AN inspired performance from Chloe Barrett led Orange High School to an 8-1 drubbing of Bathurst High in Thursday’s Astley Cup hockey clash.
Played at the Orange Hockey Centre, Barrett scored three goals and had a hand in two others as Orange piled on seven unanswered second half goals, bursting Bathurst’s hockey bubble.
Coming off an 18-nil win over Dubbo Senior College last week, a confident Bathurst had the better of the opening exchanges of the match, controlling possession and territory.
With Bathurst goalkeeper McKenzee Newton, and fullback Alana Webber diffusing Orange’s attacks, Barrett pushed forward from her customary defensive role, slotting into centre forward.
The ploy worked immediately as Barrett opened the scoring just two minutes later, finding the top right corner from a powerful reverse stick shot.
Bathurst kept coming though with Olivia Pugh equalising after latching onto an Emma Siejka cross to go into the break 1-all.
The second half was all Orange with Barrett netting her second just three minutes in, deflecting a pinpoint Haley Butcherine cross.
The hosts then produced a stunning 10-minute period of attacking hockey as Rachel Pengilly, Casey Ryan and Sarah Barrett all bagged goals to take the score to 5-1, with 20 minutes still to play.
Bathurst tired in the final exchanges of the match, and Butcherine took full advantage, imposing herself down the right edge.
Several fast breaks later and the Orange winger had scored two goals of her own and provided a beautiful cross in the dying stages for Barrett to grab her hat-trick, and put Bathurst to bed.
Orange coach Pete Shea lauded his players’ awareness in the win.
“The first half was tight, but I think when we relaxed a bit we played a lot more freely,” Shea said.
“We gave Madie (Smith), Chloe and Emily Piper a bit more licence to roam. It added a bit more fluidity and created confusion in the defence.
“We were very aware of the space we created, and we used it very well. They did drop off, but we were smart about the game.”
Bathurst coach Jacqui Hood said the result was disappointing, but credited Orange’s performance.
“It wasn’t quite the result we were after,” she said.
“We were hoping to keep them to a two or three goal difference but we let it get away.
“They had speed in key positions that we couldn’t quite match. Down that right side especially, we just couldn’t hold her (Butcherine).”
ORANGE HIGH 8 (Chloe Barrett 3, Haley Butcherine 2, Rachel Pengilly, Sarah Barrett, Casey Ryan) def BATHURST HIGH 1 (Olivia Pugh).