Frenchville wins softball grand final against Bluebirds
SOFTBALL: Fans and players were watching the clock as the final minutes of Saturday's A men's grand final played out.
Frenchville Bushrangers and Bluebirds Blockheads were tying at 3-3 with Frenchville eyes locked on the bases, hoping for a final run to avoid going into overtime.
Sure enough, one final run was just in time to land Frenchville a 3-4 win and grand final glory.
Cheers erupted from the crowds as it all came to an end and players celebrated with exalted embraces.
Despite some players feeling the cold, everyone put in a solid effort and enjoyed the game, the good food and beverages and the buzzing atmosphere.
Frenchville pitcher Daniel Cox, has been with the team for 15 years, and said there were many moments in Saturday night's game where he thought the end result could've gone the other way.
"It was tough,” he said.
"They're always pretty tight games and can go either way.
"Even Gladstone is a pretty good team and they were unlucky to miss out on this.
"Bluebirds normally have a pretty good batter but we had a full team tonight and had a couple of B-grade and younger blokes play up with us and they did the job.”
Cox said there was a period where Frenchville was lagging behind but dug in and eventually levelled the score.
"We were behind for at least three or four digs,” he said.
"I was in the batter's box in the final moments and it was pretty hard. We had to get that run or go into the tie-breaker so it was good to get that run when we did.
"We didn't want it to go any further so we were lucky we ended up with a passed ball and we scored with that.
"Bluebirds' batting line-up is endless and they just keep coming. There's not a weak batter in the line-up.”
Cox said the crowd turned it up and kept vocal all night, which helped keep spirits high.
"I think next season will be as strong but time will tell... we've got a lot of younger fellas starting to step up,” he said.
Bluebirds' coach Shane Wallace said despite the loss, he "couldn't complain one little bit”.
"It was a great spectacle for the crowds and the players,” he said.
"The guys did an awesome job on the field and both teams were really good... they're really good teams.
"The work in the batter's box compared to previous weeks was really good, and there was some strong batting, and strong base running.
"The guys really rallied together at certain parts of the game and did us proud.”
A number of players from Frenchville and Bluebirds are now preparing to head to the State Championships in November.