Geraldton duo lift WA to nationals win as WA dominate over-35 competition

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Paul Valenti and Dion Harrison with the Bob Harrow Shield.
Camera IconPaul Valenti and Dion Harrison with the Bob Harrow Shield. Credit: Facebook

WA claimed the over-35 softball national championship in Sydney over the weekend as they dominated the final to claim the Bob Harrow Shield 9-2.

After a dominant first three days in which WA won their first six games in a row, they were given a reality check on day four as they went down to Queensland and New South Wales to finish second after the group stages.

They faced NSW again in the semifinal where they got over the line in a thrilling seventh innings.

After going 2-0 up in the fourth from an Aaron Cockman Homer NSW got one back in the sixth before WA piled on five runs in the seventh when Cockman went over the fence once again while Geraldton’s Dion Harrison scored of a single earlier.

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NSW hit back with three runs with just one out but a double play ended their charge as WA went through to the final with a 7-4 win against Queensland, who won back-to-back elimination finals.

WA came out swinging with a Harrison double sending through Nathan Brown before Harrison got home off a sacrifice fly before a Heath Buswell homer made it four in the first inning.

Queensland kept in touch with two in the second with WA getting one in the third before they killed the game in the fifth.

Jason Garner hit a homer with Cockman on base to score two before Buswell scored off a single with Brett Walker scoring on an error sending four across the bag and brining out the mercy rule.

Geraldton pair Dion Harrison and Paul Valenti were ecstatic with the win and both paid tribute to president Denise Bell, who recently passed away and whose funeral service was held on Friday.

“Super stoked, thank you guys and my No.1 supporter Kate Harrison and also that one’s for you Denise Bell,” Harrison posted.

“Bloody awesome, Gero represent! I’m sure Denise will be fine with us missing Friday,” Valenti followed.

Fellow Geraldton Softball Association player Kurt Mead was also selected in the side but could not take part in the tournament because of injury.

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