A battle of the understrength Orange sides, that’s what CYMS mentor Pete Shea is looking forward to in Saturday’s women’s Premier League Hockey derby against the Fiona Reith-coached Confederates.
Both sides are still missing their NSW Country stars, all of whom play crucial roles, and as such the round 13 clash shapes up as one that could come down to depth, and which outfit boasts more of it.
“It could come down to that, definitely,” Shea said.
“We have a few away and Feds will be missing Rachel Pengilly and Millah Allcorn, their NSW Country reps, and I think Grace Evans is still out injured too, but it’ll still be a really tough battle because no side likes losing these local derbies.”
In fact Confederates have several more out too, Rachel Hinds and Heidi Townsend will both miss the clash too.
There’s plenty on the line too, CYMS are in a share for second with Panthers and desperately hoping to pull clear of the Lithgow side in the final two weeks of the regular season.
Ex-Services holding Lithgow to a draw, or even beating the powerhouse side, would be a massive help in that bid.
Confederates, on the other hand, are out of finals contention but end their year with back-to-back derbies – they play Ex-Services next week – and earning bragging rights in both would be the perfect way to finish.
“Confederates will definitely come out hard and we really do need to push for a win this weekend, it’s pretty important we get one,” Shea said.
“We need to be starting to think about the level we need to be at in the semi-finals and a win on Saturday would be a great way to start building momentum towards those finals.”
Although CYMS are without the likes of Madie Smith and Courtney Hogan the green and golds’ line-up is still littered with quality players and a lot of what they do will be based around building pressure, Shea says.
“Confederates have some really, really good players, Eva (Reith-Snare) is the obvious danger,” he said.
“Even without Millah and Rachel they’re a good side, and a player like Ellen Warner really controls the game well from the back, she’ll be a big influence too.
“For us we really need to be looking to put a lot of pressure on those players and try and make it tough for them to play to their potential.
“We’ll just look to control the tempo and create our chances, and finish them. It’ll be a good game I think.”
Reith agreed with Shea’s final sentiment, and paid the green and golds their due respect too.
“It will be a good game, CYMS are coming second for a reason and they have depth and experience so we have to be up for the challenge,” Reith said.
“We need to back ourselves, improve on the week before and play for each to create the opportunity to be competitive. It’s just about playing the way we have been, which is respecting our opposition firstly.
“We still have plenty to play for, and the girls have been encouraged by their consistency and efforts (despite finals not being a possibility).”
The two sides have, of course, faced off just once this season, back in round six.
They played out an epic 1-all draw that draw, with Reith-Snare’s 67th minute goal forcing the deadlock.
Saturday’s all-Orange derby kicks off at 3.20pm at Orange Hockey Centre.