By Bob Fromer
It had been 10 years since anyone other than Pioneers or Chromies had won the BSF's A-grade NSL National Championship, but over the weekend of 31 August-1 September at Farnham Park, the Windsor Knights broke the duopoly in thrilling fashion.
In a brilliant NSL1 final on Sunday evening that was close all the way through and played before a large and fully engaged crowd, the Knights staged a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning against Dan Spinks and the Pioneers to capture the 2019 National Championship by a score of 13-12.
When Aaron Thomas smashed a double to the fence in left centre field and Kim Miller, running for Lucy Binding, who had hit a similar double minutes earlier, crossed the plate with the winning run, the Knights’ celebration was ecstatic – and well-earned, because though the margins are narrow, they had been the best team all weekend.
“After years of working and building for this,” Lucy Binding said, “this weekend we proved absolutely that we’re a good team and that we deserve to be here -- and to represent GB Softball in Europe.”
Colin Stone said, “It’s a proper team! Everybody plays for everybody else, everyone supports everyone else. It’s fantastic!”
The results this weekend also determined the teams that will represent Great Britain at next summer’s European Co-ed Slowpitch Super Cup. Pioneers had already qualified as 2018 Super Cup winners, leaving two more places available, and these will now be filled by the 2019 National Champion Windsor Knights and by the 2018 National Championship runner-up Chromies.