Pōneke Kilbirnie in top form at Men's Open Club Softball Nationals

Its day three at the Men's Open Club Nationals at Rosedale Park and Pōneke Kilbirnie is in top form.

With a number of former and current Black Sox players as well as a couple of national titles in the cabinet, the Wellington-based club is in a good position to take some more silverware home.

A must win game for Pōneke Kilbirnie against the Vikings to secure top spot in their pool.

Thomas Makea says, “The Vikings have been a bit of a bogy team for us, we sort of know a lot about them and a lot of our team grew up in the Hawkes Bay."

Jovaan Hanley says, “I knew they were going to bring it to us, just cause who they are, where they from, they play with a lot of mongrel."

The Vikings were leading 3-2 heading into the fifth innings but then the team's experience and Makea X-factor pulled through.

"3 brothers and two of my young boys in there as well, so it's a pretty family orientated team.  But it's good because they're actually learning and we are too," says Makea.

Winning this game against the Hawke's Bay Vikings confirmed their top spot in their pool winning five from five.

Jerome Raemaki says, "We'll build momentum through the tournament.  It's a long 5 days for us, slowly gelling together, haven't hit full straps so it's always a positive and always something to work on."

Makea says, “We’ve been having a good season the whole season, so that's what you have to do coming here and in the last couple of days we've been off to a good start."

Both Makea and Raemaki are in the Black Sox wider team and are hoping to be named in the Black Sox team on Tuesday, for the World Series in June.

Makea says, "You’ve got to keep that at the back of your mind but certainly not at the forefront.  The forefront is playing for Kilbirne and winning this club Nationals this week."

Raemaki says, “You can't play for your country without playing for your club so first priority is here and looking at winning Men's open Club Championships, so main goal and anything else that comes afterwards is a bonus."

In the last twelve years, only four teams have won the Club Nationals, and Pōneke Kilbirne is one of those teams, winning twice.

“Probably one of four or five teams that could win this tournament and we're amongst them, really just depends who we get and the team on the day will win it," says Makea.

With their confidence and results so far, who would bet against them?

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