Lithgow Panthers took advantage of some early wins, besting St Pat's 2-0 win in Saturday's women's Central West Premier League Hockey match in Bathurst.
Coach Mick Millar was impressed with the ladies' ability to stem some early attacks through the middle and close down Pat's on the edges and create turnovers.
"We were patient in defence around our edges, holding the play up until we were at an advantage prior to making tackles," he said.
"We created several chances by isolating the play having numbers around the ball, it was a great contribution from all players," he said.
A Millie Leard double did the job for the Panthers scoring off a cross in the second quarter before finding her second goal on the counter in the early stages of the final term.
However, with the sheer volume of scoring opportunities and circle penetrations for the Panthers it could have been much worse for St Pat's if not for a number of goal line clearance and great stops from goalkeeper Lili-Rae Campbell.
"We started making silly mistakes and handing the ball back to them and you can't do that against a team like Lithgow," St Pat's coach Bec Clayton said.
"We had six out today so I'm pretty happy with how the girls went. I was hoping to keep them below two but it was a big effort.
"I have a lot of faith in our defence. It's hard when you're missing a lot of attack up front so that's going to put your defence under pressure, but the girls held it together really well."
Panthers nearly opened the scoring after four minutes when a shot was cleared off the line and in the 10th minute the Saints survived the first of what would be six Lithgow penalty corners.
The pressure eventually became too much two minutes into the second term when a cross found Leard at the top left of the circle, and with a little too much space to work with she was able to put the shot away.
Clare Bosman made a threatening move into the Saints circle just a few minutes later and Pat's survived another pair of Panthers penalty corners in succession.
"Clare and Mackenzie [Stewart] were strong in our defensive makeup where, Millie [Leard], Erin [Burns] and Emily [Cooper] showed continual drive and move forward creating chances throughout the game," Millar said.
Jodi Webb managed to first true shot for the Saints in the dying seconds of the opening half.
Her teammate Lily Kable looked to spark a Pat's fightback with her dangerous solo run into the circle and subsequent shot on goal.
But the wave of Panthers offensive pressure continued during a quarter with three Lithgow penalty corners and a relentless series of circle penetrations in the last few minutes.
The hosts turned the ball over and through a series of quick passes Leard was put into the one-on-one situation with Campbell and sent the Pat's stopper the wrong way with a shot to the right corner.
"I was extremely proud of the effort and drive that all team members showed toward each other with their bid to ensure a positive result," Millar said.
LITHGOW PANTHERS 2 (Millie Leard 2) defeated ST PAT'S 0
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