City’s suc­cess­ful for­mula

Kapi-Mana News - - CLASSIFIEDS - KRIS DANDO

Sam Mar­ley hates be­ing too far from the ac­tion.

The Porirua City United premier soft­ball pitcher shares du­ties with John­son Rauhiri on the mound, and the pair are part of a team that sits atop of the in­ter­city stand­ings. It might sound cliche, but 17-year-old Mar­ley said the mix­ture of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence had been the key to their suc­cess this sea­son.

‘‘Guys like Gene [Lut­ton] and Les [coach Les Bishop] keep us young guys calm in the tense mo­ments,’’ Mar­ley said. ‘‘They call time out, gather us in, and tell us what has to be done. And our en­thu­si­asm and en­ergy picks them up when things might get a bit flat. It’s a good en­vi­ron­ment and it’s work­ing. I’m learn­ing a lot.’’

The 3-2 win over PonekeKil­birnie on Novem­ber 28 was an ex­am­ple of the team’s steel. Big calls and bril­liant plays at cru­cial mo­ments earned Porirua vic­tory.

Mar­ley was es­pe­cially pleased with his own con­tri­bu­tion, com­ing in late and pro­duc­ing big strike­outs in the fi­nal in­ning.

Mar­ley has come through Tawa and Pare­mataPlim­mer­ton age grades, but said turn­ing out for Porirua City United this year gave him the best op­por­tu­ni­ties at the top level.

He is in the wider Ju­nior Black Sox squad and al­though en­rolled at Vic­to­ria Univer­sity next year now he has fin­ished at Tawa Col­lege, may put stud­ies on hold if his soft­ball com­mit­ments take over.

He wasn’t al­ways a pitcher, spend­ing much of his early years be­hind the plate.

‘‘I loved be­ing a catcher be­cause you’re al­ways in the ac­tion. But some­times I’d pitch be­cause there was no-one else, and last year I needed to spe­cialise. I love be­ing near the ball – can’t stand just watch­ing.’’

Bishop said the team had sur­passed his expectations this sea­son. Rauhiri and Mar­ley con­trolled the game well, the of­fence was scor­ing and they were show­ing an abil­ity to de­fend against more fan­cied sides.

‘‘We’re win­ning the tough games and that’s through lead­er­ship and skill,’’ he said. ‘‘We have a tough sec­ond half of the sea­son, but we’ve set our­selves up well.

‘‘A big thing at PCU is we’re show­ing a path­way for th­ese young guys.’’

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

Sam Mar­ley is one of the cogs in the im­pres­sive Porirua City United soft­ball ma­chine.

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