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Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Giants targeting top two spots

SOFTBALL

Top two finishes are the targets for the Giants Blue and Red teams in their Intercity championships which resume today.

Giants Blue are currently second in premier two, behind this afternoon’s opponents, Cardinals, who are the only team to have beaten the Masterton side in the competition.

That was a 3-0 loss in the second match of a doubleheader, and the Blues were without player-coach Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana on the pitching mound because of injury.

Karaitiana’s influence cannot be underestimated. He is arguably the best-performed pitcher in the championship and is a consistent scorer with the bat, regularly finding the fence for home runs.

Giants stalwart Chris Feary believes Karaitiana’s return should see the Blues reverse the 3-0 loss suffered before Christmas.

“It’s a massive game for them. Giants and Cardinals have pulled away from the rest,” said Feary, who was impressed with the Blues’ efforts as a late fill-in in the Kuripuni Tavern Classic tournament last weekend.

“The boys are coming off great form at our pressies tournament with their batting, and the Blues would’ve had the most double outs last weekend; their fielding was superb.”

Former Junior Black Sox Blair Thompson, who missed last weekend’s tournament, will also return to the side for this afternoon’s clash at Fraser Park, Lower Hutt.

Feary is also confident his Giants Red side can resume the premier three championship with a win over Totara Park at Whakatiki St, Upper Hutt.

The bulk of the Reds were in the side that comfortably won the Kuripuni Tavern Classic, with the batters to the fore, hitting 11 automatic home runs over the two days.

“With the way the boys batted last weekend, we’re looking pretty good, and we’re at full strength, so it should be a tough day for Totara Park.”

The Reds share the lead in premier three with Dodgers Black, and Feary said it’s vital to kick off the year with a win.

“When it comes to semifinals, it’s one versus four and two versus three, so in theory, the winner of the group should get an easier run getting into the finals.”

The second-placed Giants women were also scheduled to restart their Hutt Valley Premier Three competition. However, Stokes Valley Beeze have defaulted the match. That extends Giants’ winning streak to six games.

Two-in-a-row
for McCullum

CYCLING:

Tom McCallum made it two club championships in a row with victory in the Athletics and Cycling Masterton WIZwireless individual time trial championships on Tuesday.

McCallum cut out the 20km out and back course on Whangaehu Valley Road in 57 minutes 43 seconds to add to the criterium championship he won the previous week.

Caleb Roberts was runner-up in one hour, one minute and 28 seconds, with Richard van Lent third, a further two minutes off the pace.

Belinda Fuller easily won the women’s championship in 1hr 13:03 from Donna Burkhart.

The next race on Tuesday is the club hill climb championships, starting at the bottom of Te Wharua Rd, and heading to the top of Kourarau.

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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