ORANGE Ex-Services coach Rob Laffin is happy for his side to carry the underdogs tag into today’s women’s Premier League Hockey semi-final.
Nanjing Night Net

Ex-Services will go up against Bathurst City in the preliminary major semi-final in Bathurst today.

Laffin feels confident in his side’s ability but believes all the expectations are on defending premiers Bathurst City.

“There’s no pressure on us because I think everyone believes Lithgow Panthers and Bathurst City will be in the final. We’ve got nothing to lose,” Laffin said.

That doesn’t mean Laffin expects his team to be beaten today – far from it.

“Obviously they’re the defending premiers, but I feel we’ll be a good show,” he said.

Last week struggling Parkes United forfeited their final regular season match to Ex-Services.

This wasn’t ideal for the Orange side but an unexpected offer at training this week has ensured they’re ready for today’s match.

“We were really lucky last night (Thursday), the Wanderers men gave us a game,” Laffin explained.

“That really sharpened us up. We really appreciate the guys doing that for us. The girls didn’t know what had hit ‘em.”

Ex-Services and Bathurst City have met twice this year with their first encounter resulting in a 1-all draw in round three.

They played again in round 12 and, after a tight first period, Bathurst City pulled away in the second half for a 6-1 victory.

The Bathurst side finished second on the competition ladder, five points ahead of third-placed Ex-Services.

Today’s winner will take on minor premiers Lithgow Panthers in the major semi-final the following week, while the loser will go up against the winner of today’s elimination semi-final between Bathurst Souths and Lithgow Zig Zag.

“I’d like to be having a crack at Lithgow next week,” Laffin said.

The coach was given a headache this week with 19 players available for today’s game but he only had space for 16.

The Ex-Services defence is one area where the side boasts plenty of experience, including Jenny Berzins.

“Jenny’s pretty good. She’s one of our key players in defence with Lisa Hayes and Mel Hope,” Laffin said.

“Then we’ve got Cat Ironside in goals. Our back-up keeper is Nat Parmeter. That’s a nice luxury we’re in.

“We’ve got a really strong squad this year. I couldn’t have picked a better squad if I’d hand picked it.”

Bathurst City will host Ex-Services today in their semi-final at 3.10pm today.

READY TO FIRE: Jenny Berzins will use her experience to help Orange Ex-Services in their women’s Premier League Hockey semi-final today. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0414sghock1

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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