Kennewell asks Ex-Services to keep focus on next game, not semi-final hopes

A NEW HOPE: Mel Hope (right) will return for Ex-Services for Saturday’s crucial clash against Bathurst City. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0622sghock5

A NEW HOPE: Mel Hope (right) will return for Ex-Services for Saturday’s crucial clash against Bathurst City. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0622sghock5

ORANGE Ex-Services have their feet firmly on the ground after last Saturday’s 2-nil win over Confederates in women’s Premier League Hockey.

Ex-Services sit in sixth position on the competition ladder, four points out of the top five, and coach Mitch Kennewell has lamented missed opportunities as the story of their season.

“We just can’t get our goals in. This last month we have been getting many chances to score and not converting”, Kennewell said. 

Ex-Services go head-to-head with third-placed Bathurst City on Saturday and Kennewell is hopeful of an upset win, especially as Ex-Services lost 1-nil to Bathurst City in round four.

“We could have won it (the reverse fixture), but we just couldn’t put any goals away,” he said. 

Ex-Services scored two goals from short corners against Confederates last Saturday, which was encouraging for Kennewell.

“That was very pleasing, I think we have the worst conversion of short corners in the whole competition,” he said.

Captain Ali Baker is out for Saturday’s match but Mel Hope has returned to give Ex-Services a much needed boost.

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While they’re still a good chance for the play-offs, Kennewell has insisted his team not get too carried away with finals aspirations.

“There is a lot of finals talk at training, but I’ve encouraged them to stop thinking so far ahead and play every game as they come,” Kennewell said. 

“We take every game as our grand final and mentally we want to build momentum on a week-to-week basis. 

“There is plenty of time left in the season and if we can convert on our opportunities we should continue to trouble most sides.”

There are five rounds remaining this season and Ex-Services sit one win outside the top five.

They will play Bathurst City at 12.20pm in Bathurst.

Kinross-CYMS will have a tough trip on Saturday when they head to Lithgow to take on Zig Zag.

In the round's other fixtures Bathurst Souths host competition leaders Lithgow Panthers and Bathurst St Pat’s take on Dubbo Blue Jays.

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