ORANGE player-coach Andrew Rutledge was left lamenting missed chances as his troops suffered their second consecutive loss at the NSW Hockey Open Field State Championships in Newcastle on Sunday.
Desperately seeking a win to cement a place in their division two pool’s top two, Orange was downed by a classy Newcastle (2) outfit, 4-2.
Orange opened its account on Saturday with a huge 4-nil win over Crookwell, with Nick Sharp grabbing a double, before being edged out 3-2 by Nepean.
“We created plenty of opportunities, we just didn’t convert them,” Rutledge said after the Newcastle (1) clash.
“We were great through the middle in attack, unfortunately our last pass, touch or deflection wasn’t quite right a lot of the time. Newcastle capitalised on their opportunities, we didn’t.”
Rutledge said his team could consider itself unlucky in a sense, having not conceded a field goal the entire tournament.
“All the goals we’ve conceded have been short corners,” he said.
“It’s both a positive and a negative. It means we’re scrambling very well, but not quite tight enough off the set plays. They are very difficult to defend if done well though, and our defensive players have been very good, our goal difference is still plus one.
“We just need to make sure we tighten up in our next game (against New England last night).”
With one win and two losses, Orange was heading into last night’s final game against New England, starting at 6pm, with no control over its destiny.
Rutledge and his troops needed a victory against New England, but were also relying on Crookwell to defeat Nepean (1) or at least play out a draw so Orange could progress.
“Relying on other results is never ideal,” Rutledge said.