Sheriffs Men take the title at Nottingham Single-Sex 3 but Minx deny Sheriffs Women

Thu 27 Oct 2016


The third and final Nottingham Single-Sex Slowpitch tournament of the season was held on the weekend of 17-18 September.

While the Men’s tournament was the culmination of a three-tournament series, the Women’s event was held as a stand-alone tournament, since only three women’s three teams had entered Single-Sex 1 and 2.


Women’s Tournament​

Saturday started in gloom for the Women’s tournament, but after torrential rain the day before everyone was just thankful that the weather stayed dry and the grounds were still playable.

Six teams entered the competition, and the format was a single round-robin, with each team playing a final based on their position at the end of the group stage.

In the opening game of the day, the Pyros took on the Sheriffs (winners of SS1 and SS2).  Despite going 8-2 down, the Pyros fought back in the final inning, posting five runs, but fell just short, losing 8-7.

Miss Fits started their day with a 10-0 win over the Pink Panthers, but it was the Manchester Minx who set the benchmark, posting an 18-2 win in their first game against the Miss Fits.

And that set the tone for the day, with the Minx going unbeaten in the round-robin.  Although Sheriffs pushed them hard, the Minx just nicked a 6-5 win.

That defeat by the Minx was the Sheriffs’ only loss, putting them second with a 4-1 record and giving them a Cup Final place.  Miss Fits (3-2) took third place in the round-robin, making it into the Plate Final along with the Pyros (2-3).

In the Spoon Final, the fifth place Pink Panthers (1-4) took on the sixth-placed team from Leeds (0-5), and unfortunately for Leeds they couldn’t break their duck, with the Panthers taking the game by 12-3.

In the Plate Final, the Pyros, who had lost to Miss Fits 10-4 in the round-robin, managed to turn the tables on their opponents, winning a tight game 6-4.

But the fireworks were reserved for the Cup Final, where the Sheriffs sought to make it a clean sweep of this year’s Single-Sex competitions at Nottingham.  And they looked to be on target, leading 8-4 when the Minx came to bat at the bottom of the final inning.

However, the Minx dug deep and managed to get runners on base, followed by a couple of big hits to drive them in.  The Minx got the five runs they needed to take the title with only one out.

Jenny Pooley of Sheriffs was a clear winner of the Tournament MVP, having been voted MVP in four of the six games played, including the Cup Final.

Given the quality of the tournament, the organisers hope to build on the success of the women’s Single-Sex 3 next year, with a few more women’s teams entering the earlier tournaments as well.

For more information please contact Harvey Pryor (harvey.pryor@tnt.co.uk).


Men’s Tournament

In the Men’s event, there was not only the individual honour of winning the tournament at stake, but the series title was on the line as well.

Coming into the final event, the Sheriffs led the series table with 45 points, with Pyros in second place on 40.  With the Tigers the next closest team on 30 points, Pyros were the only realistic challengers to the Sheriffs’ defense of their 2015 title.

The Men’s Single-Sex 3 used a different format to previous competitions, where all teams had competed in a single round-robin group capped at seven teams.  At Single-Sex 3 there were eight teams, and these were seeded into two evenly-matched groups based on series standings after the first two events.

These two groups each played a single round-robin, with the top two teams progressing to the Cup competition and the third and fourth-placed teams going to the Plate.

In Group A, the Pyros went unbeaten at 3-0 and the Misfits (2-1) came through in second place.

In Group B, the Sheriffs went unbeaten, but so too did Godzillas after the two teams had fought out a 10-10 draw, with the Sheriffs taking first place based on two fewer runs conceded.

For the Plate competition, Leeds (1-2) went through with Tigers (0-3) from Group A, while the Bobcats (1-2) and the GB Under-19 Team (0-3) completed the Plate line-up from Group B.

The four teams at each level then played another round-robin, with previous results from the teams that went through at that level (eg Sheriffs v Godzillas) counting in the second round-robin.

In the Cup, the Misfits narrowly lost to Godzillas 12-11, while the Sheriffs beat the Pyros.  The Pyros knew that they would then need to beat Godzillas to make it into the Cup Final and challenge for the series title, but Godzillas were in fine form, and continued their unbeaten run by winning 10-6.

The Sheriffs also progressed to the final with an 8-4 win over Misfits.

In the Plate, the third-placed teams from the initial round-robin, Bobcats and Leeds, made it to the final at the expense of the two fourth-placed teams, Tigers and GB Under-19s, who played out a 6-6 draw when they met each other, with Tigers finishing rock bottom on runs conceded.

In the Plate Final itself, the Yorkshire team prevailed by 11-8.

Then it was on to the Cup Final.  With the Sheriffs having already secured the series title by finishing above the Pyros, there were questions from the crowd about whether they would still have the motivation to go all the way and take the Single-Sex 3 title.

And with both the Sheriffs and Godzillas having gone undefeated to this point, the expectation was for a closely-fought contest between the teams. 

However, the Sheriffs clearly hadn’t read the script.  Any thoughts of them not trying too hard because they had already taken the series title quickly evaporated as they jumped into an early lead that was never threatened, eventually taking the Single-Sex 3 title with 18-3 win.

However, true to form, the Godzillas’ heads never went down and they continued to play the game with smiles on their faces despite the score.

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