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Giants expect close encounters

Giants Blue can expect a close game when they travel to Wainuiomata today for their Hutt Valley Premier Reserve-Premier Two Championship clash with Wainui Brotherhood.

The Blues easily won their previous encounter 9–2 in the opening round of the Intercity championship in October, but Giants spokesman Chris Feary predicts a closer battle this afternoon.

“Wainui would undoubtedly have improved since they played them in the Intercity,” Feary said.

“The Blues won convincingly that day, and Wainui made a lot of mistakes in the field, but their pitcher was quite handy.”

Feary feels that the Blues’ strength lies on the pitching mound where player-coach Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana generally dominates most opposition batters and in the smart batting and base running, which has become a hallmark of their game.

“Giants would be favourites going in, but I would be really surprised if it was another seven-run win, but it should be by three or four.”

Unbeaten Giants Red will field an understrength team for their Hutt Valley Premier Three battle with Dodgers Black at Fraser Park.

The championship leaders are without brothers Terry and Willie Waitere because of a family bereavement, and Feary said their absence will be felt not only for their power hitting but also their fielding nous.

Gordon Wilmshurst, arguably the team’s strongest batter, also remains sidelined with a finger injury, although it is hoped he will be back on the diamond in the next two or three weeks. One positive is the return of player-coach and lead pitcher Tony Nixon.

Despite the absences, Feary feels there is plenty of depth in the side to maintain their perfect record.

“Unlike other teams, we’re lucky enough; we’ve got two pitchers, a good batting side, and our fielding is pretty strong too,” he said.

The Reds go into the game in hot form, having thumped Dodgers White 12–5 last Saturday, while their previous match with Dodgers Black resulted in a 7–0 win.

“Once again, our younger guys are going to have to step up, and we’re just going to have to carry on as we did last week when our guys were on fire with the bat right from the first inning.”

There is no game scheduled for the Giants women, while the under-13s play Wainui Kotiro at Fraser Park.

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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