Don't fear the Reaper
Libs had brought her new bat to the game, the formidably-named and heavy metal styled Reaper. It didn't prove a game-winning secret weapon, sadly, but the game was thrilling enough without being decided by a magic bat.
I took the London Overground out to Gospel Oak, then made my way to Parliament Hill for the game. It was a crisp, sunny evening, a welcome change after the deluges of recent weeks. The field was attractive and well-tended, but with a marked slope which caused more than one player to stumble running up to First or misjudge their downhill run to Third.
With the Voodoos a houngan down, an automatic out helped our cause somewhat. Still, we knew they had some strong players and we had to be at our best. We had a good First inning, getting four runs on the board. Sterling fielding saw us shut them out, and though they returned that favour, we had held onto that 4-0 lead up to the top of the fifth. We made three more, but they made good on the threat which their batting had hinted at earlier and a few key hits saw them narrow the lead to two. By the end of the Sixth, they had drawn level.
So the weather was good, the evening still young, and the ballgame was poised 7-7, with all to play for in the final inning.
One Wolf made it round. Just one. We were defending the slightest of leads, with our opponents in the middle of their batting order. Could we close them down, make the outs we needed? Two would probably have done it, with that automatic out coming up. Sadly, the Voodoos kept their nerve and batted well, good base hits pushing players towards victory. Inexorably they drew level. The pressure was on us now. The automatic out came and went, but a fine hit saw them bring one more round to end what had been a thrillingly close match in their favour.
A fine showing by the Wolves, without costly errors or fumbles. Solid batting, good backing up, and an overall excellent team performance. If we stay as sharp as this, we should get some good results out of this season, which has effectively started afresh after the rain-enforced break.
The Voodoo sorcerers can take the pins out of that cuddly toy wolf now. Though doubtless they'll go back in again when we meet them again in a couple of weeks' time.