ORANGE Wanderers’ hopes of knocking off another men’s Premier League Hockey big gun came crashing back down to earth on Saturday following a 9-1 drubbing at the hands of Bathurst St Pat’s.
A week after a morale boosting 2-0 win over one of the competition’s perennial high achievers Lithgow Panthers, Wanderers had hoped to travel to the Cooke Hockey Complex and spring another upset, but against a vastly experienced St Pat’s outfit it wasn’t meant to be.
Wanderers coach Beth Shea said while the score line wasn’t all that flattering, the actual performance of her team wasn’t disappointing in the slightest.
“We had a lot of young guys out there today,” Shea said, with the likes of co-captain Alex Said unable to make the trip to Bathurst on Saturday.
“We had four 16-year-olds and I thought they did quite well. Against a Pat’s midfield that’s the most experienced in the business, we gave our guys some jobs to do and I thought they did them well.”
The Orange men’s PLH club wasn’t without its chances.
Down 2-0 early after the home side clicked from the opening whistle, Wanderers produced four scoring opportunities in the opening 35 minutes of the round 10 contest.
However, none were converted.
It wasn’t until Orange was five goals down that gun forward Nick Sharp managed to trouble the back of the St Pat’s net midway through the second half.
And by that stage the result was all but a forgone conclusion.
Hitting home four more winners, the hosts ran out emphatic eight-goal victors and maintained their place on top of this year’s men’s PLH ladder, Jaden Ekert’s bag of five the highlight for the hosts.
Shea praised the work of young midfielder Hayden Dillon, a player who held his own against the hugely impressive Shane Conroy for St Pat’s.
Shea also made mention of Wanderers’ improving discipline.
“At different stages there the guys thought they were hard done by by the refs but no one back chatted and no one was sent off, and that’s a huge step for us,” she said.
“That’s been a big problem for us in the past.”
BATHURST ST PAT’S 9 (Jaden Ekert 5, Broadie Cooke, Brendon Burke, Sam McPherson, Riley Hanrahan) def ORANGE WANDERERS 1 (Nick Sharp)