Ex-Services’ slim finals hopes rely on kick-starting massive run with upset over City

NOW OR NEVER: If Shian Duboc and her Ex-Services side wants to keep its slim finals hopes alive, a victory is non-negotiable on Saturday. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
NOW OR NEVER: If Shian Duboc and her Ex-Services side wants to keep its slim finals hopes alive, a victory is non-negotiable on Saturday. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

This is it, it’s now or never for Ex-Services.

The blue and golds are winless through the opening eight rounds of the 2018 competition and there’s no two ways about it, their women’s Premier League Hockey season is on the line this weekend at Bathurst’s gala day.

Sitting 22 points outside the top four with a maximum of 24 available to them in the remaining six games, Ex-Services’ finals hopes looked all but dashed as it is, considering they’d need to win all of those games and hope a plethora of other results fall their way.

Unlikely, yes, but possible nonetheless.

That run has to start against reigning champions Bathurst City on Saturday afternoon, a side that’s well and truly had the wood over Ex-Services in recent year.

Dating back to round of 2014, Ex-Services has won just one of the two sides’ past 10 encounters, that 3-1 victory coming in round 12 of 2016.

Of the other nine encounters Bathurst City’s won seven, while the rivals have played out two 1-all draws as well.

Saturday’s clash could be a good chance for the blue and golds to buck that trend again though, with Bathurst City missing a number of experienced campaigners this weekend.

That forces the side’s coach, Nick Klower, to bring in a number of up-and-coming stars to play crucial roles, although he has given most of them consistent game time this year anyway.

He made a decision to do that, with the side’s future in mind, very early on in the season.

“I will give all the juniors a chance to really step up in more fundamental roles and also with the amount of time they will be playing, so there’s a lot more pressure on them this week,” Klower said.

“I’m really excited to see what they will do because I’ve seen all the effort they have put in. It’s exciting to see what they will do when they’ve got a lot more responsibility on their shoulders.” Ex-Services face Bathurst City from 1.55pm.

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