A trio of contenders for the Black Sox world championship team did their chances no harm when inspiring Poneke-Kilbirnie to an 8-0 win over Johnsonville in the premier men's intercity softball competition on Saturday.
The world championship team for the March tournament will be announced next month after the national fastpitch championship and Daniel Tarapi and the Makea brothers, Campbell and Thomas, are vying for selection in that team.
"Daniel got a couple of nice hits and is showing some good form at the moment," stand-in coach Thomas Makea said.
"Everything is pretty much condensed up until Christmas. Form is important at the moment."
The veteran of four world championship tournaments, Makea had planned on just the coaching role on Saturday, but found himself closer to the action than he had intended, not that he minded as he collected a couple of safe hits.
"I was just filling in really, we were a little short on numbers," Makea said.
"There are a few younger players in the squad this year and they are cruising along all right."
One of those younger players is Makea's son Dante Matakatea, who was filling in for Jerome Raemaki, who is captaining the national under-19 team at their world championships in Parana, Argentina.
Matakatea had a few games in the premier team last season, but is expected to have a bigger role this summer.
"He was in and out of the team last year, but this year can expect to have a bigger role. He is doing quite well," Makea said.
In another men's game Miramar beat Porirua 6-1 at the Polo Ground.
Meanwhile, in the women's competition Miramar's strong batting helped them to a 16-9 win over Porirua at the Polo Ground.
Among the players to collect multiple hits were Hope Weber, Megan Cross and Alison Boys.
"It was some good hitting from us," Miramar coach Wayne Nichols said.
"Our hitting lineup is strong."
In another women's game, Te Aroha were 2-1 winners over visiting Hawke's Bay side at Fraser Park.
- © Fairfax NZ News
With festive flags and trees out this year, is council killing Christmas?Related story: Council takes the cheer out of Christmas