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Vikings turn up the heat

It is three wins without a loss now for the Crosby Vikings, after they produced their best performance of the season with a 21-9 win over the St. Helens Sabres.

A strong start by the current league champions in sweltering conditions including home-runs by infielder Charlotte Green and pitcher Nick Hulse, has put the Vikings in good stead for their upcoming top of the table clash with the Sefton Sharks next week.

This was the first match between the two sides after their dramatic title deciding contest last year. But with a much different Sabres side lining up this time, the hype and build-up looked to be less than what it could have been.

It was a perfect start for the Vikings who quickly jumped to a 3-0 lead that included a first home-run of the season by Charlotte Green. With the last two matches seeing the Vikings begin with multiple errors, they could do no wrong in the opening few innings.

Crosby lead 9-4 going into the fourth inning, and a further six runs with three in reply from the Sabres saw the Sefton Softball League champions move into a comfortable eight run lead.

A combined six runs from the Vikings in the fifth and sixth innings, that ended with a home-run by pitcher Nick Hulse saw Crosby see off their opponents with an eventual twelve-run win.

Meanwhile, the Formby Fins recorded their first win of the season after claiming a narrow 18-17 win over the Southport Seagulls.

Six runs in the sixth inning by the Fins was the turning point that saw the Fins pull away into a commanding lead. The Seagulls came close to reducing the deficit in the final inning, but the gap was just too much in the end and the Fins ended one-run winners.

With both sides struggling for wins in the opening month of the season, this match would kick-start someone’s season.

It was quite an exciting opening inning. With both sides scoring well, you could feel the energy from both the Fins and Seagulls and they both look determined and expectant of that all-important win.

The second and third innings saw the Seagulls surge forward. A combined eight runs as well as a home-run by captain Andy Lott saw Southport take early control, as they jumped to a 10-7 lead.

After that, the Fins began their turnaround. Four runs scored fourth and fifth innings and a sensational six runs in the sixth inning saw the Fins jump into the lead 17-12.

With a further run scored by Formby in the final inning, six runs was the target for Southport to tie the game. After a valiant effort including a second home-run by Lott, the Seagulls fell short by one run and Formby took the spoils, and now lead the chasing pack in the league table.

Next week will see at least one of two perfect records end. The Vikings will take on the returning Sefton Sharks in a battle of the top two sides in the league, who have yet to lose in 2018.

The other contest sees the Seagulls take on the Sabres, where the winner will secure their first win of the season. Taking a rest next week will be the Fins.

The Sefton Softball League is always happy to welcome new players. With the birth of a sixth team being the league’s next ambition, now is the time to be a part of this ever-growing league. Come down to our rookie sessions at PlayFootball on Drummond Road in Crosby on Monday evenings at 6pm to give it a go and then check out the matches from 7pm.

Also, don’t forget to check out the league website, like the Facebook page by typing in Sefton Softball and follow them on Twitter @SeftonSoftball.

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