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Satisfaction round the bases

Giants can be proud of their achievements in a frustrating season punctuated with numerous defaults and a lack of action on the diamond.

That’s the view of club stalwart Chris Feary after the season wrapped up on Saturday, with Giants Blue going down 19–10 to Tōtara Park in the Hutt Valley Premier Reserve-Premier Two Championship final. That result followed the Blues finishing runners-up in the Intercity Premier Two final.

Giants Red won the Intercity Premier Three Championship and made the Hutt Valley Premier Three semifinals, while the women made their Hutt Valley semifinals, and the under-13s performed well in their competitions.

However, it was a lack of game time with the club’s teams impacted by opponents pulling out of games, washed-out games and badly scheduled bye weekends that left a sour taste.

“As far as achievements were concerned the club did pretty well, but it was just a frustrating season once again with defaults and minimal game time on the diamond with a lack of decent draws,” Feary said.

“Overall, when you look at the results of the teams, it was a good season, but the lack of games played and defaults and all that takes a lot of the shine off it.”

The Intercity competition took up the first half of the season, and the Hutt Valley competitions were played in the new year. The latter led to limited game time for all four teams, but particularly Giants Red, who played only two championship fixtures before their semifinal.

Feary believes the split into separate Hutt Valley and Wellington competitions in the new year didn’t work and lays the blame firmly with the two organisations.

“I think it’s best to keep it Intercity all the way through. The major problem is that Hutt Valley and Wellington just don’t get along, and the administration of Intercity, it’s a constant argument over who is running it,” he said.

“To me, and I think a lot of the other clubs would agree, there should be one independent body, and it shouldn’t be run by a combined mixture of Hutt Valley and Wellington because it’s been proven that doesn’t work.

“The other thing that is suffering from the bickering, non-communication and [lack of]coordination between Hutt Valley and Wellington is that softball is going backwards and how they can’t see it is mindblowing.

“There’s just a mere handful of men’s softball teams, and just about every team, bar two, had an overseas pitcher, and that screams volumes.

The premier one grade is dying a slow death, and it’s dragging every other grade down with it, and if Hutt Valley and Wellington did a performance review, that would come back with red flags all over the place.”

Giants can also take pride as a development ground, with some former players going on to perform well for Hutt Valley clubs. Trey Feary and Tarquin Kariatiana played premier one for Dodgers, Mitchell Shields fronted for Tōtara Park, and Maggie Shields represented Hutt Valley and made the New Zealand under-18 team to go with her under-15 selection last year.

Other young players to impress Feary were Rico Hillman and Devon Cocks, who were outstanding for Giants Blue.

Feary believes the future of the Giants club is bright and is hopeful of a better-structured season in 2024–25 so that all players see plenty of action.

He also thanked the club’s supporters and those who have contributed to the season, such as the Kuripuni Tavern, Newstalk, Cross Country Rentals, and the Times-Age.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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