HALCYON DAYS: Merv Downing pitching for Ultimo back in 2009 and Steelers' Nigel Jones in the background.
HALCYON DAYS: Merv Downing pitching for Ultimo back in 2009 and Steelers' Nigel Jones in the background. Chrissy Harris GLA311018MERV

Our softballers venture south for Gold Coast challenge

SOFTBALL: The older we get, the faster we are.

That's the adage a group of Gladstone women and men players will take to the Pan Pacific Masters Games, which starts on the weekend.

Merv Downing, Nigel Jones, Simon Mai and Randall Noonan make up a part of the Hooters 45s team while Gladstone women Louisa Denman, Christine Heisner, Lynn Munster, Wendy Scott and Natasha Chequer-Edwards are in the Marist 45s team.

Make no mistake, these teams will take the event seriously according to Downing as his team prepares for game one against PK Pride on Saturday at 8.35am.

"We should be pretty strong and there's nine teams and there's a few teams that we haven't seen before," he said.

"PK Pride will be very strong and Western Masters won their last three I think in the 45s."

Downing said the Melbourne Giants - Hooters' round two opponent - will also be a stern test.

"They've got five players coming over from Canada and the 45s still is a very strong competition," he said.

The Pan Pacs Masters Games is on every two years and Downing said Hooters won the competition in division two back in 2016.

Downing will compete in his fourth Pan Pacs while Jones and Noonan are also experience players who will offer plenty.

"Nigel will be a big asset to the team with his batting and Randall of course is a very high-quality catcher," he said.

"Simon Mai was another guy who played a lot of junior softball in Gladstone in his day and this will be his first Pan Pacs and will play in the outfield for us."

Hooters play two games on Saturday, two on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before another draw is released for the remainder of the week.

"It's very serious and everyone's competitive and there's no such thing as an easy game. Two years ago we played 16 games in nine days," Downing said.

Program and results can be tracked on this link: Pan Pac Masters Games



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