Friday night’s red weather warning issued by the weather office seemed to fizzle-out on Saturday and although events like the Formula 1 British Grand Prix qualifying was affected badly, further South, the women’s tennis final at Wimbledon went ahead.
With the fear of a rainout out of the way attention turns to 4 pivotal games for the 4 Herts senior league teams.
FALCONS (12-4) @ NATIONALS (15-4)
After 3 weeks without league action, the Herts Falcons go into battle with the reigning champions. The Harlow Nationals’ last loss came on 10 June when they last met the Falcons. They went on to a 4-game winning streak which took them back into first place. Teams are reluctant to look beyond their next game, but both the Nats and the Falcons can be forgiven for having one eye on the postseason NBCs. There may not be much difference between finishing first or second in the regular season, other than the sense of achievement, however both teams know that losing both games of Sunday’s doubleheader could drag them into the unpredictability of the one-game playoff which awaits the teams which finish fourth and fifth in the regular season. The Lakenheath Diamondbacks’ stunning sweep of the London Mets last weekend was a wake-up call for the four teams ahead of them. That game saw the emergence of Taylor Portman who provided power with the bat but more importantly looked like he can shut down even the most potent of batting lineups. The Taylor Portman-factor will now be on the back of Nats and Falcons minds. This adds an extra edge on a matchup which was already highly-charged after the fireworks on 10 June which almost resulted into a bench-clearing brawl.
MAVERICKS (14-0) @ HAWKS (6-4)
The best team in the BBF AA-League travel to Grovehill Ballpark. The Guildford Mavericks seem unbeatable as they have won all 14 games of the season so far. They have already booked their place in the AA postseason playoffs. The Herts Hawks are also in a comfortable position in terms of postseason qualification, however the stunning form of the Guildford Mavericks and the Poole Piranhas on the other hand is giving the top four teams in Pool B, sleepless nights. The teams which finish third and fourth in Pool B face the daunting prospect of meeting either Guildford or Poole so there is a sense of panic among the top 4 teams in Pool B to finish first or second and avoid the AA favourites.
A win for the Hawks this Sunday could lift them into second place. A loss could put them way down into fourth which could mean that they would have to face the Guildford Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. The game starts at 12pm at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead. If the Hawks can get the job done quickly enough they may be able to catch the Olympic Torch Relay which passes through Hemel Hempstead this Sunday afternoon from 4:30pm.
RAPTORS (4-3) @ GUILDFORD MAVERICKS II (4-3)
While the Hawks try to end Guildford’s unbeaten run, the Raptors will be looking to keep their playoff hopes alive when they travel to Guildford’s second team. Both teams have 4 wins and 3 losses each and both need a win to stay in the race. Raptors Manager, Arnie Longboy, will be missing a large number of his starting 9 so he will need the Under-17 players who have been called up to hit the ground running when they make their AA league debut this Sunday.
HERTS EAGLES (5-3) @ HOVE TUESDAY (5-0)
The Eagles are still in the race for the playoffs but they will need to give their best performance of the season if they are going to overcome the unbeaten Hove Tuesday. The newest team in the A-League has blown away their opponents winning all of their games with the mercy rule enforced after 7 innings. Can the Eagles shock British Baseball with a win on the South Coast.