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Team spirit paying off for Giants’ premier side

Riley Hansen is one of the rising starts of the Giants Premier Three team. PHOTO/FILE

SOFTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
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The young talented Giants side are eyeing their fourth straight victory in the Intercity Softball Premier Three Championship at South Park today.

It won’t be easy though against a Tawa team who found their form with two good wins after a heavy opening-round loss.

Giants have been impressive in their unbeaten start to the season, with wins over Demons [13-2], Poneke-Kilbirnie Kowhai [10-2] and a hard-fought 5-3 victory away to Kapiti.

“There’s a huge amount of talent,” said Giants president Chris Feary, “and those kids who have come up to the premier threes started in the Under-13s three or four years ago and have had some solid coaching over those years.”

Feary feels that the consistency of having Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana as a coach throughout the age groups and into the current setup has been the catalyst in the team’s early season success.

“They are really happy with their softball, and that’s showing on the diamond. There’s something like 19 players in the team, and there’s a good healthy battle for positions and one of the great things is that the guys who get on the diamond are very humble, and the guys who aren’t there are behind their mates 100 per cent, and there’s a really good team spirit.”

The experienced duo of Michael McDermott and Karaitiana have been sharing the pitching duties, with one of them opening and the other closing out the games. But it had been an entire team effort, Feary said.

“They’ve got such skill in the field that when a ball is hit it’s usually fielded pretty accurately and an out taken on the base. They’re really exerting pressure on the field and exerting pressure in the batter’s box.”

Feary likened the batting lineup to the Black Cap cricketers, saying that there are no standouts but, as a collective, are very strong.

The first pitch will be thrown at South Park at 3.30pm.

In other games at South Park, the Giants Presidents play Hutt Valley Marist at 1pm, and the Under-15s take on Te Aroha at 10.30am. The Major B Women’s game against Dodgers Divas has been deferred.

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