Falcons in full flight as softball season gets under way

The Falcons after winning the firstball shield
The Falcons after winning the firstball shield

Chichester Falcons Softball Club had a busy opening week of the season, with some successes on and off the field home and away.

The Falcons’ first game was a tough challenge as they took on Itchen Knicks, last year’s league champions. Chichester came out guns blazing by smashing ten runs straight onto the board in the first innings, only to be matched by ten of the Knicks’ own.

The firstball squad

The firstball squad

From that point on, the score was never more than three runs apart as both sides battled hard and kept tight defence for the remainder of the game.

After six innings the game was still tied and the seventh in the failing light saw the Knicks just edge ahead to win 23-20.

Three Chichester youngsters travelled to GB under-18s trials in Farnham Park, Buckinghamshire. Finley Macknay, Oliver Thornhill and Owen Randell were put through their paces in practice and fastpitch league games, where they teamed up with Falcons coach Olly Howley under the watchful eye of team manager Ian Tomlin.

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At the end, it was announced that all three had made the grade, and Macknay, Thornhill and Randell can now continue their development with the rest of their GB team-mates and look forward to enjoying international softball experience.

They join Howley and Amy Morris in a growing gang of five youngsters from Chichester now in the GB softball programme.

Back in the city, the Falcons seniors squad played the Solent League Firstball tournament, where they took on 13 teams from the local league and beyond.

Despite an early loss to Solent Sluggers, Chichester won all their remaining games against Spitfires, Bracknell, Sharks, Brewers and finally Brighton Beachcombers to take the tournament shield trophy.

The Falcons squad included four players who have recently graduated out of the juniors section – a positive sign of things to come for softball in Chichester.