Clinical Panthers finish the job, but Ex-Services staying positive

DESPITE a 6-nil thrashing at the hands of Lithgow Panthers, Orange Ex-Services assistant coach Darren Marjoram is looking at the positives.

“The score in no way reflects the different abilities of the two teams,” Marjoram said of the first round women's Premier League Hockey clash.

“If you watched the game, you would think it was pretty close until you looked at the scoreboard. Honestly, I thought our girls were pretty good. Panthers are just so clinical inside the circle.”

Exploiting Ex-Services’ lack of troops - the Orange unit played most of the game with just 10 players - Panthers rammed home three chances inside the first half hour of the game to go to the break in what most would consider an almost unbeatable position.

After Ex-Services dominated the opening exchanges, spending a lot of time camped in Panthers’ half, the Lithgow side pounced on an opportunity against the run of play, opening the scoring in the 14th minute. Lithgow pushed the ball to the Ex-Services back line, before lifting a pass across the face. Roxanne Van Veen latched on the chance, deflecting the pass off the back stick into the goal with a piece of play Marjoram called “incredible”.

“They did it more than once too,” Marjoram said.

Andrea Gillard potted her first goal of the season in the 21st minute, before an Abbey Wilson brace either side of the break left Ex-Services languishing, four goals down with just 18 minutes to play. Katie Hamment and Amanda Saladine each scored inside the final five minutes to complete the demolition job.

Marjoram said Ex-Services’ lack of players was the main factor in the loss.

“We can put that down to lack of organisation I think,” he said.

“We lost one girl to injury, and another to work. One of our girls was really crook but managed to show up and give us as many minutes as possible. 

“As I’ve said, we weren’t bad at all. Megan Kempson in goals was particularly good, even though they scored six of probably nine or 10 chances.

“She, and the rest of the side showed a lot of character more than anything. They never gave up. If we can get a full squad of 14 or 15 for our next game then we’ll be a lot better. It is only round one after all.”

PANTHERS 6 (Roxanne Van Veen, Andrea Gillard, Abbey Wilson 2, Katie Hamment, Amanda Saladine) defeated EX-SERVICES 0.

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