BEFORE Saturday’s women’s Premier League Hockey match against Parkes began, Bathurst City captain Kelsey Willott implored her team-mates to keep their undefeated record intact.
That they did, Bathurst City posting a 4-0 win at Bob Roach Field to be the only side to have reached the halfway point of the season without suffering a defeat.
Aside from a draw against Ex-Services, City has claimed maximum points in each of its games as it builds towards yet another finals campaign.
“I spoke to the girls about it before the game and I said that this is our last round game before the halfway point of the season. We are undefeated so let’s go out there and make sure we keep that,” Willott said.
“It’s important for us, especially looking ahead to the finals when we are going to have players out.
I think it has been a couple of years since we’ve gone undefeated to the halfway point.Kelsey Willott
“I think it has been a couple of years since we’ve gone undefeated to the halfway point. The last time we did it would’ve probably been five years ago, it’s been Lithgow Panthers since then.
“So for us to be up there, we are six points ahead on the ladder … we are really happy with that.”
Though Parkes defended well throughout the contest – goalkeeper Amy Thornberry making a string of quality saves – City’s speed created a glut of chances.
Coach Lisa Quinn scored the opener in the 19th minute, diving full length to knock in a Jess Hotham cross.
The build up to that goal featured some crisp one-touch passing – an element of City’s game which Parkes defenders Cody Wakefield and Sam Afele worked hard to counter.
Paige Hay also cleared an attempt off the line, but City’s weight of possession finally led to another goal.
This time it was Bec Bosianek who found the mark seven out from the break.
That gave City a 2-0 lead at half-time and when play resumed, so did its attacking pressure.
Parkes did create a chance in the 50th minute when drawing its only penalty corner play of the match, but after switching the ball to the right, the final shot was just wide.
In contrast City had 11 penalty corners across the 70 minutes, and both of its second half goals came from the set play.
Kelly Baker was responsible for both, scoring in the 62nd and 65th minutes, to help City to another victory.
Though City will no doubt work on improving its conversion rate from penalty corners, Willott was pleased that no frustration crept into her side’s performance.
“I think that’s got a lot to do with the system we are playing,” she said.
“If the ball gets back to our defence, I have confidence in our players and the system that we are playing that they’ll get it out of there and get it back to us.”
The Bathurst City captain also paid tribute to Parkes, who went into the match missing a number of its regulars.
“Parkes did defend quite well today, but I think they always defend well,” she said.
“I must admit that playing against them as a striker, I am always worried because I know how safe they are. They always scramble well in defence and that did that again today.
“It was a good result for us, but we’ve got another half to do. We’ve got a lot to improve and a lot to work on, especially coming into some hard games.”