Lithgow Panthers men's premier league hockey team have secured their top of the table spot after taking a 4-1 win over Bathurst St Pat's on Saturday, June 29.
Both teams entered the game at Lithgow with undefeated records and a 2-all result from last time they met but this time around it was the home side who turned up raring to go.
Nic Milne scored a double for the Panthers, supported with successful strikes from Mitch Thompson and Tom Luchetti, who was unfortunate to break his wrist during the match.
Milne continued his great run against Pat's, picking up his second straight brace against the Bathurst club.
Isaac Darlington ensured the Saints wouldn't leave town with a zero next to their name but the loss has given the blue and white plenty to ponder going into the back half of the season.
Lithgow ran out to a 3-0 lead before a stunning effort from Darlington gave the visitors hope of getting on level terms.
Pat's were never out of the contest and were creating consistent chances over the second half to cut the deficit.
However, a fourth quarter effort from the Panthers found the back of the net and snuffed out the Saints' winning hopes.
Panthers vice captain Trent MacDonald said his side fell asleep a little in the last quarter letting the opposition back in.
"Milne scored his second goal in the last five minutes to get the comfortable win.
"We were also missing three players but that made it a good win, we played well and dominated St Pat's," he said.
MacDonald also said the purple's defence was strong and they took every opportunity they were given in front of the goal.
Standout players for the Panthers were Nic Milne, Lachie Wilson and Dane Guffogg, MacDonald said.
Pat's youngster Andre Rossitt said the effort from his side was always present but the defence will have to lift next time around.
"We didn't play as well as would have liked as a unit. We weren't communicating properly or putting our opportunities away," he said.
"I feel they got a couple of lucky goals from our mistakes and that the scoreline doesn't really represent how we played.
"I think we'll need to work on our defensive side of things and being a bit more clinical in front of goal."
Rossitt said Darlington's goal at least provided a great highlight from the trip east.
"That was a really freaky goal," he said.
In the day's other men's PLH game Parkes United ensured Pat's and Panthers will remain on alert following their 5-0 dismantling of the Orange Wanderers.
Panthers now move to 18 points, leaving Pat's on 14. Parkes jump up to 8 points while the Wanderers are still chasing their first points of the season.
Panthers are headed to Parkes this weekend [July 6] in what MacDonald said would be a tough game.
LITHGOW PANTHERS 4 (Nic Milne 2, Mitch Thompson, Tom Luchetti) def BATHURST ST PAT'S 1 (Isaac Darlington)
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Lithgow Mercury. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.