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2019 NSL3 Nationals

NSL3 Nationals promote Camels & Ducks to NSL2

At the same time as the NSL1 and NSL2 Nationals were being played at Farnham Park, eight teams were contesting the NSL3 Nationals Tournament at Parrs Wood School in Didsbury, Manchester, with two places in NSL2 for the 2020 season at stake.

The promoted teams, based on round-robin standings, were the Spittin’ Camels from Manchester (shown above) and the Fuzzy Ducks from London (shown below), and the Camels also won the tournament and the title of 2019 NSL3 Champion.

The BSF’s NSL3 Nationals, played at Parrs Wood School in Manchester on 31 August-1 September, was a triumph for the Spittin’ Camels from Manchester, who won the tournament and also gained promotion to NSL2 for 2020, along with London’s Fuzzy Ducks.

Eight teams travelled to Manchester to compete in the second NSL3 competition, some from further afield than others. The Manchester Softball League was represented by the Spittin’ Camels, Mavericks II and Meerkats and they were joined by the Sefton Loan Sharks from Liverpool, the Bracknell Scorchers and, from London, the Raiders, Fuzzy Ducks and Blitz Havoc.

Havoc had just been relegated from NSL2, so were looking to bounce straight back up. The Scorchers had won the C-grade title at the Diamond Series, but this tournament was expected to be a step up for them, especially as it featured the three Manchester teams that had won the B-grade Cup at Diamonds, and the Fuzzy Ducks, who had won the BSF League Nationals.

The format was a simple eight-team round-robin, after which the top two teams in the standings would be promoted to NSL2 for the 2020 season.

But the tournament was also played to a conclusion to determine a 2019 NSL3 champion, with semi-final places for the top four teams and then a final.


The Scorchers showed no signs of nerves in their first match, with a 13-4 victory over the Meerkats that proved they hadn’t come all the way to Manchester just for the experience.

The Meerkats were the only team without a win after the first two rounds of games, as all the defeated teams promptly beat their next opponents to leave things very close indeed.

However, the Camels took two victories forward, and ended Saturday on top of the table at 3-0-1 after a thrilling game with the Fuzzy Ducks in which the Ducks tied the score in the final inning.

Apart from the Scorchers and Havoc on 1-3 and the Ducks on 2-1-1, all of the other teams finished 2-2 at the end of Saturday, showing how close the competition was and the fantastic standard of softball being played by everyone.


On Sunday morning Blitz Havoc brought the spirit of Barnes Wallis to the proceedings, bouncing back from what may have been a disappointing Saturday to win consecutive games against the Mavericks II and Meerkats before losing 13-12 to the Scorchers in their last game.

The victory over the Mavs II put Blitz Havoc in fourth place on head-to-head and gained them a semi-final berth against the as yet unbeaten Camels, who topped the table and qualified for NSL2 with a game to spare.

Second place in the table went to the Fuzzy Ducks, whose only defeat was against Blitz Havoc in their first game, and they started celebrating their promotion immediately, which definitely affected them in their semi-final defeat by the Loan Sharks, while the Camels were too much for Blitz Havoc in the other semi-final.

So the tournament final was between the Spittin’ Camels and the Loan Sharks, and the Camels continued their unbeaten record by winning 10-6.

Congratulations to the Camels and the Ducks on their promotion to NSL2, and many thanks to all the teams, umpires and spectators who braved the strange mix of pouring rain and burning sunshine (it’s not really strange for Manchester) to make this NSL3 tournament a success.


Promotion to NSL2:
Spittin’ Camels and Fuzzy Ducks

NSL3 Winner:
Spittin’ Camels

Vicky Green and Max Fagan (Spittin’ Camels)

Final standings were:

1 – Spittin’ Camels (Manchester)
2 – Fuzzy Ducks (London)
3 – Sharks (Liverpool)
4 – Blitz Havoc (London)
5 – Mavericks II (Manchester)
6 – Meerkats (Manchester)
7 – Raiders (London)
8 – Scorchers (Windsor & Maidenhead)

2019 – Spittin’ Camels
2018 – The Mob

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