United hold tight to lead

Central Leader - - News -

Auck­land United shook off the chal­lenge of top-four side North­cote on Satur­day to main­tain their un­beaten run in the Auck­land fast­pitch club soft­ball cham­pi­onship with a 4-3 win.

Sparked by first bat­ter Tony Niu’s home run off the game’s third pitch, United built a four-run lead but had to work to keep it as North­cote fought back.

United came within one run of wrestling the Auck­land ti­tle from na­tional champs Mt Al­bert Ram­blers last sea­son and coach Joe Forsyth will be aim­ing for some­thing bet­ter from his squad this time.

De­spite a drab bat­ting per­for­mance against strug­gling How­ick, Ram­blers man­aged a 2-0 victory.

But they will need to boost their game to head off chal­lengers North­cote and Hi­bis­cus Coast at Rosedale Park on Satur­day, while United will play the strug­gling Glenora at Hen­der­son.

Mean­while Eden-Roskill claimed a 3-2 win over Marist ahead of their match against the Roost­ers at May Rd on Satur­day.

Ram­blers’ women main­tained an un­beaten start in their cam­paign for a third suc­ces­sive Auck­land ti­tle with a strong bat­ting per­for­mance in an 8-1 win over How­ick.

Pitcher Vic­to­ria Reyland dom­i­nated the game with 13 strike­outs, al­low­ing only two hits from 31 bat­ters but get­ting three solid hits her­self.

Tuhi Cooper and Michelle Kingi, both for­mer in­ter­na­tion­als, had two strong hits each in a 12-hit team ef­fort.

But Metro weren’t so for­tu­nate, go­ing down 12-1 to Marist.

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