Christmas comes early for MK Diamonds at (Not) Jingle Balls

Sat 14 Dec 2019

By Alan Le Marquand

The softball community came together to raise money for charity at the third (Not) Jingle Balls event on Sunday 8 December in Rickmansworth.

This annual Christmas-themed event, run by Maidenhead Softball Club, is a mix of softball and Christmas.  Fancy dress is highly encouraged, with Elf outfits being the popular choice this year, so it wasn’t a surprise that two teams dressed as Elves fought out the final.

Prior to what was an epic end to the day, 10 teams from around southern England took part.  In the now-standard format with two groups of five teams, everyone was competing for the Bauble and Tinsel trophies.


Defense

At a time of giving and sharing, that sentiment wasn’t communicated to the defenses of the teams in the early games, with four of the first six games decided by fewer than two runs.  In general, across the group stages, defenses ruled the day. 

In this format, there are two teams that end up playing for ninth place, and this year it was Base Jam and the RG Blue Sox who wound up in that position and it was RG Blue Sox who condemned Base Jam to a 10th place finish.


Tinsel

In the Tinsel competition the Diamond Dogs took on the RG Blue Jays in the first semi-final, while newcomers Charity Chargers played Bracknell Red in the other.

The Diamond Dogs, who have been a regular at Windsor and Maidenhead League Indoor events, got an early Christmas gift as they reached their first final at the expense of the Blue Jays.  However, the Charity Chargers’ first appearance at this event didn’t have a Christmas ending as Bracknell Red joined the Dogs in the final.

The Tinsel final was a very close affair, with Christmas magic favouring the Diamond Dogs, who took their first trophy at NJB with a 9-5 victory over the Reds.


Bauble

The Bauble competition had a distinctly Windsor and Maidenhead flavour.  Thames Valley took on the host Maidenhead team in one semi-final, while the MK Diamonds (or is it MK Elves?) took on Bracknell Yellow in the other.

The Diamonds had been outstanding all day and reached the Bauble final with a 23-9 win over the Yellows.  The other semi-final was much closer affair.  Going into the last inning, Thames Valley held a seven-run lead, which they very nearly defended for five minutes before going down 15-14 to Maidenhead.

The Bauble final was a fitting climax to the day.  Maidenhead led 8-5 after the first inning and 13-10 after the second.  Following their third inning the MK Diamonds led 14-13, leaving Maidenhead Softball Club five minutes to score only two runs to claim their first Bauble trophy.  But in an amazing display of defensive indoor softball, the Diamonds kept that one-run lead intact to claim an unlikely victory.


Good causes

MK Diamonds may have won the tournament, but the good causes that will benefit from the money raised on the day are the real winners.

It is a tribute to the softball community that they came ready to support the event, and their generosity was such that the biggest tombola there has ever been at a (Not) Jingle Balls event was all but sold out before lunch time.

Maidenhead Softball Club would like to put out a really huge thank you to everyone from the club who volunteered to help run the event, to the players and spectators who supported it, to the umpires -- especially Lee Benaim and Jes Sandhu -- who gave their time to cover most of the games and to Nuffield Health for their continued support and donations to the cause.

While Maidenhead Softball Club runs the event, it’s the softball community that should feel really proud.

Back to news listing


Comments

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

BSF development grants available, apply