Manchester season gets off to a rainless start with 24-team Firstball

Tue 2 May 2017

Twenty-four teams took part in the 2017 Manchester Firstball tournament on the weekend of 29-30 April at Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury – eight teams at Comp level and 16 Rec teams.  Manchester Dodgers won the Comp Gold trophy while the London Raiders took the Rec Silver Cup and Manchester’s Two Tribes captured the Rec Bronze title.

Thanks to the hard work of the school staff, the pitches were in excellent condition, and thanks to the absence of rain, they stayed that way throughout the tournament.

Comp Division​

The Comp tournament was a single division in which all eight teams played one another in an initial round-robin.  After that, the top four teams competed for the Gold Cup and the bottom four for the Gold Plate.

In the Cup semi-finals, the fourth-placed Manchester Dodgers beat the top-ranked Manchester Thunder, and the third-placed Manchester Mavericks beat the second-placed Lions.

In the final, the Dodgers took full advantage of the strong wind blowing towards right field and claimed the title with a 22-3 victory over the Mavericks.  Delighted captain Tyler Lappage gave a lengthy press conference after his team’s win, but it was all in North American so the reporters didn’t understand what he said!

In the Comp Plate semi-finals, the fifth-placed Glasgow Honey Badgers beat the Manchester Meerkats and the sixth-placed Manchester Greensox beat the Leeds Terriers.  In the final, the Greensox proved too strong for the Badgers and triumphed 16-6 despite some heroic flying catches from Kate Williamson in right field that prevented the ‘Sox from taking advantage of the wind in the same way the Dodgers had done.

Rec Division

The Rec competition began with four groups of four teams, with the top two teams in each group going into the Silver competition and the bottom two teams into Bronze.

Four new groups were then formed, so that each team played new opposition at their own level.  The top two teams in these groups went to the Cup semi-finals, and the bottom two to the Plate semi-finals.

In the Silver Cup semi-finals, the Long Eaton Misfits narrowly beat the Manchester Speeders, and the London Raiders beat the Nottingham Tigers after an extra inning.  The Raiders then prevailed 19-8 in the final: a happy beginning to their long journey home.

In the all-North-West Silver Plate semi-finals, the Manchester Outlaws beat Manchester’s Spittin’ Camels, and Mossley Mayhem fell to the Loan Sharks from Sefton.  The Sharks raised interest rates on Merseyside by beating the Outlaws 9-2 in the final.

In the Bronze Cup semi-finals, Manchester’s Two Tribes beat the Urmston Rippers and the Leeds Bobcats beat the Manchester Tigers to make the final.  Inspired by GB Slowpitch player Nathan Barratt, who had been unavailable on Saturday, the Two Tribes took the trophy with a 22-10 victory in the final.

In the Bronze Plate semi-finals, the Monmouth Rockets saw off the Didsbury Bats and the Rebels beat the Basehunters in another all-Manchester game.  Having to wait two hours for their final meant that the Rebels’ pitching line-up had a little too much light refreshment, and the Rockets schooled them 12-0.

Manchester Main Tournament​

Registration for the Manchester Main tournament on 5-6 August will begin this week, so visit for more information and to sign up to play.

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