Strike . . . The ball skims the bat of TitansÂ’ player Mark Payne with Panthers Wildcats catcher Hannah Symon and umpire Rochelle Watson watching on in the Southland Softball Association Premier 1 final at Surrey Park in Invercargill on Saturday. PHOTO: KAREN PASCO.

Gore’s Titans have convincingly won Southland Softball’s premier one grade.

The team beat the Panthers Wildcats 8-3 in the final in Invercargill on Saturday.

Team member Regan Dawson said that despite the end score, the game was close.

“It was a very tight game,” Dawson said.

“It could have gone either way quite easily.”

The Titans took an early 4-0 lead which the Wildcats managed to claw back to within one run.

However, the Titans players kept their focus on enjoying the game.

“[We] decided to keep having fun and we just pulled away from there each innings.

“We won the battle in the head on the day,” Dawson said.

Attitude was probably the difference between the teams, he said.

“We like to have fun.. if somebody makes a mistake you make a joke out of it.

“We like to win, but our main thing is about having fun.”

Pitcher Peter Howes was man of the match.

“Peter’s pitching this season has been phenomenal, and the final was no exception.”

Howes combined well with catcher Jason Milne.

“They both know each other so well [and] work together really well,” Dawson said.

The average age of the team was 41.

“We do all right for a bunch of old guys.”

The team had not lost a game since the 2019 final.

The Titans won the grade last year because they finished top of the table, but Covid-19 put a stop to the final being played.

“We were so happy to play a final this year.”

At the prizegiving, the team won the conduct award.

Howes was the joint winner of the most valuable player award and the Barbara Coatsworth senior trophy for diligence and fair play.

Milne was joint winner of the scorers’ player of the year award.