Black Sox captain on track to recover for worlds

Last updated 05:00 04/02/2013
Rhys Casley
MARTIN DE RUYTER/Fairfax NZ
FIELDING REQUESTS: Black Sox member Rhys Casley signs his autograph for children at Clifton Terrace School.

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Black Sox captain Rhys Casley believes he is on track to take his place at next month's world championships in Auckland.

Casley, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, has been easing his way back into the game and yesterday only batted for his club side Dodgers. That side beat Miramar 3-2 and Poneke-Kilbirnie 9-1 at Hataitai Park.

"It is a day-by-day thing,"Casley said. "It feels like it is getting stronger, so that is good."

Casley believes he is another week away from receiving the all-clear.

"I am confident though, but I am anxious to get back," he said.

Casley was not the only world championship-bound Black Sox player on show yesterday with Dodgers internationals Tyson Byrne and Nik Hayes showing they are on track while Wayne Laulu and Aaron Stronman-Neemia had good games for Miramar. However, it was not just the internationals that left their mark.

Against Miramar it was Steve Deans, who has over two decades of premier softball behind him and is old enough to be the father of severalteam-mates, who made sure his team won.

His over the fence hit in the sixth inning was the difference between the two sides.

Against PK, who were without internationals Thomas Makea and Jarrad Martin due to bereavement, former Black Sox player Craig Wallace picked up a home run in the first inning. Wallace's hit, which also scored Geoff Packer, and the runs scored earlier in that inning by EJ Allbright and Casley made sure PK were on the backfoot from the outset.

Dodgers' two wins in the intercity competition yesterday mean they are in the top four along with Porirua City United, Poneke-Kilbirnie and Miramar.

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