The Herts Falcons are going into the weekend’s NBL games with the odds stacked firmly against them. Their roster has been severely weakened after the injuries sustained last Sunday in the games against Bracknell. Cris Hiche is one of the league’s leading batters with a batting average of .778, 1 home run, and he is expected to be out for 6 weeks. It would take a miraculous recovery for pitcher Abel Salas to be fit in time for Sunday’s games. There is also doubt about Mike Osborn’s fitness after his collision with Hiche and foot injury sustained earlier this year.
On the other hand the Arrows are buoyant after a winter which brought a number of high profile reinforcements turning them into a major contender for the title. Their starting pitchers Richard Chesterton and Lance Louw have picked up two wins each so far this season and are among the leaders in ERA, with 2.14 and 2.33, respectively. Over the years we have been used to seeing the Arrows in their traditional black and white uniforms. This Sunday, we will see them in their brand new orange jerseys mildly resembling the Brighton Buccaneers of the early 2000s.
Can Herts Falcons Manager, Lee Manning, do a “Tony Pulis” and come up with a winning formula against the odds?
The game starts at 1pm at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead.
There will also be two other matchups. Triple-A League favourites Hove Tuesday (0-0) will be making the trip from the South coast to face the Herts Eagles (1-3). The Kent Mariners (1-2) will also be in town in a Single-A League game against the Herts Raptors (0-2) who will be looking for their first win of the season. The start times for these two games needed to be adjusted in order fit all 5 games. If all parties are in agreement the Eagles will start their doubleheader at 10am while the Raptors will play the Mariners as soon as the Triple-A games end, which is estimated to be at around 3pm. The Herts Hawks (4-4) are on the road this Sunday. They will face the Richmond Dragons (4-2), a direct rival in the race to the playoffs.
Before all of that, the Herts youth teams will be in action on Saturday. The Herts Harriers will appear in an international tournament. Their opponents will be the American Varsity League teams, ACS Cobham, and AS Paris (France). The games will be played at ACS Cobham, which is just a few minutes away from Chelsea Football Club’s training ground. At the same time in Hemel Hempstead the Herts Under-12 League games resume. Several new players are expected to make their U12 league debuts having joined the club after last Saturday’s open day.