A late call for Whanganui players keen on competing in the senior men Manawatu softball league has worked a treat.
Four weeks ago Shane Foster went into bat for players missing out on game time with no senior league available in Whanganui. He called a muster of interested players and had a reasonable turnout. Combined with word of mouth the message spread and Foster formed a team to debut in the Manawatu Senior Men's Reserve grade competition last weekend.
They won, blitzing the Blue Sox Rookies 13-5 in atrocious conditions.
"Of the many years I've played the game I can't remember conditions wetter or muddier," Foster said.
This made pitching and catching especially challenging.
"I pitched and Paddy Steele did an excellent job catching some wayward balls. Aaron Mahony made some good outs at shortstop and was well supported in the infield by veteran Duane Paranihi on third base."
Jamie Hollis lead the batting line-up batting the perfect 1000, while Foster and Steele batted .666.
A highlight of the season opener for Foster and the team was the father and son combination that added a younger dimension to the side.
Foster's son Luke Foster and his old Wanganui Collegiate schoolmate Tom Matthews joined in to help Wanganui Braves claim their first scalp.
Luke Foster is a talented rugby player and a classy track and field athlete with form at national level, while Matthews is also a class act in athletic circles, particularly as a hurdler.
The first up victory give hope this team can emulate a record Foster senior and his team mates achieved in 1994.
Foster was in the Wanganui team that won the Manawatu senior men's competition in its debut season in 1994.
"I moved to Auckland and played after that season, but the Wanganui team continued on for a year or so, but didn't win it again, as far as I recall," Foster said.
Wanganui Braves play Raiders at 4.30pm at Colquhoun Park in Palmerston North on Saturday.