A STELLAR performance from Orange Ex-Services' goalkeeper Erin Horan inspired her side to a 2-nil win over Kinross-CYMS in Orange's women's Premier League Hockey local derby on Saturday.
Horan was rock solid at the back for Ex-Services, producing countless crucial saves, particularly late in the clash, to ensure her side held onto its two goal lead.
"She just had a blinder," Ex-Services coach Mitch Kennewell said.
"She definitely got my player of the match. In saying that, all the girls played well. It was probably our best performance of the entire season actually."
Two first half goals were enough to secure Ex-Services the win, with Haley Butcherine opening the scoring in the sixth minute.
Leanne Kennewell's ball into the circle rebounded off Kinross-CYMS' goalkeeper Catherine Stapleton's pads, and a diving Butcherine knocked in the rebound to give Ex-Services an early lead.
Kinross-CYMS struggled for consistency after the early setback, and a lack of execution saw several chances go begging.
They were made to pay in the 22nd minute when Jade Williams scored Ex-Services' second, deflecting a beautiful cross from Larissa Atkinson past Stapleton.
The scores remained unchanged until the half time break, after which Kinross-CYMS took control of the match.
Dominating field position, Kinross-CYMS continued to produce chance after chance, only for Horan to diffuse the threat.
Both sides earned four short corners in the second period, but neither took advantage as the match finished 2-all.
"We started the second half a bit off, and fell away from the game plan a bit," Kennewell said.
"But we regrouped quickly, and got straight back into it. It was a great performance. Being the best side in Orange is a bit of motivation for us now knowing we can't really make the finals, and this win was a big part of that.
"We executed well, which we haven't been doing."
Kinross-CYMS' coach Pete Shea didn't pull in punches in his assessment of the game.
"We just didn't play very well," he said.
"Our pattern was all over the shop, our style in the first half cost us. We leaked a lot in the first 15 minutes and it was tough.
"When we started to gain some structure we played a lot better, and the second half finished nil-all."
ORANGE EX-SERVICES 2 (Haley Butcherine, Jade Williams) def KINROSS-CYMS 0