Ex-Services face must-win game to stay in contention for finals

VITAL CLASH: Ex-Services captain Alison Baker said if her team wants to play semi-final hockey, today's clash with Confederates is a must-win game.

VITAL CLASH: Ex-Services captain Alison Baker said if her team wants to play semi-final hockey, today's clash with Confederates is a must-win game.

SO close, yet so far.

Orange Ex-Services captain Ali Baker has been left to lament lost chances all season, but said it won’t happen again on Saturday.

Ex-Services take on Confederates in today’s round 13 women’s Premier League Hockey clash, and Baker said if her teammates are truly aspiring to play semi-final hockey, they must win.

Currently sitting seventh, Ex-Services needs to win the majority of the last six games in 2014 to have any chance of qualifying for the play-offs.

“It’s the story of our season, so close but just not quite,” she said.

“Results have slipped away from us all year. We’ve been competing in virtually every game and let a win slip away.

“I’ve said for a couple of weeks we need a win, and after some hard work in Lithgow we need to get it today.”

Ex-Services have suffered consecutive losses in Lithgow in past fortnight - 3-1 to Zig Zag and 5-1 to Panthers.

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“They were tough games but we learned plenty,” Baker said.

“Score lines may not reflect it but we’ve been playing some really awesome hockey. Honestly we don’t have that much to improve on leading into [today’s] clash with ‘Feds, and we get a few players back.

“I think we’re a pretty good chance of getting the win.”

With a win, their first of the season, and a close draw in the last fortnight ‘Feds skipper Sam Stevenson said her team is hungry for another victory.

“We started well against Ex-Services last time but let the win slip away,” she said.

“I think we’re a great chance at winning today. They’re a good attacking side so we need to mark tight, and if we can keep pressure on in attack we’ll do well.

“That’s been our problem, we haven’t really been able to close our games but we’ve got plenty of confidence heading into this one.”

Ex-Services play ‘Feds at Orange Hockey Centre, from 2.35pm.

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