St Pat's prepare for women's Premier League Hockey double against Confederates and Bathurst City

IF St Pat’s can overcome a challenging weekend of women’s Premier League Hockey then they could find themselves shooting up to the top of the table come Sunday afternoon.

IN GOOD TOUCH: Defender Alex White and St Pat's aim to continue their winning ways when they face a much-improved Confederates this Saturday in Orange. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

IN GOOD TOUCH: Defender Alex White and St Pat's aim to continue their winning ways when they face a much-improved Confederates this Saturday in Orange. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

Pat’s prepare for an improved Confederates team this Saturday in Orange before returning home the following day for a catch-up match against competition leaders Bathurst City.

The start of the season has been bursting with positive signs for the blue and white, who have overcome both defending champions Lithgow Panthers and Parkes United thus far.

Pat’s edged home 3-2 in both contests.

Although it’s early in the season this weekend’s double will still be an excellent test of the Saints’ title credentials, as well as their fitness.

In what’s been a popular scoreline, Feds also come into Saturday’s match off a 3-2 victory – theirs coming against Lithgow Zig Zag.

Saints’ Kristy Ekert is excited to take on a Confederates team who have also made a promising start to their 2017 campaign.

“They’re definitely going to be a good side and a tough team to beat,” she said.

“We had a couple of trial games against them before the season and it was very even across both of those games. They’re pretty well structured so we’re going to have to be on our game.”

Pat’s then have to back up from that game for a clash against rivals Bathurst City.

“We’ve always got in the back of our minds the fact that they pushed us out of last year’s finals,” Ekert said.

“It’s always a great test against them. They’ve always got together a well-rounded team.”

Pat’s have fared well with availability.

Kiralee Naylor will be absent for Saturday game while a full strength Saints squad is expected for the Bathurst derby.

The signs are good for the double header as Ekert said her team have done an excellent job putting into place what they’ve practiced.

“We’ve had two pretty tough games to start, and we’ve scraped home in both of those. We’re really happy with where we’re at right now,” she said.

“It’s just our basics and our finishing that needs a little bit of work.

“A lot of the younger girls have stepped up for us … and the team morale is nice and high at the moment.”

The previous meeting between the two Bathurst clubs was in last season’s preliminary final, where City were 2-1 winners.

City are also undefeated thus far in 2017.

They will come into Sunday’s game off a meeting against Zig Zag.

Saturday’s match for Pat’s gets underway in Orange from 1.55pm while the Sunday match at Cooke Hockey Complex starts from 2.30pm.

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