Manukau Courier : February 21st 2014
www.manukaucourier.co.nz SPORT MANUKAU COURIER, FEBRUARY 21, 2014 11 Otahuhu to keep Parks’ powder dry By ALAN APTED The Otahuhu premier women’s softball team plan to be $1000 richer after the winner-take-all Bev Chote Classic finishes at Warren Freer Park in St Lukes on Sunday. It’s money the defending Auckland champions can put to good use with New Zealand open club championships starting in three weeks. The women’s champion- ships will be held at Rosedale Park in Albany from March 13 to 16 with the men’s event starting a day earlier in Lower Hutt. The Bev Chote Classic is one of the most physically demanding tournaments around. Otahuhu will play four games tomorrow, the first at 8am and the last at 6pm, with another three on Sunday if they go all the way. Otahuhu coach Wayne Roper rates the event, run by the Mt Albert Ramblers, as one of the best in the country. ‘‘It will be one of the toughest with seven of the top women’s teams in the country taking part and the timing is perfect with the club nationals around the corner,’’ he says. ‘‘The key lies in managing the workload of your players, your pitchers especially. ‘‘You can’t win this tourna- ment with just nine players. You need an entire squad In action: In form, above: Otahuhu’s American pitcher Samantha Parks backs up after pitching Canterbury to victory in the women’s national fast pitch champion in Christchurch last weekend. Coiled, left: Otahuhu’s Clara Hoegg in pitching stride. Good play, right: Otahuhu’s Casey Roper goes for a double play. Photos: PHOTOTEK because the intensity is so great. ‘‘Otherwise you’ll run your players into the ground.’’ Roper says his plan requires using his best pitcher, Samantha Parks, sparingly so she’ll be fresh for the final day. That strategy isn’t without risk but it’s one that is mitigated by the fact that teams can drop a match or two without being put out of the tournament altogether. ‘‘The task will be to win without your best players. Those games will be vital.’’ Four wins will be enough to get Otahuhu through to the playoffs, he believes. Otahuhu ride into the tournament on the back of Parks, who is sparkling form. The American pitched Canterbury to a win over Auckland in the final of the women’s national fast pitch championship in Christchurch last Sunday. She was unwanted by Auckland and was picked up by Canterbury in the draft. But she had the last laugh when she kept Auckland scoreless in the 4-0 finals win. Otahuhu’s opponents this weekend include the Western Magpies, the Waitakere Bears, Howick, Ramblers and the Dodgers from Hawke’s Bay. Otahuhu’s premier men’s team has the weekend off. United take on the City By ALAN APTED Auckland United coach Mauricio Rojas says discipline, focus and converting chances are key to his side upsetting unbeaten ASB Youth League leaders Auckland City at Centre Park in Mangere on Sunday. ‘‘This is a test match for us. Auckland City have the best under-19 players in the country so it’s going to be a personal challenge for each one of my players. ‘‘We have to be discip- lined and focused for entire game, especially in defence. But we must also attack and make the most of the chances we create. ‘‘The difference bet- ween us is that if they get two chances at goal, they will score both. We create five opportunities and convert one.’’ The longer United can keep their visitors scoreless, the better their chances will be, Rojas believes. City won the first encounter between the two Auckland sides 3-1. United were somewhat overawed by the occasion as it was only their third game at this level. But Rojas says his side will be relaxed and more competitive now they have seven games under their belt. They won the seventh 5-1, beating Hawke’s Bay in Napier last Saturday. The win lifts United to third in the standings, two behind Waitakere City and eight shy of Auckland City. Four more rounds remain in the championship. SCOREBOARD Result: Auckland United 5 Hawke’s Bay 1. Points: Auckland City 19, Waitakere 13, Auckland United 11, Waikato-Bay of Plenty 10, Wanderers 3, Hawke’s Bay 2. Draw: Auckland United v Auckland City, Centre Park, Mangere. Date: February 23. Start: 4pm. ➤CONTACTUS Call us on 272 7017 with your sports news.We’re always keen to know what’s happening. Top young athletes at crucial club champs By ALAN APTED Counties Manukau Athletics holds its club championship at Massey Park in Papakura tomorrow starting at 9am. The event is a showpiece for athletes aged between 7 and 15, many of whom have been successful at recent national and international meets. They include Tanya Mur- ray, 12, (Manurewa) who won bronze in shot put at the Colgate Games and a silver in the same event at the Trans Tasman competition in Janu- ary, Kilisi Brown-Ikitule, 11, (Papakura) the TransTasman boys’ captain and gold medal winner at Auckland Pentathlon and Lisa Putt, 12, (Papakura), gold medallist in the long jump at the TransTasman competition. Other contenders are sprinters Jade Tulp, 14, and Cecile Sililto-Velghe, 11 of the Papakura club. It’s the last competition for 12 and 13-year-old athletes to perform for selectors picking a team for the interprovincial championship to be held over Easter.
February 20th 2014
February 25th 2014