The Roundabout Rhinos booked their place in the final after fighting back to beat the Willow Lakers in an exciting game.
The Lakers needed a win to keep their season alive and were weakened by a number of injuries to key players. Thankfully Nikita Shkurko is recovering from her nasty looking injury, but Dan Pritchard was ruled out with a mysterious-sounding buttock injury from slip n’ slide. Also missing was Ronan Murphy with a “banjaxed wrist”. I don’t know what it means either! The Rhinos sported (another) impressive new purple kit which would grace any MLB game.
The Lakers almost got off to the perfect start after a great hit by Katie O’Toole, who was just thrown out at the plate after a typically hair-raising run – just don’t get in her way when she’s at top speed!
However, there was a break in the early action after a dog decided it fancied itself as an outfielder at left centre. Despite the recent efforts of Sherlock Holmes to convert him, incumbent left centre fielder Paul Severn is no a dog-lover, and had considerable difficulty in removing the rogue hound from the playing area.
Hits by Sam Gibson, Charlee Iceena and Adam Bee helped the Lakers get on the scoreboard as they took an early lead to leave the Rhino’s final position endangered.
However, pitcher Eddy Verbeek started to gain control of the game and his amazing pitching record was continued as he started to shut down the Lakers. In fact it was a rarity that he pitched in the dry weather as he has usually operated in monsoon conditions. It was decided that all pitchers need a towel – so Leah Holmes will be off to Lakeland soon enough.
It was 11-11 after five innings but the Rhinos’ big bats got to work in the final two innings with some meaty home runs, with Carl Billson, Vijay Chauhan and Jon Reynolds peppering the shrubbery surrounding the field. There was also some consistent hitting by Liz Knight and Chloe Love. Unfortunately many Lakers’ hits found their way towards Jon Reynolds’ glove, which is never a promising strategy.
A 21-12 final scoreline ensured the Rhinos a place in the final in their first season – congratulations! Hard luck to the Lakers who have lost some closely fought games in recent weeks.