Orange Ex-Services take it to the competition leaders in valiant loss

ALTHOUGH a 1-nil loss, Orange Ex-Services produced their best performance from the opening month of the women’s Premier League Hockey season on Saturday at the Orange Hockey Centre.

Up against competition pace setters Bathurst City, the Servies girls turned up the heat in a contest decided by an “opportunistic” goal from City gun Jess Hotham midway through the first half.

“You know how it is with sport, a half a centimetre either way can change everything, and that’s what happened with that goal,” Ex-Services co-coach Darryn Marjoram said.

“A little half a centimetre the other way and it’s probably our free hit.

“It was a good finish to the goal, but it was fairly opportunistic.”

Enjoying the benefits of a goalkeeper for just the second time in four matches to begin 2014, Ex-Services competed with a sloppy Bathurst City for the majority of the 70 minutes.

But in the end, as they’ve done better than anyone to begin the year, City still managed to find a winner, and Jess Hotham’s 26th minute strike was enough to keep her side’s winning streak alive and satisfy co-coach Maureen Markwick.

“It was very, very gritty, it certainly wasn’t pretty,” she said.

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“We did struggle to adjust to the bounce. I can’t say we played poorly because we didn’t, but we didn’t quite get momentum going like we have in previous games.

“But we got the points, we got the goal on the board and we’ve still got a clean sheet.”

The one-goal defeat leaves Ex-Services winless from the opening four rounds of the season.

Obviously a far from perfect start to 2014, Marjoram was confident the blue and golds were headed in the right direction.

“We lost but we played well and the girls are still having fun. Imagine how much fun they’ll have when we start winning a few,” Marjoram said, praising the work of goal-keeper Erin Horan.

“We didn’t have a bad player on the field. I think when we start winning we’ll put a few together.”

BATHURST CITY 1 (Jess Hotham) def ORANGE EX-SERVICES 0

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