BATHURST City qualified for its fourth consecutive women’s Premier League Hockey decider on the back of a 3-0 preliminary final win over St Pat’s on Saturday.
The Bathurst rivals both produced quality attacking hockey as they fought for the right to join Lithgow Panthers in the grand final, but it was City who capitalised.
“I thought we just kept pushing and pushing and pushing and the goals came. We were in the right spots, we supported the ball carrier and our shots were on goal today,” City coach Lisa Quinn said.
“We spoke about we had to make sure we had the numbers around the ball when we made those breaks, and we definitely did that today.”
Pat’s started strongly and earned two penalty corners inside the first nine minutes, while City had to wait until the 17 minute mark to earn its first chance from the set play.
None of those opportunities were converted, but the pressure continued to come down both ends.
Eleven minutes out from the break City drew two penalty corners in quick succession, but Pat’s goalkeeper Tracey Gunning made a smart block to stop the first while Sophie Conroy cleared the second off the line.
Gunning was in superb touch, but 4½ out from the break when Jess Hotham attacked down the left and crossed to an unmarked Kirsten Howard, she had little chance.
That gave City a 1-0 lead at the break and nine minutes after play resumed, Hotham made it 2-0.
Determined to keep their season alive Pat’s lifted and more penalty corners followed.
Kirralee Naylor came desperately close to finding the mark – her effort deflecting off the glove of City's goalkeeper into the post with just over 10 minutes left.
But as the game drew inside the final four minutes it was City who scored again, a Quinn deflection sealing the result.
For Saints skipper Kirsty Ekert, it was disappointing to fall short of a grand final, but she could not fault the effort of her side.
“I thought the girls all played well today, I was proud of their effort,” she said.