THEIR squads maybe have been altered since they last met, but St Pat’s skipper Darcy Davis is still expecting a hard-fought affair this Saturday when his side takes on Lithgow Panthers in men’s Premier League Hockey.
Since winning last year’s grand final, Panthers have not only won both their 2018 matches thus far but boast an impressive 15-1 for-and-against record.
The Saints have played just once – drawing 4-all with local rivals Souths in the opening round – and know building on that with a win against Panthers in Lithgow is no easy task.
“It has been a bit of a tough start to the season, having two weeks off after such a good start the first game against Souths,” Davis said.
“So we’ll be trying to build momentum coming back into our second game of the season, which we’ve been doing through training the last couple of weeks.
“Panthers is always tough competition, we know we are in for a tough, physical game against them. I know that they’ve lost a few players this year, but they’re definitely a competitive side.
“You always know what you are up against with Panthers, it’s always a tough game no matter who they’ve got. We’ll definitely have our work cut out for us.”
Pat’s will have some of its regulars missing this Saturday, but are likely to draw on members of the Bathurst under 18s representative outfit which contested last weekend’s state titles.
Still, Davis said the focus will not be on who is playing. Rather the Saints will concentrate on producing their best hockey.
“We like to focus on our game, we don’t like to concentrate too much on the other team, who they’ve got playing or what their strategies are. We want to concentrate on what we are doing - when we do that, that’s when we play our best hockey I think,” he said.
“Fitness hurt us a little bit towards the end of the Souths game after we started really well, but we’ve definitely been working on our fitness so we can carry on from those strong starts right through to the end of the match.”
Saturday’s match is set for 3.50pm in Lithgow, while Souths will sit this round out with the bye.