.
Pirates 8, Voodoos 1
Just when it seemed that we were going to smash them into oblivion we suffered another batting hiccup with our 3 up 3 down. It started with Olivia who was so surprised that she hit the ball that she forgot to run to first. She was followed by Neil who chanced the walk one more time and was duly struck out by their changeover pitcher and then Josie was out running to first. Noooo!
The rout continued into the 4th innings with yet another great defensive round. Neil earned his 3rd strike out of game, Sohan took a fantastic diving catch (sadly no roll though) and Shaz made a tag play on 2nd (yep- read again- shaz was on 2nd base) after a nice throw in from Dave.
Pirates 8, Voodoos 1
This time we were able to capitalise on their poor fielding with Chris, Alice, Dave, Shaz, Gids making base and Marines hitting a huge shot to the outfield to pick up the RBIs despite Shaz being tripped running from 2nd to 3rd. Unfortunately it came to an end when Sohan was struck out by his nemesis and Natalia was out running to first. Dave left the field slightly aggrieved after being called out on a 50/50 on 2nd base but with 4 runs scored we were well in the lead.
With Neil dashing off to make his train it was left to Gids to pick up where he left off. That’s exactly what he did with a solid performance that saw the Voodoos only score 1 run despite having loaded bases.
Pirates 12, Voodoos 2
In theory we we well in the lead but the Voodoos had other ideas as they batted with some aggression this time. They were also helped on by Gids who hit a wobbly patch that enabled them to walk a couple of players home. Luckily his reflexes were still lightning fast as Gids threw to 1st for the first out, followed by a catch from Sohan and then a flying Bola catch at shop stop. 5 runs scored though.
It looked as if we were going to be able to match them especially after Phil hit a great shot to make it to third. Olivia was unlucky to be caught by their female pitcher who was proving to be both their best player and certainly most miserable player. No sooner had Phil made it home off Bola’s hit then we were all out thanks to a double play from the misery herself who caught Josie out and then threw to first before Bola could make it back to the base! Have to say it was a great play from their pitcher.
Pirate 13, voodoos 7
Her performance definitively fired up the Voodoos. Sensing they could perhaps come back they continued to bat strongly picking up some more runs. It was starting to look a little worry some as they loaded the bases before Phil took a great catch in the outfield and fast throw in, bola just missed a spectacular diving catch. They then picked up another 2 runs before Gids was able to compose himself and throw to Sohan on 1st and them finish the game with a strike out. Phew- sweet revenge!
Pirates 13- voodoos 11 (with spare innings)
MVP: Marines (1000 batting + 3 RBIs)
Runner up; Phil
Paul (diving stop and out at first)
Sohan’s diving catch (no roll let him down)
Bolas diving catch at shirt stop
Shaz for fair play after being tripped up between 2nd and 3rd and then returning back to 2nd when she could have gone to third!
Shaz of the day; got to be the tag on 2nd base