Falcons dreams over as Herts are blown out of the playoff chase

Herts Falcons lost out to Southern Nationals. Picture (c) Richard Lee
Herts Falcons lost out to Southern Nationals. Picture (c) Richard Lee

Hurricane Bertha wiped out all of the games involving teams from Hertfordshire on Sunday, but the biggest damage was caused by the result in South London where the Southern Nationals won both games of their double-header against the South London Pirates.

This result means that the playoffs are now out of the reach of the Herts Falcons regardless of what happens on the final weekend of the season.

This was always going to be a transitional year for the team after losing six of its nine starting players from the team which finished top of the NBL regular season last year with a record of 24 wins and four losses.

Despite this, the Falcons managed to regroup, acquiring some outstanding players including Abel Salas, Jose Sosa, Ryan Hackel and Zac Malone and mounted a major playoff push in the last few months.

Players who had come through the club’s youth programme were asked to perform on the big stage and they came through with flying colours.

“The players gave everything this season. We just ran out of games at the end,” said manager Lee Manning.

“Everyone will feel some disappointment as we had a team capable of competing and we recorded a win against every team in the league including the league leaders.”

This is the first time since 2011 that Hertfordshire will not be represented in the post-season playoffs of the four tiers of the adult leagues of British baseball.

The hopes of Herts fans now rest on the shoulders of the three youth teams preparing for the playoffs in the U17, U14 and U12 leagues.