The first all-Orange women’s Premier League Hockey derby of 2017 was billed as the biggest ever, but at that point in the season no one saw this coming.
Battling fiercely for fourth spot, Confederates and Ex-Services are locked up on 26 competition points and boast the exact same goal difference too.
With that in mind the magnitude of Saturday’s derby cannot be underestimated because, basically, the two sides’ finals hopes hinge on winning this game.
The victor will push into outright fourth with two weeks left in the regular season.
But, crucially, Confederates will only have the chance to earn more competition points in one of those. They played their penultimate round game against Parkes earlier in the year.
A big win on Saturday would give the red and blues a necessary goal difference buffer over Ex-Services, essentially creating a two-win gap between the two sides.
Considering they play Lithgow Panthers in the last round, a loss would all but spell the end of Confederates’ 2017 resurgence.
For Ex-Services, a win would ease the pressure in the final two rounds. One more win from those games would guarantee a finals place.
A loss would force the blue and golds to take down third-placed Bathurst St Pat’s and then hope for a draw, at worst, against competition-leaders Bathurst City.
History favours Ex-Services, the blue and golds haven’t dropped a game to Confederates since the latter side’s re-entry into the competition in 2012.
Ex-Services won the first derby of 2017 1-0, despite Confederates being the dominant side.
Saturday’s derby kicks off at 12.30pm.