Marlborough too wily in shield tie

RACHEL KNOWLES
Last updated 13:45 27/11/2012

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Marlborough dominated where it counted in the Seddon Shield clashes at Saxton Ballpark on Sunday.

The shield is contested annually by Nelson and Marlborough representative teams, over five grades.

Though Nelson teams won six out of nine games on the day, including warmup games, Marlborough triumphed in the shield matches in the under-17, under-19 and men's grades.

Nelson under-13s won convincingly 24-0 and the under-15s won 12-9.

The Nelson men's team started the day strongly, winning the warmup 7-6. Marlborough led 5-0 midway through the game but tight fielding and two home runs to Aaron Ewers helped them claw their way back and pip Marlborough at the post.

In the feature game however, Nelson were beaten 8-1.

Team captain Derryn French congratulated Marlborough on their performance, saying his side couldn't expect to win after making six errors in the game.

"Marlborough is a very good team," said French.

"They had a strong lineup from their leadoff hitter right through their order and they deserved the win."

That lineup included pitcher Kurt Schollum, who pitched for the Black Sox in last week's exhibition matches in Nelson, catcher Ryan Schollum and Kyle Marfell, all of whom have been selected for the Southern Pride team. Tailah Love, who has recently returned to Marlborough from Wellington's Poneke Kilbirnie, and Darrin Aldridge, who is the assistant coach of the Southern Pride team, were also in the team.

Nelson's lineup of younger players shows a lot of skill and promise - six of them also played in the under-19 matches - though they need game time to further their experience.

Nelson were getting bat on ball and moving the ball around the diamond but with only one error by the Marlborough team, they had trouble getting to base. Five batters were also left on bases, with Nelson unable to convert them into runs.

The home side's only run was scored by Luke Bowers, who drove the ball to left field for a single, was advanced by a sacrifice from French and scored by a drive to centre-field by Nigel Kelly.

Marlborough scored consistently through the game, with runners taking advantage of errors.

In the fourth inning, Tyler Bird hit a three-bagger to right field and Love was called to bunt. A string of quick-fire errors in a single play saw both Bird and Love score.

Schollum pitched not only the men's game but the under-19s shield match as well. The Nelson side came out strongly and took a 5-nil lead. But Schollum put a lot of pressure on from the mound and Marlborough batted well, managing to tie up the game at 5-all during the middle innings.

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From here, Marlborough's under-19s went on to score another five runs, with Schollum continuing to dominate on the mound.

Nelson rallied with the bat late in the game to score another two runs but it was too late. Marlborough took out the game, 10-7.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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