A tantalising encounter between St Pat’s and Orange Hawks won’t be taking place at this Saturday’s finals of the Women’s Western Nines at Dubbo.
The Pat’s-Hawks matchup is perhaps becoming the Saints’ quickest growing rivalry alongside their cross-city battles with the Bathurst Panthers – but it won’t be adding another chapter this weekend as the Saints lack the numbers to field a team.
Hawks finished undefeated in the run towards finals, picking up two wins over Pat’s during their impressive run.
Pat’s had done enough to finish in second spot and book a major semi-final spot against the Hawks at Caltex Park.
The finals would have been an opportunity for the Orange women to get their revenge over the blue and white after going down in this year’s Group 10 ladies league tag decider.
Unfortunately for Pat’s they won’t get the opportunity to take on the Hawks after just seven players were available for this Saturday’s action.
The finals were pushed back one week from their original date, which meant they clashed with several post-season plans already put in place by the Pat’s squad.
“It just wasn’t our week,” Pat’s coach Mick Armstrong said.
“I can understand why several of our girls can’t make it, and we’ve picked up a couple of injuries as well.
“Obviously the girls were very keen and it’s disappointing considering how well they had played over all rounds of the competition.”
Western Rams women’s manager Sue Egan has been impressed with the 2017 nines premiership.
Egan said the improvement in this year’s competition after just one previous year of nines was drastic.
“You can see the improvement in just one year,” the Dubbo-based Egan said.
“Once it grows it’ll become part of each competition. And if you don’t get all of (the clubs) you could do crossover games.”
The withdrawal of Pat’s has promoted Dubbo CYMS to the major semi-final.