Friars end fine hockey season with six-goal thriller at Salisbury - ladies have mixed results
Chichester's hockey teams are coming to the end of their seasons. This week's round-up features the last game for the Friars and a win and a defeat for the club's ladies' sides.
Salisbury 3 Chichester Friars 3
Wessex Masters League Div 1
In sunny weather, Friars had a number of players carrying injuries, so rotation was going to be important.
The first half was extremely close with both teams playing open hockey and creating chances. Both keepers played very well with Rob Torrance making a series of fine saves.
Friars had a big shout for a penalty stroke when the ball appeared to hit a defenders foot on the line, but the umpire didn’t give it.
In the second half Friars began to see more of the ball and create more chances. After 46 minutes the deadlock was broken when Chris Pacey tapped the ball home from close range after Tracey Boyce produced one of his typical weaving runs into the D.
Two minutes later, Boyce made a run from outside the D, round several defenders and liftted the ball over the on-rushing keeper – a great solo goal which edged him one ahead of Andrew Savory to end as top scorer with 15 goals in the season.
The Friars scored a third on 62 minutes when Pacey scored his second after a flowing move.
At 3-0 up it should have been all over but the Friars relaxed and Salisbury pulled a goal back from a short corner on 65 minutes. The hosts picked up their game, scoring their second from open play with two minutes left.
With just over a minute left Savory worked his way across the D into a shooting position only to be tripped by the keeper’s extended stick, but again the umpire decided it was only a short corner when a penalty stroke seemed more appropriate.
The Friars lost the ball in the D from the short corner and Salisbury were able to break and within only a few passes they scored the equaliser right on the final whistle.
The disappointing end did nothing to take the shine off a very enjoyable final game, ending what has been an extremely enjoyable and successful season for the Friars.
Well done goes to everyone in the squad for their huge efforts all season – the team spirit has been outstanding and some cracking hockey was played, which underlines the importance of veterans’ hockey.
A return to the clubhouse in Chichester for the Farrell Barrel club prizegiving was followed by a curry – and the season was complete.
Friars: R Torrance, D Walters, M Hughes, D Jaeger, T Boyce, A Osborne, A Savory, S Mercer, A Strange, M Green, T Andrews, C Pacey, A Langhein, N Laurence, G Wharton, C Smith.
Sussex Ladies premier division
For the last game of the season, Chichester travelled to Crawley with a depleted squad, but scored first.
Chi were awarded a penalty corner in the first two minutes, and up stepped Vicky Oliver Catt to score her first of the season, a straight strike from the top of the D.
Crawley forced the visitors back but excellent defending meant they couldn’t find a way through. The temperature soared as did the intensity of the play and Crawley equalised with a great strike to the top corner.
It was an end to end game with Beanie Bradley and Jenny Horton getting the better of the home defence.
The second half continued in the same vain and Julie Abson in goal gave Chichester confidence to push forward and young Grace Clark on the left gave a great account of herself.
Then came a Crawley goal under some controversy. The ball went under the Chi goalie and instead of dragging the ball out from under her the home side kept forcing the ball at her, and Chi felt the goal should have been disallowed.
Chi played well even when they went down to ten players as Horton had to come off. They kept working to the end but couldn’t find an equaliser.
They now have to wait to see if they stay up in premier division after finishing second from bottom.
Chichester: Julie Abson, Tracy Austin, Jackie Baxter, Rachel Trent, Sarah Jessop, Josephine Hallier, Kate Woods, Vicky Oliver Catt, Grace Clark, Jenny Horton, Beanie Bradley.
Chi Ladies 4s 3 IBM Nomads 0.
In the last game of the season for Chi fours, a win clinched fifth spot in the league.
Chi started well and dominated but the conversion proved elusive. A fine press from the Chi attack and clear marking from the midfield and defence resulted in wave upon wave of attack from Chi.
Perseverance paid off as player of the match Rachel Austin was given some space in the D and put a lovely reverse-stick effort past the goalie.
Some great work at the back by Char O’Callaghan meant the Chi attack started to spread out. Heidi Johnson used her pace to outrun the Nomads defence and push the ball past the goalie for Chi to take a 2-0 lead.
Chi kept the pressure on and the Chi defence, especially Debs Cox and Elaine Cruttenden, weren’t troubled.
A short corner awarded to Chi in the last minute saw all players going up to the D. A strong hit-out from Kim Howarth found Johnson to pass back out to Caroline Homer, who struck the ball cleanly for the final goal.
Chi fours have really come into their own this season and played as a team throughout. The players thanked the supporters who have watched and cheered them on.
Chi fours: O’Callaghan, Cox, Cruttenden, Whittington, Ashton, Bushnell, Austin, Howarth, Homer, Johnson, Willway, Lillywhite.