It was Early, it was Cold but that couldn't touch the softballers as Martin King got Grace and Gucky kick started and softballers went indoors to play in the Winter Indoor Softball Tournament in Dublin. Once again the tournament was full, as 12 teams packed the ALSAA halls to push their bodies to the MAX. The teams entered were Marlay 1 and 2, UCD 1 and 2, Renegades, Sluggers, Dublin Bay Packers, Suspect Devices, Oddsoxs, the Originals from Limerick, The Roses and Escorts from all over Ireland and Hariy Coos all the way from the Scottish leagues. We were also lucky enough to have six ladies join us from the Softball Leinster open days held just the week before.
We were also very lucky to have Elaine Kiely on site, taking care of the physical therapy and wellbeing of the players.
The competition was broken into two groups of six teams, for a round robin with teams playing half hour on , half hour off. The top two teams of each group going into semi-finals and the winners advancing to the finals.
As players mingled together for the first time in 2012, wishing each other a happy new year, there seemed to be a bit of trepidation before the start of the first game at 10am. Players mumbled about lack of training over the winter, too much Christmas cake and "God I am old" as the UCD kids walked in. John Edwards was even heard saying "Has the field got longer", but there simply wasn't time to worry about such futile things and certainly no time in the fast paced game for thinking as Julie rounded up the umpires and scorers and got the tournament going.
This game is too quick for details of plays, scores during games or even standings during the day. Early on though it was obvious some of the teams were just streaks above the rest. Oddsox and Hairy Coo's defeated their main rivals (Originals and Marlay 1) in the opening games and went on to finish their groups undefeated. Originals picked themselves up after the first game to win their next four and guaranttee themselves a place in the final. The rest weren't so consistenet with teams taking points of each other and sometimes themselves. The worry of pains the next day seemed to have been removed from the minds and although some knew by lunch time they weren't making the semi's, it didn't lighten the mood as the music kept playing and laughs kept flowing.
Some memorable moments included The Roses improving and doubling their take from last year, the Packers playing 7 girls in the field, DIST mention on Today FM, many more female home runs (showing the boys up) .
Semi finals saw a misfiring Marlay step up and beat the up to then untouched Oddsoxs team. The drop in Oddsoxs form may have been down to Paul having to leave early but we will never know..... The other semi final between Hariy Coos and Originals was very close and the match could have gone to anyone. However the Originals won 20 to 16 and they progressed to the final.
The Final, it may have been one step too far for Marlay after their superb semi against Oddsoxs and Originals were still firing on all cylinders. The Limerick crew just kept smashing the ball and racked up a great score that unfortunately Marlay didn't have an answer for!
Once Again UCD 1 and UCD 2 had a playoff to find the best UCD team and once more UCD 1 pulled off the win , just about . Beginning to feel Andy is using his powers to ensure a stronger team.....
The after Party was held in the Woolshed and Flip Cup was once again on show, Hairy Coo's showing their skills and extreme Flip Cup and one-on-one Flip Cup being experimented with..... Comments from the day.
" Whats going on" Unamed Newbie"Oh Holy God" Grace kearney" C' mon that was out" John McEnroe , he may not have been there but he would have said it." Purple People Eaters Rock" Fiona Lehane
Comments the next day
"Purple People Eaters Suck" Fiona Lehane"Ow" - pretty much everyone " Are you meant to be able to walk the next day" - Peter Mullen"Ouch that is all" - Sean Power"I never got my cream egg" - Ruth Lillis
Thanks again to Julie for organising, ALSAA for putting up with us, the Captains for getting the bodies out, for everyone who arrived early to setup and all those that stayed around to watch the final and of course the Woolshed for allowing us to get drunk!
Keep an eye out for the Limerick indoors date to be announced son and see you all back in ALSAA in November when D.I.S.T. returns !