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Fielding focus for Giants

Tight fielding and applying pressure with good base running when batting will be the key to Giants Blue beating Hutt Valley Marist in tomorrow’s Hutt Valley Premier Reserve – Premier Two Championship clash at South Park.

Some uncharacteristic fielding errors led to Hutt City United taking a 3–1 victory over the Blues last weekend, and Giants spokesman Chris Feary feels there will need to be an improved fielding effort by the Blues if they are to get the better of the team that beat them 4–2 in December’s Intercity Premier Two final.

“Those errors [last weekend] cost them two runs. There was an overthrow to first base, and that player got to second and eventually got home, so they just need to tighten up on the infield,” Feary said.

The Blues aren’t noted as a big-hitting team, so will need to take advantage of any safe hits by applying the blow torch when on base, according to Feary.

“They have to hit the ball and create pressure on the bases, with good decision-making on when to steal and when not to steal and just put that infield under pressure.”

Feary believes the loss to Hutt City United would be a good learning curve for the young Blues players, and he expects a very competitive game against Marist.

“Probably for the young guys, there was a lot of pressure there knowing they were coming up against Hutt City United, who are a good team, and it’s all experience for them,” said Feary, who added the Blues players, especially player-coach and pitcher Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana, are determined to avenge their Intercity final loss to Marist.

The first pitch will be thrown at South Park at 3.30pm tomorrow.

Feary will play a big role for Giants Red in the early game at South Park, a premier three fixture against Dodgers White, taking over the pitching duties from player-coach Tony Nixon, who is unavailable.

As well as Nixon, the Reds will be without big hitters Gordon Wilmshurst [finger injury] and Willie Waitere, but Feary reckons there’s enough depth in the side to cover their absence.

The Reds defeated Dodgers in their previous two encounters this season, including a 6–3 win in the Intercity Premier Three semifinal, and Feary anticipates a close game.

Tomorrow’s game will be the first for the Reds in four weeks since their Intercity final win over Paremata-Plimmerton and their first in the Hutt Valley competition. The game will get underway at South Park at 1pm tomorrow.

The Giants women are warmly favoured to beat bottom of the table WASC when the two meet at Whakatiki Street, Upper Hutt. The under-13s travel to Fraser Park to take on Cardinals.

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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