Last Sunday the Belfast Sliders travelled to Donaghadee Rugby Club to face off against the Bangor Buccaneers in the final league game of the 2017 season. Everything was to play for as a win for the Sliders would keep the Smokin’ Aces at fourth in the league table, securing a second year at third place for the visiting team. With only nine players making it to Donaghadee, the prospects of a win looked bleak until the Bucs themselves arrived with only nine players – evening up the chances of a win.
The Sliders started off the batting with an eight-run first inning, Tim securing yet another home run to his season total. Despite having only three outfielders, the defence was strong and the Sliders held the Bucs to three runs by the bottom of the second. Another excellent inning followed in the third, with ten runs getting past the Bucs and additional home runs for Jonny and Dave and strong second and third base hits for most of the rest of the team.
Offense and defence took a hit in the next few innings as the Bucs increased their runs and the Sliders struggled to follow up on their earlier success. This all changed in the whopping final inning where the Sliders ran past home plate no fewer than thirteen times – Jonny missing out on a grand slam hit by one base, and further home runs from Dave, Paul and Andrew! Rallied by their returned success, the defence tightened up and prevented the Bucs from achieving any further runs in their last turn at-bat.
The final score: Bucs 16 – 38 Sliders.
Highs: Andrew’s first ever home run (despite some questionable base coaching), Dave clocking up another three home runs, Jonny just missing out on a grand slam in the final inning, and Marian rallying the team together in the absence of captain, Dan. We couldn’t forget to mention Andrew’s comical home-plate face-plant in the mud, after a decent hit, that resulted in a disappointing out at first.
Next Up: Softball Ulster End of Season Blitz, rounding off the 2017 season with one final day-long blast of softball.