Chichester Cherubs continued their fine run with another comprehensive win as Penguin Juniors were beaten 6-2.
Palmer settled any early nerves, breaking his duck for the season with the first goal.
Chichester rotated their squad to full effect, pressing an improving Penguins back into their own half.
The Penguins keeper was forced into a series of fine saves to prevent Chichester running up anything like the 17-goal tally they had managed a week earlier.
Penguins struck back with a breakaway down their left and with the defence flatfooted, Alder had no chance against a rasping shot at the near post.
The teams turned around at half-time with the scores level and Chichester had some thinking to do.
A more settled start to the second half saw Palmer forcing the ball home from close range.
But before they could strike again, Penguins’ determination to chase a dead ball up front saw them find a way past the keeper to again draw level.
Chichester then showed the character that has seen them top the league for much of the season. Their teamwork and speed, allied with superior fitness in the final quarter of the game, allowed them to put the game out of reach.
Goals from Sowden (2), Creswick and leading scorer Adams followed with Penguins forced to concede a series of free hits in their efforts to slow Chichester down.
Despite having a player cautioned for a foul, the game was played in a good spirit throughout.
The Cherubs are away to Mid Sussex this weekend.
CHICHESTER: Alder, Gibbons C, Clark, Neame, Gleeson J, Lowther, Adams, Futcher, Gibbons C, Sowden, Palmer, Gleeson T, Holden, Creswick.
Brighton 0 Chichester 1
South open premier division one
This was a tense game in which both teams created scoring opportunities.
Chichester had more possession and stopped Brighton’s attacks in midfield, but both teams wasted clear opportunities to score.
Martin Gough fired over the bar from close range after a slick move starting at the halfway line. Brighton had several short corners but couldn’t get one on target in the first half. In fact they helped Chichester’s defending by consistently making the wrong final pass into the D.
It was 0-0 at half time – signalling Chichester’s first clean sheet in one half of hockey in a season and a half. This was pleasing as the defence has worked hard recently – they looked more organised and were able to snuffle Brighton out.
After the interval, Brighton had several attacks down the right leading to several penalty corners.
One was cleared off the line by captain Spears low to his left. Godsmark produced a great save by using his helmet and had several clearances to make.
Chichester picked up two yellow cards. Matthews made what looked to be a good tackle on top of the 25 but the stick clash alerted the umpire to foul play.
Gerald Cox was also sidelined, deemed to have taken an aerial above shoulder height. Despite the suspensions, Chichester still looked in control as Brighton could not get ahead. Their frustration was highlighted by a yellow card for their central defender for not retreating five yards before tackling.
With two minutes to go Chichester had a great chance to go ahead but fired wide. Shortly after this, Gough made amends for his first-half miss by slotting home from close range after patient and accurate passing around the D.
After the final whistle a Brighton player was shown a red card for man-handling Chichester’s Australian, Cameron Mead.
Centurions 4 Brighton & Hove III 1
Ladies’ Sussex League
A well-contested game saw both teams use good passing skills.
In less than two minutes, Pordage put Centurions one up thanks to linked passes from Proctor and Thew.
Play was end-to-end, with chances for both sides. A pass to Dixon saw a good challenge on the Brighton keeper, and Brooker tipped a Thew shot towards the goal.
Brighton & Hove pressed hard and Skinner was called on to interrupt their flow. Brighton were hassled by Harris but got through to make it 1-1.
Good hit outs by Edge pushed the ball back into the Centurions 25 and Thew scored to make it 2-1 at half-time.
At the start of the second half, Sleet made sound interceptions to deny Brighton a close look at goal and Skinner got close at the other end.
Brown and Hurford combined well to maintain the pressure, with Harris and Proctor keeping the ball well away from the Centurions D.
A break allowed Thew a clear run and great shot.
She was initially denied by the keeper, but she kept calm to slot it in off the rebound.
Brighton regrouped and all the pressure was on Centurions. Vaughan made some essential saves getting the ball out to Brooker, whose timely feed to Thew enabled her to complete her hat-trick and a pleasing 4-1 win.
This week Centurions host Mid Sussex.
CENTURIONS: L Proctor, D Brown, N Edge, L Hurford, D Brooker, A Pordage, L Thew, L Harris, E Dixon, A Skinner, H Sleet, B Vaughan.