Top spot on offer for Feds in St Pat’s clash

RESURGENT FEDS: Annabelle Tierney and her Confederates teammates are gunning for Bathurst St Pat's this weekend. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

RESURGENT FEDS: Annabelle Tierney and her Confederates teammates are gunning for Bathurst St Pat's this weekend. Photo: STEVE GOSCH

Confederates on top of the women’s Premier League Hockey table through four rounds.

Odds are that’s not a phrase you’d ever have been expecting to read.

But, incredibly, after the Orange side’s early season resurgence in 2017 it’s far from being outside the realms of possibility.

Feds are third at the moment on goal difference, they’re equal on competition points with league leaders Bathurst City and the second-placed Bathurst St Pat’s.

If the Orange side trumps the Saints and Bathurst City also loses on Saturday afternoon, Feds will shoot to the top of the table.

Not that the playing group is buying into the hype, not at all.

Feds coach Fiona Reith is doing everything she can to make sure her troops stay grounded, it is only round four after all and as they, whoever they may be, always say, premierships aren’t won in May.

She explained her side is purely focused on Saturday’s clash with St Pat’s and doing everything it can to secure a third season win.

We’ll have to play our absolute best to stay in the game against St Pat’s for the entire 70 minutes. - Feds coach Fiona Reith

Anything that comes after that is a bonus.

“It’ll be a really hard game against a great team, one that consistently makes the finals,” Reith said, also conceding St Pat’s demand favouritism considering Feds’ history in previous seasons.

“We’ll have to play our absolute best to stay in the game against St Pat’s for the entire 70 minutes.

“That’s a real focus for us, making sure we stay in the game for the full 70 minutes and don’t drop off.”

Feds aren’t unfamiliar with the Saints either, the two teams played a couple of trial games during the pre-season which even Bathurst gun Kristy Ekert admits “were very even”.

“They’re definitely going to be a good side and a tough team to beat,” Ekert said.

“They’re pretty well structured so we’re going to have to be on our game.”

Reith said her side will also be focusing on creating and then finishing opportunities in front of goal.

The side has produced plenty of chances in 2017 and despite winning two of its first three games, has only potted five goals – the lowest tally of the top three sides.

That statistic is magnified by the fact City and St Pat’s have only played two games, they face off on Sunday in a catch-up, which will have a big influence on which of the three sides is leading the competition come Saturday night.

“Creating opportunities for ourselves that we can capitalise on is a focus,” Reith said.

“That’s crucial, is putting those chances away.

“All the girls are really looking forward to the challenge.”

Confederates host Bathurst St Pat’s from 1.55pm at Orange Hockey Complex, the last time the two sides met – in 2016 – the Bathurst side won 7-1.

St Pat’s and Bathurst City’s catch-up game on Sunday starts at 2.30pm, at the Cooke Hockey Complex.

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