Hockey: Brilliant Baxter batters Birmingham
It was a mixed weekend for Chichester's ladies' and men's top hockey teams.
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Chichester 5 Birmingham University 4
National League Conference West
Chichester edged a nine-goal thriller against one of the better teams in the league, Birmingham University.
It was Chichester who struck first and then capitalised, with Ollie Baxter proving the hero the team needed, scoring a hat-trick within five minutes.
Birmingham responded with a well-worked routine to take it to 3-1 going in to half-time.
The second half saw Birmingham come out fighting and it wasn’t long before they got the scoreline back to 3-3.
Chichester regained the lead through a devastating strike from Jack Lerwill. But Birmingham weren’t finished and executed a good short corner to beat Chichester’s well-drilled corner defence team.
Chichester’s experience of fighting right to the final whistle proved the deciding factor and their composure in the final third of the pitch saw Alex Thakore calmly beat the Birmingham defence to find Luke Emmett free at the back post to allow Chichester to take the lead for the final time.
Chichester: Pacanowski, Henn, Sewell, Collins, Gibbons L, Gibbons C, Lerwill, Cox, Emmett, Thakore, Baxter O, Baxter A, Whitehouse, Sparshott,
Havant 0 Chichester 0 (Havant win on pen flicks)
Chichester’s dreams of a second successive year of national cup glory are over after a defeat against their neighbours in the last 16.
The match started slowly with both teams tired from tough matches the day before and with Chichester missing some key players, you could tell they were going to lack their usual attacking threat.
Both teams demonstrated exceptional defensive ability and kept clean sheets which meant penalty strokes.
The takers from Chichester included Luke Emmett, Alex Thakore, Jamie Whitehouse, Matt Cox and Alex Baxter, with Maciej Pacanowski in goal aiming to stop the opposition’s flicks.
Great flicks and saves from both sides meant the match couldn’t be decided within the first five flicks and it went to sudden death.
Havant won it and advance to the quarter-finals.
Chichester: Pacanowski, Henn, Sewell, Brook, Collins, Thakore, Cox, Emmett, Gibbons L, Gibbons C, Baxter O, Baxter A, Sparshott, Whitehouse, Gammon.
Chichester Ladies 4 Hailsham Ladies 0
The weather was miserable but Chichester ladies were anything but after dominating Hailsham.
Chichester started strongly and with solid passing from defenders Sally Bradley and Natty Halliday, Hailsham did not know what had hit them.
Polish international Patty Hyla, as always, showed what a talent she was by dribbling her way around Hailsham players who were astonished by the opposition’s technique and ability.
Meg Goring held the midfield securely and with impressive passing between her and Amy Chaplin, Chichester progressed towards the D.
Lottie Greenlees repeatedly showed her pace and defiance and with a top-notch pass to Hyla, Chichester scored their first.
Anna Healey and Meg Hattemore have continually shown their tactical brains and with courageous and robust passing, they played in Cita Haines, who showed her experience and skill by moving the ball around.
Calculated and smart positioning from Demelza Peake led to her putting Chichester 2-0 up.
In the second half, Chichester’s goalkeeper was able to show her competence as Hailsham dug deep to try to get the ball in the back of the net. Steph Kalber fought to fend off Hailsham’s attackers.
With effective passing and moving from Jess Gleeson and Goring, Chaplin was able to get the ball to the top of the D and hit a beautiful goal into the bottom corner as Hailsham wilted in the rain.
Another phase of constructive and nifty passing meant a fourth goal was scored by Haines to finish the game off in style.
Chichester aim to bag another victory this Saturday, when they face fourth-placed East Grinstead at Kingsham (12.15pm).
Chi: Cita Haines, Meg Goring, Patti Hyla, Lottie Greenlees, Demelza Peake, Meg Hattemore, Anna Healey, Steph Kalber, Sally Bradley, Natty Halliday, Amy Chaplin, Jess Gleeson.
Chichester Ladies 2nds 0 Eastbourne 2nds 6
Chichester welcomed leaders Eastbourne to the Chichester College pitch for the first time.
Eastbourne were dominant from the start and with a weakened side, no substitutes and Tracy Austin standing in for the injured Claire Young in goal, it was always going to an uphill struggle.
Chi’s passing wasn’t the best in the first ten minutes and they fought tooth and nail to keep the opposition at bay. This they did but towards the end of the first half Eastbourne scored twice in quite quick succession.
Chichester worked hard and Rachel Trent was trying her best to free herself up but Chi just couldn’t get the ball to her.
Great work from Maddy Wright and Vicky Oliver-Catt kept the score respectable until the home side lost concentration and Eastbourne gained the upper hand with several penalty corners from which they scored. They went on to score three more.
It was not to be for the hosts – much as they tried, Eastbourne probably deserved to be top of the league.
Chichester travel to Southwick this week sitting second in the league but will have to show a marked improvement if they’re going to make an impression.
Chi: Tracy Austin, Jenna Greenway, Vicky Oliver-Catt, Cheryl Parrott, Harriet Gray, Sarah Jessop, Nat Spencer, Maddy Wright, Rachel Trent, Alisia Wergan, Kayleigh Carter.
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