A Matt Kawana home run gave Giants an early lead in the Premier Three final. PHOTO/FILE

SOFTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Playing a final a couple of hours after a semifinal proved too tough an ask for Giants on Saturday.

Giants qualified for the Intercity Premier Three final with a 10-3 win over Totara Park White in the semifinal at Ngati Toa Domain, Paremata.

That set up a decider against top qualifiers Paremata-Plimmerton.

The short turnaround didn’t appear to be a hindrance as Giants took an early 2-0 lead through a home run to Matt Kawana and an RBI to Daniel Ranger.

However, that was as good as it got for Giants as they failed to make the most of their opportunities and Paremata-Plimmerton slowly got the upper hand.

The home side had loaded bases on a couple of occasions only for strong infield defence by Giants to stop them scoring.

However, the pressure finally told in the fifth inning when a safe hit to the outfield with loaded bases brought two runners home and Paremata-Plimmerton took control of the game.

Further runs in the final two turns at bat had Paremata-Plimmerton come away with a deserved 7-2 victory.

Despite the loss Giants can be satisfied with their first season in the Intercity competition after stepping up from the Hutt Valley President’s grade.

Giants’ president and team member Chris Feary said it was the way forward for the club.

“Premier Three was a way better grade,” he said. “In President’s we would be winning games by scores like 22-0 in two innings, we would have a lot of teams default to us, and it wasn’t until we got to the top six that we started getting serious competition.

“The main reason we came up to Premier Three was to give some of our young fellas a good team to play for. We’ve got a few of our kids out of the under 15s next year, so we will need to keep playing.”

The Giants Under 13s were also in finals’ action on Saturday but they found the going too tough against unbeaten Totara Park, going down 1-8.

It’s the second year in a row that Giants have failed to come away with championship honours after making multiple finals. Last year the club’s teams lost all four finals they played in.