Ram­blers con­tinue good run

Central Leader - - Sport -

The Mt Al­bert Ram­blers’ dom­i­na­tion of the na­tional club soft­ball cham­pi­onships con­tin­ued at Rosedale Park over the week­end.

Led by out­stand­ing play­er­coach Donny Hale, the club se­cured its third suc­ces­sive ti­tle and the fifth in the past seven years.

Ram­blers went through the se­ries un­beaten, tak­ing out Hutt City 4-2 in the semi­fi­nal and then the pow­er­ful Welling­ton club Mi­ra­mar 4-0 in the fi­nal.

Both games found the nor­mally strong Ram­blers’ bat­ters lack­ing con­fi­dence.

Hale brought the team to life, burst­ing out of an un­usu­ally long bat­ting slump to hit a big home run against the Hutt and an­other to open up the scor­ing against Mi­ra­mar.

Hale be­lieves the club could even­tu­ally match the ef­forts of Welling­ton’s Poneke-Kil­birnie which dom­i­nated the game with 11 ti­tles in 18 sea­sons be­tween 1987 and 2004.

“We have won five in the past seven years but we could have won them all.

“We want to have a long reign,” he says.

The most valu­able player at the 24-team event was Ram­blers’ Nathan Nukunuku who hit the most home runs at the tourna- ment and was bril­liant in the field. His bat­ting av­er­age was over four hits for ev­ery 10 turns at bat.

And Ram­blers pitcher Ter­ence Hib­bert, brought into the side un­der rules which al­low guest play­ers af­ter reg­u­lar pitcher Thomas Cameron sus­tained an in­jury, was named pitcher of the se­ries.

Mean­while Auck­land United were poised to make the top four but could only strug­gle to a 54 win over Auck­land Marist in their fi­nal round robin game.

With two other teams on the same points, United missed out on the semis af­ter run count­back.

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