Matton stops them battin
“PLAY BALL” was the call at the start of proceedings and it was the Royals fielding against the Bandits under-18s.
Luke Matton was pitching fast under-arm pitches that defy logic at times with the speed he achieves while still keeping them flat and almost impossible to hit.
The first dig saw the Bandits strike out or hit easily-picked-up balls to be thrown to first base for the out.
It was good spirits though and both sides were ribbing each other in friendly banter with lots of laughing and no ill feelings between the rivals.
The Royals came out in their first at bat with six runs on the score sheet thanks mainly to Andrew Garner who hit cleanly, Andrew Cunningham who hit a triple and Luke Matton with a single which put the Royals in front with a great lead.
It was in the second dig that the Bandits’ Matty Gee took a most amazing catch while manning short stop.
Nathan Cunningham hit a terrific flat and hard crack which launched directly at Matty who gloved the catch.
It was by far the catch of the day and it was amazing to watch. Matty was on a high for the rest of the day and good on him as it was a great effort.
Jason took the pitching duties and kept the Royals scoreless for the rest of the game and it was thanks to Nick Brazel and Jason who hit through the infield and managed to get bases.
In-field errors on base run steals saw both get home, however it was the Royals taking the game 6-2 in a great match-up. The finals should be a great event.
Women’s A Grade saw Royals playing against the Rebels with a game under the only shade shared in a friendly match- up of rivals and the action was great to watch from the sideline.
The Rebels batted extremely well with consistent base hits the key to winning the game for them. Great catch at short stop by Hannah Morris in the third dig was a highlight. The Ninjas looked the business but went down 12 runs to five.
Key players were Toni-Anne Hart and Jamie McLellan who had a great game getting outs from short stop to first base in each dig.
Mixed was a mixed bag for the Bandits who suffered once again from being one player short to make a team and as we were playing the young dudes from Toormina High School we needed every player we could find.
With talent like Josh Brady, Sam Winsor, Matty Gee and Izzy Stradlin lining up to show us up, it’s always a task.
Thankfully Craig Nottage turned up and hit a monster home run for the Bandits. The score sheet says that the Bandits lost 7-nil but I remember it as 8 -7 our way with Jason hitting out for a 3-bagger and myself getting two from three and solid hits from Paula Stait.
At one time we batted through the line-up. It was a fun game against a wonderful team. I know that they cared little once we had forfeited but we took it to them. We forfeited in style and look out for the finals when we can field a full team.
The under-13s have certainly got what it takes with each round showing the kids are training hard and putting this into play each week.
With the Royals again in a match- up it was the Slayers against the Wipeouts and it was a great game with both fielding only eight players.
Fielding was stepped up to another level to fill the gaps and Toni reports that it was nothing short of brilliant. The game highlight was the homerun by Reece McKinnon for the Slayers. Reece has shown great consistency lately and has the skills to take him to state level.
Notable mentions by coaches for great softball for Cheyenne Burrell, Andrew Garner and Cody Berry who all seem to be rising to the top in their age groups with solid performances in each and every game they play.