A six-goal thriller for Chichester’s first team - and a titke win for the club’s thirds, a week after the Friars won their division - are the highlights of this week’s local hockey round-up.
Chichester 3 Spencer 3
South open premier division one
With both teams boasting long unbeaten runs, perhaps a draw was the most likely outcome.
Chichester started positively and dominated the opening exchanges and they took the lead when Richard Blakesley broke down the left and slipped the ball to Andrew Sparshott, who drove into the D and found an unmarked Martin Gough at the back post to put Chichester 1-0 up.
It was soon 2-0 when Jack Lerwill intercepted a pass and fired in a pass to the back post for a diving Gough to deflect in.
Spencer pulled a goal back ten minutes before half-time when slack defending allowed a loose ball to find its way to an unmarked forward to score - a very soft goal from a Chichester perspective.
Chichester bounced back to make it 3-1 when a great tackle from Steven Spear led to him passing to Beejay Ranger to rifle a shot into the bottom corner.
The second half was a different story; Spencer came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and pulled two quick goals back to level at 3-3.
Chichester struggled to retain the ball and kept giving away possession, which enabled Spencer to dominate the second half.
With two games to go Chichester will be eager to get the maximum six points available.
Chichester 5 Gillingham 1
Hampshire division three
Chichester men’s third XI recorded their ninth straight win with a dominant display to become champions of their league.
They started brightly with a well-worked move from the right involving Gammon and Hansford resulting in a neat finish from Moon from the edge of the D.
They were unlucky not to add a second as Richardson put away a short corner only for it to be harshly ruled out. Richardson did get his just desserts and he scored soon after with a well-timed strike from the top of the D nutmegging the Gillingham keeper.
Gillingham responded well, but the Chichester defence of Hagell, Coote, Gammon and Haywood kept out waves of attacks. Chichester were unlucky to concede a short corner and keeper Strudwick received a yellow card for remonstrating to the umpire. They held on with ten men thanks to striker Robbins donning the pads in goal and making a great save. With Chichester back to full strength they dominated midfield and created many chances for strikers Robbins and Piesse.
It was Moon who scored to to make it 3-0 - before Chichester had another goal ruled out harshly. But a short corner was given, from which Haywood scored with a great strike.
Gillingham scored a consolation to make it 4-1, but Chichester ensured they would be champions in style when a great breakaway left Moon rounding the keeper only to be felled for a penalty flick.
Robbins scored with a superb flick into the roof of the net - Chichester’s 93rd league goal of the campaign.
Chichester now look forward to a cup semi-final in a few weeks as they attempt a league-cup double.
CHICHESTER: Strudwick, Hagell, Coote, Gammon, Haywood, Richardson, Moon, Hansford, Barnes, Robbins, Piesse.
Southwick 3 Chichester Centurions 3
Ladies’ Sussex League
In bitterly cold weather, Southwick played strong attacking hockey and dominated possession early on.
Centurions kept out short corners, denying Southwick two conversions. Lucy Sarson made a dramatic save on the goal-line and Nicki Edge helped push Centurions forward.
Quick passes between Kerry Eames and Anna Pordage were effective in weaving round Southwick defenders but Centurions were unable to finish.
Another push forward by Southwick resulted in goal that was initially disallowed but then awarded.
Centurions responded with Eames and Pordage setting up Louise Thew with a ball which she swept into the goal.
A second followed shortly, again delivered by Pordage to Claire Mealing, who was in the perfect position to slip it past the Southwick keeper.
Shortly before the end of the first half, Southwick were denied from another short corner.
As the wind and rain pounded the pitch, Centurions Centurions were rewarded by a third goal, set up by Mealing and Pordage and struck home by Thew.
Southwick were not going to make it easy for Centurions and they attacked with force, slipping the ball into the goal, making it 3-2.
Pordage had a shot on goal that bounced off the post but five minutes from the end, a Southwick strike at the top of the D was partially blocked by Chantelle Strudwick and was about to be cleared as it trickled into make it 3-3.
Centurions should be proud of their efforts as they worked solidly for 70 minutes against strong opposition.
CENTURIONS: D Brown, N Edge, N Williams, V Wake, K Eames, L Sarson, C Strudwick, L Thew, C Mealing, A Pordage, L Brooker, L Hurford.
Chichester Ladies II 3 East Grinstead Ladies III 3
Chichester were raring to go against EG in poor weather conditions.
EG put the first goal away to leave Chichester trailing - but not for long. A brilliant short-corner conversion from Jessop made it 1-1.
Superb play from Van Beek and Goring in midfield put EG under pressure but they managed to retake the lead from a short corner.
With minutes to go before half-time, Chichester were awarded another short corner and K Howarth put another goal away.
In the second half, solid defending from Willway, Burley and M Howarth and awesome saves from Duckers kept EG from scoring. Chichester looked in control and after assertive play from Greenway, Jessop crossed a terrific ball towards the far post, Van Beek ensuring it crossed the goal line, to put Chichester 3-2 up.
EG again came back strong and equalised. The team showed amazing strength throughout the game.
CHICHESTER: Duckers, Willway, Burley, Greenway, K Howarth, Van Beek, Jessop, M Howarth, Greenlees, Pack, Goring.
Sussex Ladies’ League division four
Chichester Bad Habits 2 Worthing III 4
From push back, Worthing gained possession and Chichester were forced to defend.
Worthing caught Chichester off-guard using pace to net a goal. After that, Worthing were unstoppable, scoring a further two goals.
At half-time, Chichester united to revive the game and Gillian Flowers worked with Lily Smith to apply pressure. An accurate pass to Jenny Horton saw her push the ball into the goal.
Kirsty Grove and Megan Cliff were working hard and an interception aby Rachel Trent, a quick pass to Smith and a pass from Honton saw another goal.
One Chichester mistake saw the ball tapped in to make it 4-2. Despite Chichester’s best efforts, the scoreline stayed the same.
CHICHESTER: Sheena Lake, Chris Priddle, Megan Cliff, Kirsty Grove, Tracy Austin, Gillian Flowers, Rachael Trent, Jenny Horton, Lily Smith, Lauren S-B Sophie, Sarah, Tracy Upfold and Dors Wilkinson.
University of Chichester Ladies II 3 Brighton Ladies II 0
Chichester dominated the first half, scoring the first goal. Brighton put pressure on the defence but they were well organised. Laura Purkiss and Jen Williams playe key roles and Sophie Tanner put in another epic performance in goal.
Charley Christian was strong in midfield while Annabel Niania ran well between Brighton’s defenders - until she was hit in the face by the ball and had to go off.
Ellen Caddy scored an impressive first goal from a great cross off Rachel Bromhead.
In the second half two more were scored by Chelsea Evans.
Player of the match was Sophie Tanner for her remarkable goalkeeping skills.
Chichester Friars 8 Winchester Veterans 0
After the excitement of winning the league last week the challenge was to keep the momentum going for the last two league games.
After an initial scare from a Winchester short corner in the first minute, it was business as usual for the Friars who found themselves 3-0 up in the first five minutes.
The first was a good finish from John Milton after a great run and pass from Bryan Lock. Milton has been able to play only in a
few games and this was his first goal.
Lock scored the next two goals. Despite worsening weather conditions the Friars tried to play their usual style of fast and flowing hockey and scored regularly throughout the first half.
Tracy Boyce slotted home the fourth followed by Lock completing his hat-trick for the fifth. Chris Pacey scored the seventh before another goal from Lock.
As the rain got heavier and the temperature dropped, the game became very scrappy and the Friars just could not find any more finishes.
Andy Osborne stepped up from the back to take a shot from a short corner - the first time he has seen the opposition’s D for
many a game. But his shot went just wide.
Winchester had a couple of chances but Colin Ball in goal and a strong defence kept them out.
Later the team received the annual club award for the team who scored the most goals in the season, with Lock picking up the
individual goalscoring award.
FRIARS: Ball, Jaeger, Andrews, Osborne, Smith, Alexander, Walters, Neil Pacey, Milton, Pacey, Boyce, Locke.