Ex-Services enjoy tough start

ORANGE Ex-Services couldn’t have been dealt a tougher draw to open the 2014 women’s Premier League Hockey season.

Tackling last year’s minor premiers Lithgow Panthers in round one, an underdone Servies suffered a 6-nil loss against the eventual runners-up before, travelling to Bathurst to play the defending premiers, the blue and golds drummed up a 4-all belter against St Pat’s.

By any stretch of the imagination, no wins after two games isn’t a dream start to the season.

But that drawn result against St Pat’s has led Ex-Services coach Mitch Kennewell to believe his girls can today record a much-needed win over the Dubbo Blue Jays.

“The standard has been set,” Kennewell said, happy with his side’s round two improvement.

“We’ve got to play to that now every week.”

Suffering injuries to Kate Butcherine before the season started and new goalkeeper Meaghan Kempson in round one, Ex-Services will have to draw on its depth to cover the loss of each today against Dubbo.

Kennewell said the likes of Shian Duboc will return, as will Bec Davis.

He said despite Dubbo being winless and reeling following an 8-nil flogging against Bathurst City last weekend, the blue and golds will be treating today’s game like a must-win encounter.

“We’ve got to treat them with respect,” Kennewell said.

“We’re not going into any game cocky. 

“It’s like any side in this competition, if you don’t go into the game prepared they’ll come out and get the points against you. Dubbo is no different.”

In other women’s PLH clashes this weekend, Bathurst City takes on Bathurst Souths in an early season top-of-the-table clash while St Pat’s travel to Lithgow to take on Zig Zag.

Ex-Services take on Dubbo from 2.35pm today at the Orange Hockey Centre.

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