Under 18 Softball County Tournament
On a cold and foggy October day, the Archway Under 18s Softball team took on some huge institutions in terms of size with Stroud College, Hartpury College, Gloucester College and Cirencester College, alongside the smaller sixth form of Rednock.
For the first time Archway Sixth Form were seen as the favourites, not only to win the County tournament but to retain the title following last year’s triumph as the top team in the whole of Gloucestershire.
Following Marling and Stroud High pulling out of the event as hosts who were unable to field a team, Archway stepped up to offer the hallowed Paganhill turf to host the competition. Sadly the pressure seemed to get to the team, losing their first game against an average Cirencester team. A rousing team talk from manager Mr Chapman seemed to inspire some huge hitting from Kieran Welsh and Nick Evans, whilst some astute fielding from Reece Davies and short stop Sol Farrer also inspired great catching from Sammi Nolan and Chloe Hitchings. Newcomer Emily Chandler proved the most consistent female batter, whilst Kyishia Cooke’s timely big hitting also contributed massively to successive wins against each of the remaining teams. With one game to go, the chance of medalling increased dramatically.
It came down to a massive finale against Hartpury College who were unbeaten—a win would guarantee an Archway title whilst a loss would see them drop out of the medal tables altogether, such was the level of competition and close nature of the tournament. A poor batting display in the first innings saw our chance slipping but then an outstanding innings in the field kept us ahead with no runs conceded for the first time in the tournament. With the final innings to go, some superb and timely battling from Charlie Childs and Nathan Windle increased the lead slightly but it all came down to the final innings in field.
It was Archway who kept their heads with some excellent bowling from Lucy Curtis and Charlie Warner. Charlie again showed why he had been given the important role of catcher on home plate, allowing the game to go to the final ball. A quick tactical switch in field position allowed us to close the trap and stop any further runs being conceded culminating in a 2 run Archway win.
It was an excellent day and another fantastic performance by the combined Y11 and Sixth Form team to be crowned County Champions for the second year running– a feat never achieved before.
The next softball will be a Y9 and a Y10 Archway softball team looking to retake the district title and fly the flag at County level once again.
Back row (left to right): Nick Evans, Reece Davis, Charlie Warner, Nathan Windle, Kieran Welsh, Sol Farer, Charlie Childs
Front row: Lucy Curtis, Chole Hitchings, Kyishia Cooke, Emily Chandler, Sammi Nolan, Hannah Weaver