"IT feels like it has just been stripped away from us."
Those were the words of Bathurst City coach Lisa Quinn after she learned her side would not get the opportunity to fight for their women's Premier League Hockey survival on Saturday.
City was to host Confederates at Bob Roach Field in the final round of the regular season and faced the tough assignment of winning by at least three goals to replace their Orange rivals in the top four.
But after overnight snow across the Central West, the decision was made to cancel the entire round of Premier League Hockey and all games were declared draws.
That meant City's amazing run of making the finals every year since joining the competition in 2007 came to an end.
"Huge disappointment," Quinn said.
"It was our last chance game to gain some points and it's been taken away from us.
"It feels like it has just been stripped away from us, just to have that chance to show we could do it, and I know we could.
"I felt like we had the potential to win 3-0, I had planned to throw everything at them and just go for broke. But what can you do? It was out of our hands.
"Part of me also feels like we shouldn't have put ourselves in this situation, to leave it so close to the finals. It just shows how tight the competition is that between us, Feds and Souths it came down to the last wire."
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While Bathurst City had only won by a margin of three or more goals twice before Saturday and had lost their only prior 2019 meeting with Feds 2-0, Quinn was confident her squad was up for the fight.
She also felt that had City qualified, they could have given the premiership a real shot.
"Everyone was really keen to play today and we kept looking at the road conditions and saw they were open and we thought we were good to go," she said.
"We would have had to pull out the performance of the year given it was cold and windy and raining and needing to win by three goals, but we had nothing to lose. We were going to throw everything at that game today, absolutely everything.
We were going to throw everything at that game today, absolutely everything.Lisa Quinn
"I could see us, if we pulled it out, having a chance of going the whole way through.
"We always knew from the start that it was going to be a bit of a building year, but I still really did think we could be in the top four, I think we were capable of being in the top four, but it hasn't happened."
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For Feds, the cancelled round which saw all teams awarded a nil-all draw confirmed their spot in the final series.
It is the second time since Feds joined the competition in 2012 that they have reached this stage and while admitting the circumstances in which they locked up fourth was not ideal, coach Fiona Reith was delighted.
"We are thrilled to have made semis, but of course not off the back of a full round cancellation as a result of the inclement weather," she said.
"I think we can put down the overall result to our consistency this year across the board and the efforts from the squad of girls we have on our roster.
"We set ourselves the goal of playing the best game we can every week and doing it as a team. Our culture in this regard is very strong and something we are very proud of."