ONE chance down, one to go.
Bathurst City are forced into women’s Premier League Hockey sudden death mode this Saturday at Bob Roach Field when they take on St Pat’s for the remaining spot in the grand final.
Lithgow Panthers kept a dynamic City offence to a rare scoreless match, 2-0, in last weekend’s major semi-final.
Now City have to take on the only team to get the better of them in the 2017 regular season.
City coach Lisa Quinn said the defeat to Panthers has given her side plenty to think about in the lead up to the derby encounter.
“We’ve had more good games this season than ordinary games, but I don’t think there’s been a game where we can say we’ve played badly,” she said.
“In the middle of the field in last week’s game we held things together, it was just making that entry into the circle that was difficult for us.
“I’ve changed the lineup around a bit to give us some more firepower up front.
“For some reason the team seemed really stretched out, which meant when our forwards were getting the ball that they weren’t getting much support.”
They’ve got a lot of senior players who know how to move the ball around quickly in the midfield.
This Saturday’s preliminary final promises to be a beauty, given that only a single goal has separated the two clubs in their meetings this season.
City drew first blood thanks to their 3-2 win before the Saints struck back with a 2-1 success.
Quinn knows, from those meetings and other Saints matches, exactly what to expect from the blue and white.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on them because I expected them to always be in contention for the finals,” she said.
“They’ve showed that they know how to beat us. They play a very physical and strong game.
“They’ve got a lot of senior players who know how to move the ball around quickly in the midfield. We also have a nice combination of experience and younger players who are very quick in that area.”
City began with promise in their match against Panthers but couldn’t maintain their intensity for the full 70 minutes.
City will receive a welcome boost to the midfield battle as Brooke McFadden rejoins the squad.
There’s a sense of deja vu to the match as this Saturday’s game repeats the 2016 lineup in the corresponding fixture.
The City women will hope this game also turns out with a similar result.
Last year’s preliminary final meeting resulted in a 2-1 win for City.
However, on that occasion it was City who had worked their way up from an elimination semi-final.
Match starts 1pm Saturday.