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Role reversal

After producing a fourteen-run comeback last week, the Sefton Sharks were on the receiving end this time, as the St. Helens Sabres turned it around in the last inning to win 18-17 thanks to a game-winning home-run by Tony Malcolm.

Despite the Sharks opening proceedings with a 14-0 lead, the Sabres managed to claw their way back by closing the gap after each inning. By the time the seventh and final inning came around, three runs was all that was needed to secure their second win of the season.

The Sharks had a strong start to the season, and look to be prime challengers for the league title. But consecutive losses has seen them looking over their shoulder at a chasing pack full of teams that feel confident in taking that second spot away from them.

As for the Sabres, it was a slow season as a new captain and players changing positions took a while to get to grips with. But after a helpful 23-14 over the Formby Fins, their confidence from last season seems

to be have re-emerged.

To say it wasn’t the best start for St. Helens would be an understatement. The opening inning saw the Sharks carry on from where they left from their encounter against the Fins, as they scored fourteen runs to take a lead that many people would be deemed uncatchable.

But with the Sabres answering back with two runs of their own, they know if they could keep that up, a comeback is a possibility.

As the Sabres fielding improved, their batting was looking pretty solid for the rest of the match. With an average of about three runs per inning being scored by the Sabres, which included a home-run by Terry Ebo, the lead was in their sights. The Sabres were 17-15 down going into the final inning. With the Sharks unable to score, it was down to their opponents’ batting to see if the unthinkable could be achieved.

A few crucial base-hits by Jack Scholes and Rebecca Ebo put them in prime position to score the winning run. That ended up being enough as a home-run by Tony Malcolm brought in the runs, and a second win of the season for the Sabres.

Meanwhile in the other contest, the Crosby Vikings keep marching on. They moved to six wins without loss, as they comfortably saw off the Formby Fins 20-10. Despite a battling performance by the Fins, the Vikings came out with a polished display with the bat and glove and always looked in control. That win also puts the Vikings at the halfway point of achieving a perfect winning record.

It has been a tough 2018 for the Fins. Despite showing vast improvements from last season, the results have not matched their efforts. As for the Vikings, the league champions can do no wrong at the moment. Wins in all of their matches so far, has seen a fourth consecutive league title look more and more likely as the weeks go by.

The opening inning saw both sides’ intent in taking control of this contest. While the Vikings opened their account with four runs, the Fins replied with three of their own.

A further four runs by Crosby in the second inning made it an 8-3 lead. However in the third inning, Formby answered well with four runs as well, to reduce the gap back to one run.

Innings four and five was where Crosby extended their lead. A combined five runs in those two innings saw the Vikings move into a 13-7 lead, and make it an even tougher ask for Formby.

But despite the Fins showing their best efforts of finding a gap in the Vikings outfield, the game was running away from them. Three runs in the sixth inning including a home-run by Chris Jones and four in the final inning secured the ten-run victory.

Next week, for the Vikings to get to an unprecedented 7-0, they will have to beat the Sabres. Elsewhere, the returning Southport Seagulls will take on the Formby Fins, in a match that could see the battle for second place become closer than ever.

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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