LAST year on Premier League Hockey’s grand final day as Lithgow Panthers celebrated sealing the men’s and women’s title double, it was a much different mood for their beaten rivals.
Though both the Souths men’s side and Bathurst City women’s battled hard, they finished with the bitter disappointment that comes with being a beaten grand finalist.
Still, the pain those two Bathurst sides felt has acted as a driving force this season as both City and Souths were determined to make amends.
Now the Bathurst pair are one step away from doing just that as they once again fight with Lithgow Panthers in Lithgow.
“That is what is driving us, that we don’t want to go down to them again,” City coach Lisa Quinn said.
“For some girls this could be their last game for City too, so we want to give it our all and do our best.”
Quinn feels her squad this year is stronger than the one which fell short in 2016, a belief Souths coach Ray Winwood-Smith shares in terms of his playing group.
“I think we’ve got a different mindset this year, we’ve got a stronger belief, we’ve got better depth within the team. Our bench now could start in any team,” he said.
“That makes a big difference to where we were last year to this year. Having our full squad to take into the grand final is another big difference. We’ve been able to consistently play with the same team now for a number of weeks which has allowed us to get momentum.”