BBC presenters agree to face Herts youth stars

It was perhaps a foolhardy moment for two of the stalwarts of sports broadcasting in Hertfordshire. Or was it the moment an epic confrontation was set in train?

Geoff Doyle and Luke Ashmead of BBC 3 Counties Radio were just wrapping up their interview with Herts’ own Lee and Riley Manning – when the visiting father and son duo pulled out their trump card.

“I want to get you down to face our juniors”, says Lee, quickly but casually. “Yeah, yeah” came the swift reply.

Geoff and Luke manfully said they would show no mercy. But Riley piped up with what was described as “fighting talk” in response.

“We’d absolutely love to do that”, insisted the BBC men. Now we just need to set a date.

Lee Manning, Herts’ youth commissioner for 2019, had chatted with them both about the year ahead, the Herts Falcons’ foray into European competition, and the opportunities offered by the MLB London Series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

You can hear the whole thing here:

Of course, Geoff Doyle and Luke Ashmead are no strangers to Grovehill Ballpark. They came down in 2013 for a training session on a beautiful summer evening, and got to compete against one another at hitting.

When Lee and Riley dropped in to the studios this year, it was clear that the presenters remembered it well!

Luke quickly reminded Geoff that their previous experience of Herts baseball had included “me beating you in a batting competition”.

“I thought you might bring that one up”, he admitted after a brief pause. That’s how long baseball lives with you, and how much satisfaction it gives you when you get things right!

“It was such fun”, they agreed, saying anyone could try out the sport without any need to know the rules or the details.

You can listen to the original 2013 session here:

Stay tuned and we will keep you updated on when Geoff and Luke will be making their appearance at Grovehill to test their skills against our young stars.

You know they wouldn’t back out of it. Would they….?