Loss to 'classy' Lithgow ends Orange women's state championships campaign

STAR PERFORMER: Despite missing the play-offs, Kinross-CYMS' Madie Smith (right) was one of Orange's best at the NSW Hockey Open Women's Field State Championships. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0426womhock1

STAR PERFORMER: Despite missing the play-offs, Kinross-CYMS' Madie Smith (right) was one of Orange's best at the NSW Hockey Open Women's Field State Championships. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0426womhock1

ORANGE finished its division two NSW Hockey Open Women’s Field State Championships campaign on a low note last night with a crushing 7-1 loss to Lithgow.

Already resigned to missing semi-final qualification prior to the game, Orange was outgunned by a clinical Lithgow unit which passed through the group stage undefeated.

“They are a classy side,” Orange coach Michelle Barrett said.

“That kind of game is a bit of a local derby for us so even though we had nothing to play for you want to win. But the girls were down 3-nil at half-time and its tough to get back up for another half in that situation.

“We’re disappointed for sure, you always go into those competitions hoping to go as far as you can.”

Orange started the group stage on the back foot after a first up 4-nil loss to hosts Illawarra, before recovering with a resounding 5-nil win over New England.

A win for Orange in its third pool game against Manning Valley would have set up a must-win clash with Lithgow, but the match finished in a 3-all draw.

“They (Manning Valley) were coming off a big loss and wanted to prove something I think,” Barrett said.

“I thought we would be okay going into the game, but they toughed it out in what turned out to be a very tough game of hockey.”

Barrett noted the potential in the Orange team but conceded future development will be tough without more preparation leading into representative events.

“There is plenty of talent and a lot of great players,” Barrett said.

“But I think we might need to look at how we are going about it if we want to improve our performance at these events. We need more preparation, which is tough sometimes with families and things, but we need the teams to get together more often.

“The Illawarra game was the first time they had been together really. It’s a disappointing result, but there are positives looking at the future.”

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