A 1-all draw is not enough to keep Souths' finals hopes alive

IT was the first time Souths had earned points against Bathurst City since 2014, but Saturday’s 1-all draw was not enough to keep its women’s Premier League Hockey finals hopes alive.

TOUGH DAY: Meg Booth and her fellow Souths players worked hard to draw with Bathurst City, but it was not the win they needed to keep their season alive. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 081118pbcity2

TOUGH DAY: Meg Booth and her fellow Souths players worked hard to draw with Bathurst City, but it was not the win they needed to keep their season alive. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 081118pbcity2

Heading into the penultimate round the equation facing fifth-placed Souths was not only to wins its two remaining games by significant margins, but to have either CYMS, Lithgow Panthers or Bathurst City go winless through the same fortnight.

But while Souths - who had lost it is past eight games against City and been held scoreless in 50 percent of those - threw plenty at its Bathurst rival, it was unable to find a match winner.

Nikki Braun’s 38th minute salvo which levelled the scores at 1-all was Souths’ only joy.

City managed to repel nine penalty corner plays – five of which came in the second half – while goalkeeper Kylie Tattersall also blocked a one-on-one with Sophie McCauley.

“I thought we were on top that second half, by far on top,” Souths’ caretaker coach Chris Stafford said.

“At the end of the day a draw or a loss does nothing for us, so there was no point in holding back or playing conventional. We had to push for a goal, that’s what we were trying to do, it just didn’t go in.

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“There were a lot of things today that we have been working on all year at training and they came off today. It was the first time we executed things with some of our ball movement and some of the spots we have been trying to hit – we started to do it today.

“It’s just unfortunate it’s the second-last game.”

Stafford admitted picking a players’ player would be tough given Souths’ effort across the field.

Goalkeeper Kate Brown made a string of superb blocks while Tahni Isedale and Mandy George were strong in defence.

Meg Booth ran hard in attack, while both Braun and Ali Stanford looked dangerous.

SOUTHS 1 (Nikki Braun) drew with BATHURST CITY 1 (Bridget Ellis)