Orange's Smith on song as Western girls move into NSW CHS semi-finals

ANOTHER WIN: Bathurst's Sarah Watterson looks for a way through the Riverina defence in Wednesday's 6-0 win. Photo: PHILL MURRAY

ANOTHER WIN: Bathurst's Sarah Watterson looks for a way through the Riverina defence in Wednesday's 6-0 win. Photo: PHILL MURRAY

WESTERN have marched into today’s NSW Combined High Schools girls’ hockey championship semi-finals on the back of a comfortable 6-0 win over Riverina on Wednesday in Bathurst.

Three goals in each half was enough to send Western to the top of pool A and keep their title defence on the right track.

Orange’s Madie Smith made her mark in the win, scoring Western’s final goal in their 6-0 victory over Riverina.

Western coach Hayley Lyons said there’s need for her side to play out the full hour of hockey going into Thursday’s semi-final.

“I guess they go out there full of energy and once the feel that they’re on top they get a little complacent,” she said.

“The girls have been playing well. The things that we’ve been talking about they’re out there trying to do. They’re looking to improve, they’ve gotten better and done things that I’ve asked them to very well.

“Defensively we’ve only let one goal in, that’s a big plus for us.”

Western continued their habit of coming out on the front foot and it didn’t take long to get the scoreboard ticking over.

Claire Bossman opened the account after just three minutes when she got on the end of a Madie Smith cross.

Abby Wilson added another goal 15 minutes in and Sarah Watterson found her goal four minutes out from half-time.

Bossman made it four for Western when she found space at the top of the goal circle just minutes into the second half .

For 20 minutes the game started to open up around the midfield.

Twice Western goalkeeper Jessie Luchetti found herself one-on-one with a Riverina player on a fast break but on both occasions ran out to make the block.

Niamh Dixon made it five for Western when she finished from close range with six minutes left.

Smith applied the icing on the cake for Western when she struck home a penalty corner into the bottom right of the goal.

Western opened their CHS Hockey campaign on Tuesday with big wins over North Coast (6-1) and Sydney East (8-0).

Wednesday’s opening match against Sydney South West was a tougher 2-0 win for Western, only denied a greater margin by some excellent saves from opposing goalkeeper Natasha Ball.

The semi-final begins at 8.30am on Thursday with the winner to move on to the final at 12.15pm.

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