‘When we come together we’re such a force’: Orange’s girls nab silver at state titles

SILVER LINING: Orange's state championship team, from back left, Michelle Stevenson (manager), Rachel Hoey, Rachel Pengilly, Grace Evans, Libby Smith, Courtney Hogan, Nicole Chapman, Madie Smith, Ellen Warner, Kim Kiel, Fiona Reith (coach), bottom left, Sam Vennard (manager), Erin Abrahams, Heidi Townsend, Millah Allcorn, Eva Reith-Snare and Bree Lippiatt. Photo: HOCKEY NSW
SILVER LINING: Orange's state championship team, from back left, Michelle Stevenson (manager), Rachel Hoey, Rachel Pengilly, Grace Evans, Libby Smith, Courtney Hogan, Nicole Chapman, Madie Smith, Ellen Warner, Kim Kiel, Fiona Reith (coach), bottom left, Sam Vennard (manager), Erin Abrahams, Heidi Townsend, Millah Allcorn, Eva Reith-Snare and Bree Lippiatt. Photo: HOCKEY NSW

Orange’s women’s side at the 2018 Open Field State Championship mightn’t have come away with gold, but they did produce one of the highlights of division two on their way to silver.

Led by some of the city’s best Premier League Hockey players, Orange thumped Metro South West (3) 18-0 during day two of the championship at the Macarthur Regional Complex.

Orange scored 10 field goals in the pool game rout and thanks to a new rule at the championship that allowed the goal-scorer to go one-on-one with the opposition keeper straight after scoring, the end margin ended up 18 goals after eight success conversions from the spot.

Orange was on the other end of the same rule in the final when a star-studded Tamworth outfit ran out 10-1 winners to claim gold.

Defender Ellen Warner said her side was thrilled to come away with silver, 12 months after taking out the division three title.

"We’ve done very, very well ... it’s great to come second. It shows we can do it, we belong in division two,” Warner said.

“We played well overall and it’s great to come together with players from other clubs, that we play against, and to then work so well together, it was great to be part of.

“When we come together we’re such a force. We’re very strong. It’s so great to play with.”

Orange topped its pool after a 3-0 win over Manning Valley and then 0-all draws against Goulburn (1) and Sydney South prior to the 18-0 thumping of Metro South West (3).

A thrilling semi-final where Orange fought back from 5-2 down to snatch a 5-all draw against Metro South West (2) was enough for the girls to progress through to the final after finishing on top of their pool.

Tamworth raced out of the blocks in the final and scored all of their goals in the first two quarters, but five conversions meant the score was 10-1 and gold was out of reach.

“We gave it to them though, we did not give up,” Warner said, Tamworth boasting ex-Hockeyroo Kate Jenner.

“They were so structured.”

Warner said she and her teammates felt for Metro South West (3) during the 18-goal demolition in the final pool stage game, but Orange’s opposition played out the game in good spirits.

“I have to admit, it was great … but we felt bad for the goalie,” Warner laughed.

“That metro south team was so good, they did not give up even though we kept scoring goals.

“The poor goalie, the girls were great though.”

Orange’s men enjoyed a tough state championship campaign at Moorebank, going down to Nepean (1) (8-1) and Illawarra South Coast (2) on two separate occasions, 8-3 and 8-2, while also bringing up a 5-all draw with Metro South West (2).

Orange finished on a high, though, winning its play-off game 12-1 against Nepean (2).

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