Monday, April 14, 2008

If it weren't for bad luck...

…we’d have no luck at all.
Ball-game fans might remember that the Loan Wolves ended up being relegated to Division Six at the end of last season. We learned only a few days ago that two teams had dropped out of higher divisions, so there were two places in Div Five available. And three teams who were willing to play for them. We all had till Sunday to arrange to play each other for the two higher-division spots. As soon as Tigger sent a message out, all available Wolves volunteered unhesitatingly for play-off duty. Frantic organisation set up a mini-tournament yesterday at Regent’s Park.
So, as the first London marathon runners were coming in to the finish, we were heading out to decide our softballing fate.
We assembled and did some warming up and practice. Then on to our first game. Each team played each of the others, and we were drawn to play first and last of the three games. First against Comer’s Homers, then the Meteors 2. Not too bad a draw on paper.
Day not helped to a good start by Duncan Devil Stray popping his head up (he was watching a higher-level play-off) to tell us we had no chance. Thanks, DDS.
And then, as we set off for the pitch, the heavens opened with a torrential rain shower, with high winds thrown in. We’d been drawn to field first, and our poor pitchers had to contend with wind and rain and poor visibility, which let the other side take more walks than they might have been able to otherwise. And our fielders had the problem of trying to throw and catch muddy and soaking wet balls in a rainstorm, so we had a hard time of it. They made a lot of runs in that first inning.
Then, as soon as their inning ended, the sun came out. The game ended 16-11 to them. Ten of the opposition’s runs had come in the rain-drenched inning from hell.
The Mets then took the Homers apart while we watched, trying to work out what was the best result for us. We decided that things weren’t too bad – run difference would mean that a win against the Mets would get us through with the Homers dropping out.
Sadly, it was not to be. It was a close game, and we managed to get two runs ahead by the bottom of the fourth inning. But it was late in a long, tiring, gruelling day, and they got ahead again. Ten minutes till “no new innings”, and we just couldn’t get the third out to finish their inning in time to bat again.
So we came away from the day with nothing. Still, we did play well through both games, and the experience of playing for real stakes might help sharpen us up for the new season. When we’ll be looking for promotion. But we were all a bit gutted. As Kate put it, there being two places for three teams meant that instead of there being one winner, there was one loser. And that was us.
A few beers helped cheer us up a little.

[X-posted from my Livejournal]

1 comment:

Julian said...

Sounds deperately close - I salute you all for playing in such uncomfortable conditions