ROB Laffin may not have been able to guide his side to success in Saturday’s women’s Premier League Hockey major semi-final against Bathurst City, but the Ex-Services’ coach still correctly predicted one of the biggest determining factors.
He had told his players the opening minutes of the match at Bob Roach Field would be crucial and it was during this time that City found the first of what would be four unanswered goals for the match.
Laffin admitted that strike did nothing to help his already nervous side and by the time they settled into the contest, the damage had been done.
“The thing I said beforehand was that the first five minutes will win or lose this game and that is what it did,” he said.
“They were a little bit better at controlling it and they scored one after two minutes of the game. That is where you win or lose big games.”
Laffin also conceded that his players were not mentally where they needed to be in the first half despite what had been a good build up to the semi-final.
Still, it is something which he believes can be rectified in time.
“They were very nervous to start with, there seems to be this hoodoo thing about the Bathurst girls, but that is just a hurdle we have to work our way over,” he said.
“I have just got to pick my girls back up. Our build up through the week was good, our prep was good, everything was good. It was just that first five minutes.
“The second half was a lot better from the girls.”
Ex-Services’ improved second half did see them earn more short corners for the match than Bathurst City - the final count reading six to five - yet the Orange outfit know they need to make better use of them.
Next week if they can’t take their chances in the minor semi-final against Souths it will spell the end of their season.
“We just didn’t convert from the pressure we put on. We got those corners that a couple of weeks ago we converted, but today we didn’t,” he said.
“There is aspects of the game we will have to work on and that is one of the things we will really have to look into, breaking down defences. We have to work out a away of trying to go around rather than trying to go through it.”
BATHURST CITY 4 (Kelsey Willott 3, Tanya Lowe) def ORANGE EX-SERVICES 0.