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Giants stumble at final

There was more drama than a Shakespeare tragedy as Giants Blue pulled off a remarkable comeback only to fall at the final hurdle in the conclusion of the Hutt Valley Premier Reserve – Premier Two championship on Saturday.

The drama started with their semifinal against Hutt Valley Marist, where they were staring down the barrel of an early exit, trailing 4–0 after five innings.

The Blues weren’t down though, and the comeback started with Sean Robinson getting on base, followed by hits from Greg Paku, Kortez Paku and Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitaina.

Adding more pressure by batters Jason Herangi, Chris Cox and Devon Cocks getting on base, the score was 4–3 and then Niko Broughton hit a two-base hit, scoring two more runs to take the lead 5–4.

That left it to player-coach Karaitiana to pitch out the game, and along with some excellent catches in the outfield to Broughton and Rico Hilman, Giants held on to book their place in the decider against Hutt City United [HCU] or Tōtara Park.

Although HCU won 10–5, the drama was off the diamond after Tōtara Park protested the eligibility of an HCU player. The protest was upheld, sending Tōtara Park to the final.

Giants started well with two runs in the first turn at bat, followed by Tōtara Park getting four runs in the second inning. The pressure of back-to-back games in one day with only 10 players started to show on the Blues, and Tōtara Park took a 6–3 lead after three innings.

The Blues then suffered a major blow when Karaitiana was hit in the leg from a hit which forced a change on the pitching mound. Tōtara Park took advantage over the next two innings, building a 15–3 lead.

However, the Blues weren’t done and fought back in their fourth turn at bat through Robinson, Greg Paku, Kortez Paku, Cox, Cocks, Hillman and Broughton all getting on base to score seven runs.

It was too little too late, and Tōtara Park closed out the victory 19–10 in five innings.

The final’s loss was the second of the season for Giants Blue, who were beaten 3–1 by Marist in the Intercity Premier Two Championship.

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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