ST PAT'S proved too clinical from the penalty corner on Saturday, downing Lithgow Storm 3-1 to take the outright lead on the Central West Premier League Hockey men's ladder.
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St Pat's was level on 16 points with Storm heading into the top of the table clash at the Cooke Hockey Complex and it was the hosts the got away to the perfect start when Jaden Ekert scored from a short corner in the first quarter.
Storm would quickly equalise through Barney Howard and the scores would remain level until two minutes out from the end of the third corner.
St Pat's would win another short corner and this time Lachlan Howard slotted it past the Lithgow goal keeper.
The blue and whites would score a third when Fletcher Norris tapped in a straight forward chance with minutes remaining.
Saints skipper Tyler Willott, who still remains on the sideline due to a broken finger, was pleased with the result.
"It was a good game, but it was really tight at the start. Lithgow always give us a good contest," he said.
"Towards the end, we just wore them down with some fresher legs. We just ended up getting over the top of them."
Willott cited Howard's strike from the short corner as the turning point of the game, the goal a reward for plenty of blue and white pressure.
"Just after the second half, we just started to build pressure," he said.
"We knew in the first half we were building pressure, but the results weren't coming. In the second half, a few things clicked and we were able to put a few away. We were able to get a bit of confidence out that.
"After we got that second one, it probably gave our guys some belief. It's always a bit frantic when it's 1-all."
Willott said he was pleased to see how clinical his side was from the short corner.
"It's something that is very important in games like this, especially against a team like Lithgow," he said.
"You've got to take any chance you've got."
While St Pat's are now first on the ladder, Willott isn't getting too carried out.
"It's good to be top of the ladder, but we've got eyes looking forward," he said.
"The games towards the end of the season is what matters. I think if we can keep building and winning games like this, it'll help in the run home."
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