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Bizarre ruling bemusing for the Giants

Giants have been left bemused by a controversial ruling that has seen one of their teams dumped out of their championship playoffs.

Giants Blue will play Johnsonville Swingers in the major semifinal in the Intercity Premier Two Championship this afternoon, with the winner to progress to next weekend’s final.

However, Giants Red’s championship dreams are over after Intercity Softball defaulted the team’s premier three semifinal scheduled for last weekend when most of the team were representing Wairarapa at the national evergreens tournament in Palmerston North. That is despite the Giants club having applied for and being granted dispensation by Hutt Valley Softball.

Confusingly, the default still stands, although all Intercity competition matches were cancelled last weekend.

Giants spokesman Chris Feary said Intercity Softball refused to acknowledge the dispensation which had previously been granted by Hutt Valley.

“Giants put a protest in through Hutt Valley, and Intercity said that Hutt Valley shouldn’t have accepted our dispensation, and the default stands,” Feary said.

“The club is very disappointed. It costs us a lot of money to play in the competition, and we go to Evergreens every year, and we’ve been given dispensation every year. It just highlights the problems between the Hutt Valley association and the Wellington association.

“Because we’re affiliated to Hutt Valley, all our dispensations have to go through Hutt Valley, but what Intercity are saying is Hutt Valley never passed it on, and Hutt Valley never had the right to accept a dispensation for a competition they don’t run.”

Feary added that Giants are not the only club affected, and there were others, including two from Wellington, in the same position with their players at the Evergreens tournament.

Giants Red had finished second in the regular season, and instead of their scheduled semifinal opponents simply progressing to the next round, Intercity have added another twist to their bizarre decision and promoted the fifth and sixth-ranked teams to the semifinals.

The Blues have home advantage for their clash with Johnsonville, and Feary is confident the top qualifier in premier two will be too good for their opponents with a full-strength side to take to the diamond.

Much will rest on the shoulders of player-coach and starting pitcher Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana, but Feary said the team are peaking at the right time, have been strong with the bat and have defended well in the field.

The Blues won their only previous meeting this season 4-2. The first pitch will be thrown at 1 pm at South Park.

The Giants women also have home advantage for the Hutt Valley Premier Three semifinal with Stokes Valley Beeze, with the winners to progress to next weekend’s final against Totara Park.

The game is a step into the unknown for Giants, with Stokes Valley having defaulted their previous two encounters.

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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