Draw affirms Panthers as winning force in 2017 Premier League |Gallery

Panthers came terrifically close to undoing the Hockey Premier League’s top team on Saturday, July 8, but a goal in the last ten minutes left the match on a 3-all draw.

Bathurst City has retained first place on the women’s Premier League Hockey ladder after fighting back from a two-goal deficit during Saturday’s game.

The top team clash promised to be tense. Bathurst City thwarted the Panthers in a battle of a match in round three of the competition by three goals.

It was the first time Bathurst City had beat the Panthers since 2014. Panthers were not going to give them the pleasure a second time.

Panthers showed intent from the opening whistle on Saturday with four penalty corners in the first 10 minutes, but to no avail.

HEADING FOR THE NET: Amelia Leard scored two goals in the match against Bathurst City.

HEADING FOR THE NET: Amelia Leard scored two goals in the match against Bathurst City.

City took the lead in the 14th minute with a counter-attacking raid. Bec Bosianek was shut down by Panther’s goalkeeper Jess Luchetti, but the ball spilled right where City’s Kelsey Willott was waiting. The first goal of the game was scored.

Panther’s Amelia Leard levelled it up in the 25th minute from a penalty corner.

Amanda Saladine pushed Panthers into the lead scoring a goal with six minutes left in the first half.

Going into the second half, Panthers maintained their dominance, with Amelia Leard scoring a second goal for the team early on.

City coach Lisa Quinn and skipper Kelsey Willott – who had scored the opener for the Bathurst side – saw to it that the points were split as they came up with replies.

Willott scored her second goal, and final goal of the game, with eight minutes to go. It locked the game at 3-all and that was how it remained.

Having pushed back from a two-goal deficit, City coach Lisa Quinn said the game re-established Panthers as her team’s biggest obstacle to winning the 2017 competition.

“Given how much attack they had in that first half, I actually thought they were going to win the game, so I am happy with a draw,” Quinn said.

“I actually think they played a lot better this second round game than the first time we played them, and I do now think that they are the team for us to beat,” Quinn said.