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A great catch from Craig Holmes was enough to end the Willow Lakers’ play off hopes as the first team dropped out the race – but not without a fight.

The Lakers scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to claw the deficit back to 15-12, before one of the plays of the season ended the game. Lakers’ outfielder Dan Pritchard’s excellent line drive was just too close to Holmes and the Lakers’ dreams of reaching the final disappeared into his outstretched glove.

Going in to the game, the Lakers knew it was do or die and captain Sam Gibson spurred on her troops with what can best be described as a ‘motivational message’ to the team Whatsapp group.

The early innings were dominated by the pitchers, who were enjoying a rare break from the rain and howling winds regularly endured at Woughton-on-the-Green. When the runs did come, they came in home runs, with James Hand, Paul Severn, and Rachael Shkurko joining Lee Grafton on the homerun leaderboard – the latter once again leading the way in that particular race.

The D’s – already in relaxation mode after making the final some weeks ago – almost let their lead slip in the final inning with the Lakers fighting for their lives. Katie O’Toole and Paul Severn took the MVP honours for the Lakers, while Rachael Shurko’s lead-off hitting and Craig Holmes’ all-round display took the honours for the Double D’s.

The tense finale will prove good practice for the final which will be against either the Towcester Tigers or the Homerun Hornets. Will the Tigers claw their way to the final or be stung by the resurgent Hornets? Be there on September 6th at 6.15pm to find out!

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