SOUTHS may not have been able to upset Lithgow Panthers at Bob Roach Field on Saturday, but the two blues did show plenty of heart in going down 7-0 to the women’s Premier League Hockey heavyweight.
Souths went into the match missing a host of regulars while Hayley Rogers, who was filling in for absent goalkeeper Kate Brown, was delayed and missed the first 25 minutes of the match.
It meant skipper Ali Stanford stepped up to play kicking back – a position she had never before occupied – and she excelled.
Panthers, who made the trip to Bathurst with no reserves other than a second goalkeeper, earned two penalty corners inside the opening three minutes.
But both times Stanford cleared attempts off the line, while she also made smart blocks in open play to deny Amanda Saladine and Kellsey Charlton.
Maddy Airey worked hard in defence as well, before Panthers finally broke through when changing tactics with their penalty corners and opting for a flick. It was Hannah Kable who found the mark in the 13th minute.
Kable netted another in the same fashion on 20 minutes while Emily Thompson scored just before the break to make it 3-0 at half-time.
From there Panthers went on to post a comfortable win, Saladine bagging a second-half hat-trick, but Souths did pressure on the break through Emma Siejka and Daisy Morrissey.
“I think they had nine shorts and I think they had four of those when we only had a kicking back. If we think about the beginning of the season when they beat us 11-2, now to come back and we had seven out and we didn’t have a goalie for 20 minutes – I think it’s unreal,” Stanford said.
“We did create chances, very much so. Emma Siejka she created a couple of chances and Daisy Morrissey, they are just unreal up front together.
“They’re a good side, I’d put my money on them that’s for sure, but definitely I think our local sides Pat’s and City will give them a run for their money.”