By Gary Caffell

Kuripuni Sports Bar Giants had to come from behind for the first time this season when they beat Dodgers 9-5 in their Hutt Valley President’s grade semi-final men’s softball match at South Park, Masterton on Saturday.

After scoring three runs at their first turn at bat, thanks to a home run by Justin Karaitiana, Giants looked well on the way to yet another comfortable win in a club season during which they have yet to taste defeat.

However, Dodgers had other ideas and struck back to not only make up the leeway but take a 4-3 advantage.

The pressure was then on Giants to respond and with Mark Fricker and Matt Kawana leading the way, respond they did, recovering to lead 9-4.

And while Dodgers managed what was their second home run late in the game Giants had done enough to make next Saturday’s final against Wainuiomata at Fraser Park.

“It wasn’t easy . . . Dodgers played really well and we had to lift the ante to fight them off,” Giants coach Allan Clarke said.

“It was a really good game of softball, just what we needed going into a final.”

Both the Giants premier three men and major B women’s teams won their Hutt Valley matches on Saturday by default, with the premier three men going straight through to next weekend’s final of their competition as a result.

In the morning grades Apache Jacks Giants under-15s lost their Hutt Valley semi-final to Totara Park by 5-4, a much improved effort on the 14-0 beating they had taken when the two teams had last met.

The under-13s lost to Stokes Valley 13-4.