Sliders welcomed the Cubs to Newforge last night hoping to avoid a repeat of the 28-5 hammering they received in the reverse fixture. It didn’t bode well that the home team were once again playing short handed whilst the visitors had turned up with a full roster (so much purple!). Sliders’ mood didn’t improve much once play began. The Cubs have batting quality throughout their line-up and it showed as they relentlessly got on base scoring 7 in the first.
Sliders’ response improved the mood somewhat. Patient batting got players on base, finding gaps in the Cubs defence as they scored 4 including a homerun from Dave that saw him chase Kirsty around the bases in the process. Then the Sliders defence got to work with the infield pulling out all the stops stranding Cubs runners on base time after time. Kirsty pulled off a fantastic clean stop from a line drive for an easy out at first, John seemed to be everywhere making catches and plays at shortstop and Jay got in the act with a long throw to 1st from 3rd. Despite the outfield seeming huge with only three out there little got past and Paul took a great catch on the run calling off his captain at the last minute. Jonny was enjoying one of his best games pitching in green picking up nimerous of high profile strikes. Suddenly there was hope of an upset.
Solid base hitting all round meant that after the 4th Sliders lead 11-8. Then it all went a bit wrong. After taking two quick outs in the 5th Sliders couldn’t find a third. The Cubs took advantage with some clever hitting and running and posted another big innings of 6 to take the lead. From there the scoring dried up as the home team add only one more to the toal. Sparky, now at shortstop for the Cubs, proving difficult to get past. 5 were needed in the 7th for a home win but the auto out proved once again to be costly. The game finished 16-12 to the Cubs but was much closer than the scoreline suggests.
Highs: Home run for Dave, Kirsty putting her training into practice stopping a powerful line drive, John catching everything at short stop, Jonny’s pitching in wet conditions and plenty of friendly banter in a highly competitive game.
Next up: Sliders join forces with the Cubs to head down to Carlow for the IOST. Next Sliders fixture is at home to the recently crowned league champions the Brawlers on 28th.