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Giants gunning for a three-peat



Regular Giants Blue catcher Trey Feary will play for Brawlers in the Kuripuni Tavern Classic. PHOTO/FILE 



 Giants have an impressive record in winning the Kuripuni Tavern Classic over the 26 years they have hosted the tournament.

Still, team member Chris Feary predicts a tough battle to complete the threepeat this weekend.

The host club have won eight of the past nine editions of the two-day masters’ age tournament, including the last two.

Feary, who batted in the winning run in Giants’ last turn at bat in last year’s 2-1 win over Dodgers, believes the tournament is getting stronger by the year.   

Five Hutt Valley clubs – Dodgers, Cardinals White, Totara Park, Demons, and Stokes Valley, along with Brawlers from Palmerston North will hit the diamond determined to upset the host Giants Red team.

The Giants Blue Intercity premier two team have been called into the tournament as a late replacement for Linton Army but won’t be playing for points over the weekend.  

“Dodgers are once again bringing a sharp team, Brawlers from Manawatu are stacked to the hilt, and everybody wants to walk away with our cup,” Feary said.

Giants and Brawlers have a close relationship. The Manawatu-based club are led by ex-New Zealand international pitcher Shane Kirkwood, who is a regular for the Wairarapa Evergreens side. They will be strengthened with the inclusion of Giants Blue catcher Trey Feary and batter Tarquin Karaitiana this weekend. 

“One of the big games is going to be Brawlers and Dodgers on Sunday morning, and our game against Cardinals won’t be a walkover either, but any team can turn up and cause a real upset.

“Last year in the first round, we got beaten by Totara Park, and we had to beat them on Sunday morning to make the final, so anything can happen.” 

Giants Red have good reason to be confident of retaining the trophy, with their powerhouse batting line-up including big hitters such as Gordon Wilmshurst, the Waitere brothers  –  Willy and Terry, and Matt Kawana complimented with promising youngsters Riley Hanson, Jesse Neumann, and Thomas Kawana.

The pitching duties will be shared by the vastly experienced Tony Nixon, who is likely to start most games, backed up by Feary.

Giants Red start their defence tomorrow at 9am against Stokes Valley, followed at 1pm by Giants Blue, who will be determined to usurp their clubmates, and Cardinals at 10am Sunday. The top teams from the two pools will meet in Sunday afternoon’s final. 


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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