ORANGE Wanderers brought up their first win of the men’s Premier League Hockey competition, emphatically beating Lithgow Zig Zag 7-3 at the Orange Hockey Complex on Saturday.
Thanks to a clinical opening 35 minutes using the club’s newly-formed structure, the home side shot out to a 4-0 lead at half-time following cracking goals off the sticks of Michael Dillon, Luke Skelton, Darryn Marjoram and Nick Sharp.
And with the damage already done, a 3-all second period was of little consolation to Ziggies skipper Ben Kelly.
The Wanderers win comes after a gutsy 5-all draw on the road against Parkes and, with the club’s younger stars like Michael and Hayden Dillon and Adam and Luke Skelton all firing for the Orange outfit, more wins are sure to be banked in 2014.
“We started off real strong,” said Hayden Dillon, one of his side’s best through the middle in Saturday’s four-goal triumph.
“We scored a few goals, our structure has been working well lately and the first few games we’ve got a few wins up. We went pretty good at Parkes and they’re a tough team this year.
“I think we can win it this year. We’ve been playing pretty good.”
The Wanderers started the game on the back foot, with the visitors earning a short corner inside the game’s opening 30 seconds.
But, as it would be throughout the entire round two clash, Ziggies’ execution cost them.
Michael Dillon bagged the game’s opening goal at the 13-minute mark and, almost procession like, Skelton then Sharp and Marjoram all hit home first-half goals to ensure the Wanderers sat firmly in the box seat at half-time.
Zig Zag hit back immediately after oranges through Dean Simmons before Sharp nailed his brace to take the score to 5-1.
Chris Williams then gave the visitors another sniff with a smart goal with 22 minutes remaining to reduce the deficit to three.
But at that point the Wanderers defence kicked in.
The hosts snuffed out four consecutive Zig Zag short-corner opportunities to effectively send Lithgow packing in a complete performance from last year’s men’s PLH wooden spooners.
Marjoram and Skelton both completed doubles while Brendan Lloyd hit home the final goal of the match for Lithgow to round out the 7-3 result.
Kelly said this year’s Orange Wanderers side was “definitely better” than that of 2013.
“Orange are a pretty young team, they’ve got a good midfield with the two Dillon boys playing well,” he said.
“I think for us, we were just off the pace and beaten to the ball on a few occasions. We had plenty of opportunities in the first half but didn’t put enough away. There were some good passages of play throughout the game but I think we were off the pace a little bit.”
ORANGE WANDERERS 7 (Luke Skelton 2, Darryn Marjoram 2, Nick Sharp 2, Michael Dillon) def LITHGOW ZIG ZAG 3 (Brandon Lloyd, Dean Simmons, Chris Williams).