With November's weather still feeling like the middle of winter, games at Surrey Park on Saturday were once again relegated to the outside grass diamonds.
Four games were played in the premier grade, with Central Otago Panthers going down in both games of their double-header, the first to Craftys United, 11-4, and the second to Demons Blue, 17-8.
CO Panthers actually won the batting duel against United, eight hits to five, but nine walks to base and 11 wild pitches assisted the United baserunners to the win.
Tyler Cameron and Josh Kahukura, of Central, both hit home runs, with Kahukura going three for three with the bat. The ever-improving Jake Hansen was the pick for United with two hits.
Demons Blue started the first innings dominating Central, scoring eight runs from eight hits in the top of the first innings. Cameron made a three-base hit in reply in the bottom of the first, scoring on an infield error.
The best innings for Central was in the bottom of the fourth, when the batters seemed to come alive, scoring six runs.
This was to be the last of the scoring for Central, with Demons scoring a further six runs in the top of the fifth.
Demons batters were Danny Shayler (3) who continued his incredible batting form, followed by Andrew Karsten, Michael Sinclair, Sam Riwhi and Trevor Pryde (2), and Chris Telfer added a home run.
The Central batters were Cameron, Kahukura and Will Meehan (2).
Demons Red, although missing five of their top players who are supporting Tim Campbell in Argentina, still managed to beat ILT Dodgers Eagles 10-0.
Scott Sinclair stood out for Demons with a home run, a single and three runs batted in. Daniel Karsten, Isaac Thurlow and Daniel Perry also hit the ball hard, each scoring a home run. Amanda Chalmers was the only Eagles player to hit the ball.
The game between Black Panthers and Blues had a total of 30 hits, with Panthers winning the game 16-9. Max Moyles, a former Southland player, stood out with the bat for Panthers with four hits, one being a home run.
Wade Griffen, back playing ball for Panthers, showed why he was always a top player, with three hits, including a home run. Regan Prattley, Daniel Keen and Jill Farguhar (2) all contributed to the score.
For Blues, Peter Taylor and Kelly Braithwaite (3), Sam Winsloe and Sam Lowe (2). One of Winsloe's hits was a home run.
The last game in this grade was a clash of the ILT Dodgers teams, with the Diamondbacks dominating in a 10-0 win over the Brewers. Greg McDonald, Kelly Kahukura and Fraser Wainui (2) stood out for Diamondbacks. Dave Willis was the only Brewers player to record a hit.
With conditions worsening on Sunday, Otago men's and under-15 boys' teams played in the rain in Invercargill. The men played the usual two games, with the first being a warmup for the second game for the Bates Shield.
The first game belonged to the young Southland men's team, which included two under-17 players and two under-19 players with the senior players.
Scott Sinclair stood out again with three hits, as did Michael Tiplady (3). Danny Shayler and Jimmy Affleck (2) were the main contributors.
The Otago team also included young players, but came up with only four hits compared to Southland's 13.
In the second game, both teams put their top players on the field, with the score being much closer, but Southland hung on for a 6-3 win to retain the Bates Shield.
Top pitcher Daniel Perry was in top form for Southland, striking out 14 of the Otago batters, while Shayler, Devon Robinson (2), Chris Telfer, Josh Kahukura and Andrew Karsten (1) did the damage with the bat.
Ryan Williams did his part for Otago with three hits, with Jamie Robinson, Will Meiklejohn and Krizevac Tuitea each making one.
Although the under-15 boys did not play for a trophy, the two games played were in complete contrast. In the first game, Southland won easily, 14-7, but with a stronger team fielded in the second game, it was a one-sided game belonging to Otago, 20-5.
In the first game, Kaemen Smith was on top for Southland with two hits. David Stiyozko, Brydon Duggan, Josh Rodgers and Jayden John (1) were the other Southland batters. Logan Herbert (2) was the best for Otago.
In the second game, Southland scored three runs in the top of the first and two in the second to take the early lead.
This gave them a false sense of security, as Otago became dominant with the bat, scoring four runs in the third, six in the fourth and nine in the fifth.
Southland could not add to their score. Liam McLister (4, including a home run), Nelson Yorston, Isaac King, Jake Burtonshaw and Ben Moody (2) stood out for Otago, as did Yorston on the pitching mat, striking out seven of the Southland batters.
Calab Fetolofia (2), Stiyozko and Te Kanu Huia (1) were the only Southland players to put bat to ball.
- The Southland Times