Win or lose this afternoon’s game with Wainuiomata, Giants Blue will still play in the semifinals of the Intercity Softball Premier Two Championship.
In a convoluted final series draw, which inexplicably involves all six teams in the competition, the Blues and Wainui effectively have two lives.
The winners of their quarterfinal [Qf 1] will go on to play the winners of quarterfinal 2, featuring second-placed Kāpiti and Poneke-Kilbirnie, who the Blues beat last weekend, while the losers will play the winners of quarterfinal 3 between two first-round losers Hutt Valley Marist and Demons.
The format is no doubt confusing, but that won’t matter to the Blues if they carry on their winning way but it won’t be easy against a Wainui side who dispatched Marist 7–0 last week.
The Blues won their only previous clash 9–2 in the first round in October.
However, the game was much closer than the score would indicate, with the Blues benefiting from Wainui’s errors, and Giants spokesman Chris Feary expects a much closer encounter this afternoon.
“Wainui’s pitcher wasn’t too bad when they played in the first round, and it was just mistakes in the field that cost Wainui,” Feary said.
In many ways, the game is academic, but both teams will be looking for a confidence booster ahead of next weekend’s semifinals.
The first pitch will be thrown at 1pm at South Park
Giants Red will play the battling Johnsonville Swingers at Alex Moore Park, Johnsonville, in a Premier Three catch-up game after it was deferred last week.
Feary is confident of success although he knows little about Johnsonville other than they are languishing at the bottom of the table with just one win.
Giants face the biggest ask of their Hutt Valley Women’s Premier Three Championship when they host Te Aroha in a top-of-the-table clash at South Park, starting at 1,15pm.
The visitors are unbeaten, while Giants have won three from four, and Feary is predicting a close battle.
“Te Aroha normally field good women’s teams, but the Giants women have been playing really well, and their aim should be to play their strongest nine and keep accumulating points for March and their semifinals,” he said.
Giants under 13s also have a home game against Dodgers Dragons at 10.30am.