British star ready to share softball experience

Action from the Solent League. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132367-4)
Action from the Solent League. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132367-4)
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kennedy ‘surprised’ at Pompey omission – but determined to return

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Brad Gilmour savoured his first taste of international competition.

The newly-capped Great Britain talent helped steer 
the national side to a silver medal at the Slowpitch Softball World Cup in Florida in January.

And now he is determined to pass on everything he learned at the International Softball Federation (ISF) tournament to his fellow Portsmouth players.

‘It was an amazing opportunity for me to experience the very highest level of competition,’ said Gilmour, who turns out for the Knicks in the Solent League.

‘And I look forward to passing on what I have learnt to other players within our local league.’

Great Britain travelled to America with designs on securing the crown.

But a great run ended in disappointment at the final hurdle.

The competition, held at the ISF’s headquarters in Plant City, saw eight countries battle it out for the title of world champions.

Having celebrated European Championship glory for the past nine years, the British team headed into the event with high hopes.

They lost just two of their 14 games in the round-robin stages – once to USA Fort Walton Beach and then to USA Ink Daddyz.

Gilmour & Co then took on the two home teams in a triangular elmination play-off for the two places in the grand final.

They took revenge on USA Fort Walton Beach with a 32-24 win in an epic, two-hour, seven-innings encounter.

That led to a showdown with USA Ink Daddyz in the grand final.

Great Britain were the underdogs because of the American side’s wealth of experience at the highest level of slowpitch softball.

And this shone through as the well-organised hosts sealed an 18-3 triumph in the sixth innings, via the mercy rule.

Gilmour has been one of the many coaches running a series of beginners’ sessions for newcomers to the sport over the past two months.

Hosted by the Solent League, they have been held on Sundays at Crookhorn College in Waterlooville and continue until the end of March.

If you are interested in giving it a go, you can contact Andy Burgess at andrewburgess@ntlworld.com or visit solentsoftball.org