Towcester Tigers continued their progress in the slowpitch version of the game with a deserved victory over the Willow Lakers. The Tigers returned back up the A5 with a 19-15 victory, holding off a late comeback from the Lakers, who fell to their first defeat of the season.
The game started in monsoon conditions as the Lakers’ impressive new uniforms were drenched an even darker shade of blue as the rain came down. Fielding was difficult with the ball becoming as slippery as bar of Imperial Leather. The Lakers unsurprisingly adapted to the damp conditions quicker than their feline opponents and took an early first-inning 4-0 lead – the highlight being a two-run scoring triple from debutant Andy King. However, four consecutive singles from the Tigers were followed by a home run from Craig Holmes to give them a 6-4 lead.
As the rain eased, the lead swapped over throughout the middle innings. Alex Reynolds kept Paul Severn and Katie O’Toole busy in left field with some fly balls which were so high they almost burnt up on re-entry. Right centre fielder Ben Griffiths hobbled off after an impressive full-length dive – and Lakers Co-Captain Adam Bee hobbled on to replace him striking a Tiger out immediately as pitcher.
The Tigers consistent hitting saw them 14-12 up going into the last inning. Again, it was the Tigers’ ability to get on base which was the difference, allowing Alex Reynolds to bring home four more runs with a well-timed home-run to leave the Tigers purring with a 19-12 lead.
However, a last inning rally was begun by Ronan Murphy as the Lakers threatened to stage a fightback with some daring base running. But the Tigers held on to win 19-15 and move up the table. Martin Baxendell and Laura Thompson epitomised the Tigers’ consistent hitting and won the MVP honours, while Lakers Nikita Shkurko and Paul Severn picked up the awards for the second match in a row for some solid catching on a busy night in the field.
Tuesday, June 28th sees the first double header night in League history. The close games look set to continue, and if we are really lucky, we might even get some dry weather! See you all there!