Confederates coach Fiona Reith is thrilled her side will make its second women's Premier League Hockey finals appearance since re-entering the competition in 2012, although she admitted the way they secured fourth spot isn't ideal.
Confederates had done enough to be four points clear of fifth-placed Bathurst City but their season was still on the line in Saturday's scheduled final round, the latter side needed to win by at least three goals to usurp the young Orange outfit.
But after a barrage of snow across the region the night before the entire round was abandoned and all games declared nil-all draws, cementing Confederates' finals berth.
We are thrilled to have made semis, but of course not off the back of a full round cancellation.Confederates coach Fiona Reith
It also brought Bathurst City's stunning run of finals appearances to an end, since entering the competition in 2007 they'd never missed out until this year.
"We are thrilled to have made semis, but of course not off the back of a full round cancellation as a result of the inclement weather," she said.
"I think we can put down the overall result to our consistency this year across the board and the efforts from the squad of girls we have on our roster.
"We set ourselves the goal of playing the best game we can every week and doing it as a team. Our culture in this regard is very strong and something we are very proud of."
Bathurst City coach Lisa Quinn was, naturally, devastated, labelling the situation a "huge disappointment.
But, as she went on to say, "we shouldn't have put ourselves in that position".
"It feels like it has just been stripped away from us, just to have that chance to show we could do it, and I know we could," Quinn said.
"I felt like we had the potential to win 3-nil, I had planned to throw everything at them and just go for broke. But what can you do? It was out of our hands.
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"Everyone was really keen to play today and we kept looking at the road conditions and saw they were open and we thought we were good to go. We would have had to pull out the performance of the year given it was cold and windy and raining and needing to win by three goals, but we had nothing to lose.
"I could see us, if we pulled it [off], having a chance of going the whole way through."
The abandoned round also cemented CYMS' minor premiership, they're now in the box seat to become just the second Orange side to win the women's Premier League Hockey title. The only outfit that has was Orange City in 2001.
It also brought Ex-Services' tough 2019 campaign to an end, the blue and golds were only able to muster one victory over Lithgow Zig Zag this year, but had a big chance to add to that tally against the same side.
CYMS will host the major semi-final against Bathurst St Pat's at Orange Hockey Centre while Confederates travel to Lithgow to face Panthers in the minor, elimination final.
"We will go into the semi-final with nothing to lose and as massive underdogs but we are okay with that. We have never beaten Panthers and they are such a powerhouse team in this competition," Reith said.
"We will need to respect that and hope we can play our best game against them."
The men's Premier League Hockey games on the weekend were not technically abandoned, however all sides involved were happy for them to be declared nil-all draws anyway.
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