IT'S the definition of 'great timing' when it comes to the men's Central West Premier League Hockey competition: Getting your full squad back together right before playing the Lithgow Storm.
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It's the fortunate scenario that's come the way of St Pat's ahead of this Saturday's top of the table clash at Bob Roach Field against the defending champion Storm squad.
The pair sit dead level at the top of the table with matching records of four wins and a loss, but it's the Storm who hold the slight mental edge going into this weekend since they won the previous match between the pair, 4-3.
Saints coach Niel Howard will have a full compliment of players to work with after being short staffed during last round's 3-1 success against Wanderers.
"We're playing good hockey and training really well and fingers crossed we play well at home," he said.
"We had Under 15s State Championships on, so our juniors are back from that, then there were a couple of COVID and injury absentees, but we go in this weekend with 16 players.
"We had 18 at training last night, which was really promising as well.
"The more we get together and can play with the same group week in and week out then things will pick up. It's a case of getting that same group on the field."
Howard said it's encouraging for the Saints to know that they could get within a goal of the Storm last time around, despite not having one of their finest performances.
"When we played them the first time around we weren't at our best and we still managed to make it 4-3," he said.
"The way that the boys have been performing is encouraging so fingers crossed that they can keep it going.
"One of our goalkeepers had to play on the field last week, so we had to call on our reserve goalie, who still did a great job. I had to play last week, and Brett Archer also played, and he's in the Over 50s NSW Masters side, so the club's got depth to call on."
The match gets underway from 1.50pm.
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