ORANGE Wanderers may have missed out on securing any points in their men’s Premier League Hockey clash with Lithgow Panthers on Saturday but their 2012 campaign received the shot in the arm it has desperately been looking for.
If the newly formed Orange outfit didn’t match it with Lithgow, they outplayed them.
The Wanderers dominated every facet of their round four clash with Lithgow.
They had more shots on goal, more short corners and the better of the possession.
But they didn’t dominate where it matters most - the scoreboard.
History will tell you the Panthers held on to win 2-1, with a Lyndon Jones winner for the Wanderers in the second half breathing more life into an already fiery clash at Orange’s Hockey Centre.
But it was the Orange club who’ll take the most out of the contest.
“It was a great game. One of the best men’s games I’ve seen in a long time,” Wanderers coach Andrew Reddan said.
“The boys put in a big effort at training over two nights this week and they took that attitude out into the game. It was a hard game. We had their cages rattled.”
Down 2-0, Jones opened the scoring for the Orange club following a nice pass inside the circle from Will Marriott.
It brought the margin back to just one goal.
But that’s where the winners ended.
“Our biggest downfall at the moment is we’re not putting anything in the back of the net,” Reddan said.
“We had a lot more chances than them, a lot more shots on goal. I think it could have been a lot different. But like Poss (Dave Watson) said, Lithgow are the benchmark. They’re an eight-time premier league winning side, and we had them rattled.
“We can take a lot out of this game.”
After an opening round 1-0 loss to defending champions Parkes, which the Orange club eventually netted a 5-0 win in courtesy of Parkes fielding an unregistered player, then a 3-1 loss to runners up St Pat’s and now a narrow loss to Lithgow’s best side, Reddan said there was plenty of belief in his unit.
Reddan believes Wanderers have turned a corner.
“Our mind set, our mental attitude has impressed me most,” he said.
“We’ve always been able to play hockey, it’s just been our state of mind and that’s what I’ve tried to change coming in as coach this year. We’re up there, we just need to put goals in the net.”
Luke Skelton was Orange’s best while Mick Dillon, Keegan Brooke, Daryl Kennewell and Adam Shepherd were impressive.
LITHGOW PANTHERS 2 (BJ Hemmy, Ian Nightingale) def ORANGE WANDERERS 1 (Will Marriott).