AN under-strength Bathurst Souths proved too strong for Orange Wanderers in the final round of the men’s Premier League Hockey competition, running out 3-1 victors.
Played on Saturday at the Orange Hockey Centre, the Wanderers’ luckless 2013 season continued.
Dominating possession and field position for much of the match, the Orange outfit simply couldn’t find the back of the net.
In the other sheds, Souths coach Dale Campbell was understandably glad his team made the most of its attacking opportunities, scoring three goals in an entertaining first half.
“We had three of our, I would suggest, starting line-up on the bench this week with injury and the boys went well considering,” Campbell said following the win, which moves Souths into second after Bathurst St Pat’s and Lithgow Panthers fought out a 3-all draw.
“Coming up and playing against Orange is always a tough game.
“But we were fairly clinical.”
Wanderers coach Andrew Reddan was happy with the way his side finished the year, with Adam Hurford scoring the contest’s only goal of the second stanza.
Unfortunately, goals to Jono Baillie, Bryce Hitchcock and Adam Campbell in the first half essentially secured Souths the points before the half-hour mark
“That’s our season in a nutshell,” Reddan said.
“Our second half was much better than our first.”
In a losing outfit, Hayden Dillon shone for the hosts, while his battle with the far more experienced Matt Johnson was enthralling the watch.
“Slotting him into centre half has been one of the best things we’ve done,” Reddan said of Dillon.
“Alister (Murray) is not available next year so we’ve thrown (Dillon) in there the last five games and he’s turning players like Matty Johnson, an Australian player, played in Sydney ... he just carved him up.”
Souths’ two-goal triumph sets up a major semi-final with Panthers in Lithgow next Saturday, while Bathurst St Pat’s will host Parkes United in the elimination semi-final.
BATHURST SOUTHS 3 def ORANGE WANDERERS