Meteors Black and Green in GBFL title fight

Tue 30 May 2017

Meteors Green, who have been slowly moving up the standings in the Men’s Division of the Great Britain Fastpitch League, racked up two more wins on Sunday 27 May to move into a virtual first place with Meteors Black just one day left to play.  In the Women’s Division, The Mix have wrapped up the divisional title.

Men’s Division

In what has been a very competitive Men’s Division, Meteors Green capped off a steady climb up the league standings on 27 May with a tight 4-3 win over Meteors Blue, a 13-2 drubbing of Meteors Black, a 9-4 win over Chichester Falcons and a 5-0 loss to Meteors Red that left them just behind Meteors Black at the top of the standings with just one day’s play to come on Saturday 3 June.

Meteors Black have won 12 games and lost four; Meteors Green have won 12, lost four and drawn one.  So everything will come down to those teams’ results on the final day, as the third place Meteors Blue are too far back to catch them.

The Greens, who have a large group of players from the GB Under-19 Men’s squad in their team, were in fourth place after Week 1, but were third after Week 3, second after Week 4 and have now almost reached the top.

The key game on 27 May was the 13-2 win by the Greens over the Blacks.  But the Blacks regrouped and managed to win two very tight games, by 5-4 over Meteors Blue and 8-7 over the Tigers, to just keep their noses in front.

Whichever team wins the division will have the right to enter the European Men’s Super Cup in 2018 should they wish to do so.

Meanwhile, the Chichester Falcons, who climbed off the bottom of the division for the first time in Week 4 by virtue of recording their first three wins of the season, slipped back down again in Week 5, despite recording another win, beating the Tigers 5-1.  The Falcons were passed by Meteors Red, the most inconsistent team in the division, who won all three of their games on the day, including wins over the Falcons by 5-2 and the Greens by 5-0.

With the Falcons and the Reds separated by only a game-and-a-half, and the Reds just half a game behind the fourth-place Tigers, the battle for the Wooden Spoon should go down to the wire on the final day of the season.

Week 5 Scores and Standings

Meteors Green 4, Meteors Blue 3
Meteors Green 13, Meteors Black 2
Meteors Red 7, Tigers 1
Chichester Falcons 5, Tigers 1
Meteors Black 5, Meteors Blue 4
Meteors Black 8, Tigers 7
Tigers 12, Meteors Blue 11
Meteors Red 5, Meteors Green 0
Meteors Red 5, Chichester Falcons 2
Meteors Green 9, Chichester Falcons 4

Meteors Black 12 4 0 .750 +20
Meteors Green 12 4 1 .735 +61
Meteors Blue 9 8 0 .529 +61
Tigers 6 10 1 .382 -36
Meteors Red 5 10 1 .344 -43
Chichester Falcons 4 12 1 .265 -63

Women’s Division

The Mix have been the class of the Women’s Division all season, and they strolled to two more wins on 27 May, by 12-1 over the Free Agents and 13-1 over the Strays, to clinch the division title and a place in European Cup competition next season.

London Angels, who have usually won the Fastpitch League in its various forms over the years, and who were GBFL Women’s Division winners in 2016, had three more victories in Week 5 to clinch second place, but will be unable to catch The Mix, a team made up mainly of players from the GB Women and GB Under-19 Women pools.

Oxford Diamonds, with a win over the Strays and a close 4-1 loss to the Angels in Week 5, will finish third, while The Strays and the Free Agents will battle for the Wooden Spoon on the final day of the season, with just half a game separating the two teams.

Week 5 Scores and Standings

London Angels 16, The Strays 3
Oxford Diamonds 8, The Strays 3
The Mix 12, Free Agents 1
The Mix 13, The Strays 1
London Angels 12, Free Agents 1
London Angels 4, Oxford Diamonds 1

The Mix 13 1 0 .929 +142
London Angels 10 4 0 .714 +68
Oxford Diamonds 6 7 0 .462 -21
The Strays 3 11 0 .214 -113
Free Agents 2 11 0 .154 -7

Looking ahead

The GBFL won the BSF’s League of the Year award in 2016, but this year has seen an increased number of teams and players in both the Men’s and Women’s Divisions, and a generally high standard of play, particularly in the Men’s Division.

Next year, the GBFL will look to increase the number of playing dates and stretch out its season beyond the beginning of June.

A feature of the final day’s play in this season, on Saturday 3 June, will be a special clinic to be run for national team coaches by ISF-qualified BASU umpire Jana McCaskill, covering the Flex/DP rule, obstruction/interference, and the all-important topic of 'how to talk to umpires'.

A number of individual awards will also be given out at the close of play, along with trophies for the divisional winners.

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