Milne caps magical month with Premier League Hockey title, decider MVP

YOUNG TALENT TIME: 23-year-old Orange phenom Nic Milne has had a huge month, winning national titles and leading Lithgow Panthers to the PLH crown too. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
YOUNG TALENT TIME: 23-year-old Orange phenom Nic Milne has had a huge month, winning national titles and leading Lithgow Panthers to the PLH crown too. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

An Australian Country Championship win with NSW, selection in the national side, a men’s Premier League Hockey grand final win, scoring a hat-trick in that decider and also being named player of the game.

It’s fair to say it’s been a pretty big month for Orange’s Nic Milne.

“I guess it has, I’m looking forward to having a bit of a break to be honest,” the 23-year-old laughed.

Milne was one of NSW’s best in its national title win in Townsville – the Blues’ fifth consecutive championship – and was a no-brainer for selection in the Australian Country team, as was fellow Orange gun Michael Dillon.

Just seven days later he inspired Lithgow Panthers’ PLH grand final win over Bathurst Souths, his side’s second consecutive title and 11th crown since entering the competition.

It’s Milne’s fourth win in six years with the club – which he plays for despite still living in Orange – as was made all the more special by the fact he found the back of the net on three occasions in regular time, then once more in the shoot-out.

He was handed the MVP award as a result.

“I really didn’t expect to win that MVP award, I had a pretty quiet first half, I didn’t think I was great,” Milne said, all three of his goals coming in the second period.

“I picked it up a bit in that second half though, was in the right spot a few times and put a couple in.

“I think (with all things considered) it probably is the most special premiership I’ve won with Panthers.”

Milne and his Panthers side entered the break 2-0 down against Souths, before Milne scored thrice in next to no time to give the Lithgow outfit a 3-2 lead.

Souths equalised, but the sides couldn’t be split in extra-time. Milne, Taylor Dolbel and Brandon Horner all slotted their one-on-ones, while only former Orange Wanderers player-coach Matt Johnson could score for Souths.

But Milne won’t get that break he’s looking forward to just yet, he still has his Orange Hockey Association men’s finals to play in, which kick off on Saturday.

This story Milne caps magical month with Premier League Hockey title, decider MVP first appeared on Central Western Daily.