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A frustrating season continues

The higgledy-piggledy nature of the Hutt Valley Softball championships continues to raise more questions and concerns for Masterton Giants.

The club has been dogged by inconsistent draws, weeks without games, multiple defaults, and other issues over the Intercity and Hutt Valley competitions, and the saga continues again this week.

Top qualifiers in the combined Premier Reserve–Premier Two competition Giants Blue have no game because of catch-up fixtures, while Giants Red will play only their second Hutt Valley Championship game this year – a semifinal against Dodgers White.

There was good news earlier this week for the Blues when Hutt Valley Softball overturned the result of their 3–1 loss to Hutt City United, who had played ex-Black Sox Tyson Burns, a protected NFC player, which made him ineligible to drop down from premier one.

That meant the Blues finished the round-robin with an unbeaten record and top of the table, but instead of playing semifinal softball tomorrow, they will sit on the sidelines waiting to find out who their semifinal opponents will be, a situation described by Giants spokesman Chris Feary as ludicrous.

“Last night was supposed to be Marist vs Tōtara Park, but Marist defaulted and on Saturday, it’s Marist vs Cardinals, and the winner of that will come fourth, and the following weekend, the four teams in the premier reserve – premier two have to play a semifinal in the morning and the winners a final in the afternoon,” Feary said.

The Reds will make a rare appearance on the diamond when they host Dodgers White at South Park in their premier three semifinal.

Feary, who plays for the Reds, is confident of progressing to next weekend’s final, having beaten Dodgers White 12–5 in their previous encounter, but he is not underestimating their opponents, who have had a more regular diet of competition softball.

“It’s a funny old game, and in no way, shape or form are we taking it lightly.”

Feary admits there is plenty of frustration within the team over the lack of softball, adding that Giants are not the only club impacted by the haphazard nature of the season.

“If it wasn’t for the Evergreens national tournament and the Giants tournament, we would have played two games since December. You talk to other clubs in the Hutt and in Wellington, and it’s been the same for everybody.”

The first pitch will thrown at 1pm tomorrow at South Park

The Giants women can take some confidence heading into their Hutt Valley Premier Three Women’s Championship semifinal with top qualifiers Te Aroha at Fraser Park, Lower Hutt

The two teams met last Saturday, with Te Aroha scoring four runs in their final turn at bat to win 12–8, and Feary believes Giants have a good chance of causing an upset of making the final if they can put a full-strength team on the field.

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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