AFTER almost five years of frustrating defeats at the hands of Bathurst City, Souths finally managed to get the better of its local rival on Saturday to mark the new women's Premier League Hockey season.
A breakaway goal scored by young talent Sam Porter with nine minutes, 20 seconds left on the clock was all that separated the pair at Bob Roach Field.
But for Souths that one goal brought with a whole host of smiles. One of them was on the face of new coach Chris Stafford, who was delighted to see his side start with a morale boosting win.
"It was a good win to have. While it's the ole cliche until you play everyone once you don't know where you're sitting, that's points on the board," Stafford said.
"You only play everyone twice and last year something we struggled with was that we didn't get quite a few points until late, so to get points on the board early in the year makes a big difference."
Before a 1-all draw with City late last season, Souths had lost nine games in a row to their Bathurst rival. The two blues' most recent win was a 2-1 result on May 17, 2014.
On Saturday it seemed as if City would extend that misery as they dominated in terms of circle penetrations, possession, penalty corners and and attacking chances.
But Souths scrambled well in defence and when its chance came late in the match, they capitalised.
"Look, they had more circle penetrations, better possession, better field position, more shots - everything points to they should win the game," Stafford conceded.
"But our scrambling defence today was unbelievable.
"The way the girls talked from the back helped that scramble happen. Generally in a match you can scramble one or two times, you are going to get a goal against you somewhere.
"We had a good 10-15 times where we really had to scramble in defence and the girls stood up every time."
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Daisy Morrissey was a standout in defence for Souths, making strong tackles when it counted. But she was not the only one with Tahni Isedale just as solid while Meg Booth cleared a Bec Bosianek effort off the line in the opening quarter.
Goalkeeper Kate Brown blocked anything on target that got past them, including making a save with her helmet when diving full stretch towards the far post.
"Daisy was my best on ground. There are probably some areas of her game that would work against her playing in that position, but her tackling is just too strong to not have her in that position," Stafford said.
As Stafford pointed out, City had more of the attacking chances across the four 15-minute periods on Saturday.
City's midfield sparked plenty of attacking plays, Kirsten Howard particularly dangerous while Lisa Quinn, Anna Cartwright and Kelly Baker all linked well too.
City's first chance came after nine minutes when Baker hit the post, then some 30 seconds later they were unable to capitalise on a penalty corner.
Souths best chance of the opening half came in the 29th minute, City goalkeeper Maddy Tattersall having to make a sharp glove save to deny Bec O'Connor.
By three-quarter-time Souths had repelled four Bathurst City penalty corners, while Brown had also pulled off that helmet block to deny Kelsey Webb.
When the deadlock was finally broken six minutes into the final quarter, surprisingly it was Souths who went to a 1-0 lead. Porter tucked the ball away on the left post following a quick counter-attacking play.
City worked hard to get back on level terms, but was unable to find the mark as the clock ticked down.
They had one final chance after the siren off a penalty corner - City's fifth of the match - but Souths survived.
Given the way her side had dominated only to come away empty-handed, City coach Quinn was frustrated.
"It is frustrating and it's very disappointing. I felt we had done all the right things leading up to this game, but we started off flat," she said.
"We came back in the second half, we had all the run of the play, didn't put the balls away, they got a breakaway and scored. We can't afford to do that, we can't afford up the front to miss those goals.
"We just wanted it so bad I think we tensed up and went wide and missed those ones you can't afford to miss. We need to make sure we are getting there and taking that one last step."
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Still, Quinn was able to see positives in the defeat.
The midfield was impressive and in defence, Ali Wilson came up with some big plays of her own. She twice came up with clearances to deny Souths in goal-mouth scrambles.
"I think our midfield plays were a strength and we definitely moved the ball around well to get it up there in attack. We've just got to finish those shots and get those last touches," Quinn said.
"We just have to go back and work on that now."