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Giants’ hopes on the line

Tony Nixon returns for Giants Premier Three team. PHOTO/FILE

SOFTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Despite having won only one of their five games in the second round, Giants still have a slim chance of making the Intercity Premier Reserve semifinals.

However, they will have to beat Poneke-Kilbirnie Pango at Hataitai Park today and Hutt Valley Dodgers in the final game next Saturday.

Giants’ president Chris Feary said the team had to cut down fielding errors that have cost them in recent games.

“Against Johnsonville Billy Goats last week, there was a positional error in the first inning which led to a batter coming home for the run on the back of a bunt and a safe hit, and after that, there was no other scoring.

“The big hitters like CK [Corie Karaitiana], Greg Paku and ‘Chunky’ [Justin Karaitiana] couldn’t get bat to ball, it was just one of those games” Feary added.

“There’s a maximum four points available, they’re playing teams above them and it only takes one other result to go their way and they’re back into contention.”

Today’s game is a step into the unknown for Giants, with their previous encounter with Pango in November abandoned because of rain.

Feary was confident, however, that the Giants Premier Three, who he plays for, can bounce back against Hutt City United after suffering their first loss of the second round last Saturday.

On that occasion Giants were missing six key players and fielded a young and inexperienced team, including several members of the club’s Under-15 side, so the 5-10 loss to a strong Paremata-Plimmerton team wasn’t surprising.

The return of experienced batters Gordon Wilmshurst, Terry Waitere, Willy Waitere, Matt Kawana, and starting pitcher Tony Nixon will make Giants red hot favourites.

“Hutt haven’t won a game and we beat them something like 17-1 in the first round but you never know what could happen so we won’t be taking them lightly” Feary said.

A win would put Giants on course for home advantage for the semifinals.

The game starts at 1.30pm today at South Park.

Feary was also confident Giants can get their first win of the Bottom Six section in the Hutt Valley Major B women’s competition against Dodgers at Fraser Park.

The inexperienced team struggled in the first part of the season suffering some heavy losses but Feary said the more even competition would suit them.

The Giants’ age group teams have home games starting at 10.30am. The Under-15s play Totara Park Gold, and the Under-13s can enhance their semifinal chances with a win over Stokes Valley Red.

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