After the drama of last week and the disappointment of losing to the Voodoos we were going to have to be on our best behaviour against the Fuzzy Ducks. The word was out that if Neil so much as raised his voice against a blue he was looking at a lengthy Suarez style ban. In this instance Neil was forced to become a Pimlico Pipsqueak as opposed to marauding Pirate.
Lucky for us the Fuzzy Ducks are a far nicer bunch than the Voodicks, although with some very good players they are not short of their own haters. Not so lucky for us was the fact that they have whipped all opposition and are sitting pretty are the top of the league on 7-0 whilst our recent losses have put us back to 4th albeit with a game in hand. That of course didn’t meant that they were unbeatable but we were going to have to take our game up a notch to try to beat them.
As with most weeks we found ourselves short of players and had to revert to a 5-5. With Gids, Sohan and Marines injured, Phil and Merin away and Lorraine AWOL we played an ‘original’ Pirate line up consisting of:
Shorty (CLF), Josie (LF), Chris (SS), Alice (2/RF)), Dave (CLF), Nads (3), Neil (P), Baldeep (RF/2), Bola (1), Shaz (C)
The game got off to a very ominous start with their first player hitting a home run. It wasn’t the best shot but far enough right field to allow him time to fly around the bases. That being said they were all out after the next few hits with Shorty and Dave taking catches off their big hitters in the outfield.
Our reply wasn’t quite a good as Shorty, Josie were taken out by Gobby their stand in short stop. Whilst Chris and Alice both made bases Dave was unlucky to be caught by a great reflex catch from the big mouth himself.
Ducks 1, Pirates 0
With the Ducks unexpectedly held to just one run they came out swinging and managed to bat through their line up. No matter where we positioned ourselves they managed to find the gaps to make the bases. It seems that even the pitch was being kind to them as every ball took an awkward bounce or dip until we finally managed to catch them out with catches from Shorty, Dave and a neat play to first from Neil.
Nadine (whilst squealing) just missed first which left Neil up to bat and make first. With Baldeep out runing on first Bola followed this up with a sweet hit that allowed Neil to go home with Sharon up next. After letting the first ball go Sharon hit a belter of a over the left field fielder and bolted to second. Clearly the Ducks didn’t expect this and as Bola took off for home and Shaz to third they threw in allowing Shaz to claim her first home run. Never mind Shaz of the day, this was Shaz of the decade time though Neil missed all the drama while he took a pee and Shorty was dismissed by a throw to first.
Ducks 7, Pirates 3
Once again the Ducks were able to take every advantage that came their way and were able to drive in another 7 runs before we finally managed to stop their run fest with some nice infield plays from Chris, Neil, Bola and Alice and some great back up play in the outfield from Josie and Shorty.
At this point in time their Pitcher started to find his rhythm and took Josie’s scalp. Lucky Chris was having none of it who blasted the ball to second but it was too hot to handle and dropped allowing Chris to make first. Alice was unlucky to be caught out on a powerful hit and Dave demonstrated how not to dive into home with some suicidal base running (note: dive before they go to tag you).
Ducks 14, Pirates 4
It was starting to look as if we were going to hear the M word when Neil made a couple of changes to the team and placed Baldeep on second with Alice in left field. That seemed to throw the Ducks off as we pulled a ‘3 up 3 down’ and we were able to hold them without any runs scored. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Fuzzy Ducks!
You could sense at this point that it was possible for a famous Pirate comeback but alas it was not to be as the Ducks dismissed us (Nads, Baldeep and Bola) as ruthlessly as we had done to them, leaving poor Neil stranded on first base.
Ducks 14, Pirates 4
This time we weren’t quite so successful with our fielding with the Ducks managing to hit the gaps again and pick up 4 runs before infield/outfield combo plays managed to halt their progress. Once again we were dangerously close at this point to the dreaded Mercy but in true Pirate spirit came back fighting again.
Clearly Shaz was in a hitting mood as she managed another great shot to make first, followed by Shorty and then Josie making first as well before Chris took Josie out with a fielder’s choice. With two down Dave went for glory with a big hit but a great catch from their outfielder saw us out for 2 runs, with Shaz and Shorty coming home.
Ducks 18, Pirates 6
With 12 runs in it the game was far from over and in true Pirate spirit we continue to step up our defence. It’s a shame that our best defensive plays came so far into the game as we had managed to let in just 4 runs in the last three innings versus 14 in the first three. Finally we started to get the rub of the green with Chris taking snagging a bouncing ball clean out of the air and then throwing to first to beat the runner and pick up best defensive play. For good measure both Neil and Chris also took catches and against the odds we once again we able to hold the Ducks to zero runs scored.
Clearly this geed the Pirates on with Nadine making first (and then home), Bola hitting a great home run to left field and Shaz making first before Shorty was caught out by a great catch in the outfield.
Ducks 18, Pirates 8
The Pirates were once again on a defensive roll with the infield combining again to take the Ducks down for just one run. Chris was at the heart of the attack with great back up play from Baldeep and Bola. Just to reiterate that was only 6 runs conceded in 5 innings against the biggest scoring team in the league!
It was still possible for a Pirate comeback but with Josie falling victim to a fielder’s choice from Chris again of all people, then Alice out through Dave’s FC leaving Nads and Neil on base as Baldeep was unlucky to make first.
Final Score: Ducks 19, Pirates 9
Runners up: Donna, Krushek the Yorkshire Terrier)
Defensive award: Chris for the snag of the season
Runners up Shorty and Nads
Bola award: Dave (for Groupie action)
Shaz of the day: First HOME RUN in 8 seasons, 1000% on base- take your pick.