Chichester Friars have clinched the Wessex Masters League division-one title, so where better to start our latest hockey round-up?
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Chichester Friars 6 Alton Veterans 1
Wessex Masters League division one
Friars sealed the league with another handsome win.
Alton made the early chances with Colin Ball in goal having to make two one-on-one saves. The Friars should have scored on several occasions before Bryan Lock stepped on to a pass from Tracy Boyce to open the scoring.
Despite more chances, the Friars were unable to increase their lead and the score remained 1-0 at half-time.
In the second half, against the run of play, Alton scored from a short corner. This was a wake-up call for the Friars, who
started to find their rhythm and piled on the pressure with flowing hockey.
The lead was restored by Andrew Savory from a direct short-corner strike.
The game became more one-sided and Boyce added another before Savory struck again with an almost-identical short corner.
Martin Hughes joined in with a goal from a drag-flick short corner before the final goal from a penalty stroke - and with Savory on a hat-trick there was no doubt who would be taking it.
The final whistle was the cue for the celebrations to start.
The Friars hit a rich vein of form just before Christmas which continued all the way through to this game. The hockey and the team spirit has been excellent throughout and the performance and sheer hard work of all players has been superb.
FRIARS: Colin Ball, Danny Jaeger, Andy Osborne, Trevor Andrews, Dave Alexander, Dave Walters, Neil Pacey, Andrew Savory, Chris Pacey, Tracy Boyce, Bryan Lock, Martin Hughes.
Colin Smith and Ivan Boswell were unable to play in this game but their contribution throughout the season has been excellent.
London Wayfarers 2 Chichester 2
South open premier division one
Chichester’s promotion hopes are fading after their visit to Crystal Palace ended in a 2-2 draw with Wayfarers.
They are now three points behind leaders Brighton with only three games to play.
Chichester started brightly, despite half the team turning up minutes before the start. Bejay Ranger and Andrew Sparshott won penalty corners, but neither was converted. First Alex Thakore fired wide, then Steve Spear was denied by the keeper.
Chichester continued to press the Wayfarers D. A good move involving Kieren Henn and Jim Ellis saw Ellis well tackled by the keeper for another penulty corner. Again Chichester were unable to convert as the keeper made a fine save from Thakore.
It took a moment of individuality to break the deadlock. Martin Gough intercepted the ball on the halfway line and drove forward. As the home side backed off he broke into the D and fired past the keeper.
A mix-up at the back between Henn and Luke Matthews saw the ball cheaply given away in the Chichester D. Wayfarers grabbed the opportunity and drew level with their first effort on goal.
Early in the second half, Wayfarers started to push forward but this opened up space for Chi to attack. Ellis broke free down the right and found Gough, who neatly pulled it back for Ranger to deflect it high past the keeper.
Wayfarers continued to push forward and Henn blocked on more than one occasion and Spears deflected wide to keep Chi in front. But soon a blocked pass from Jason Collins bounced to an unmarked Wayfarers forward. His mis-hit cross squeezed between Dan Godsmark’s legs and found its way in to the bottom corner.
The final ten minutes saw Chichester push higher and higher in search of a winner. Sparshott fired across the goal just beyond Ranger, Richard Blakesley saw another effort go just wide and Alex Holton was unable to get enough on a diving effort that also went wide.
One final push saw Ranger lift the ball over the keeper but a Wafarers defender got a touch to put the ball behind Blakesley.
With Brighton also having a game in hand at the top, it looks as though Chi’s promotion hopes may be over.
Chichester II 1 Havant II 3
Hampshire/Surrey regional one
Chichester passing the ball too frantically early on which meant the accuracy of the passing suffered. This allowed Havant to
counter-attack and a number of early chances flashed past the post.
Chichester steadied the ship and interceptions from Beales and Dougal thwarted Havant. Chichester became more comfortable and breaks from midfield released Lunn and Baxter but the finishing wasn’t accurate.
Pressure on the Chichester defence showed and after a succession of short corners, Havant opened the scoring with a low flick. They quickly doubled the lead after another short corner.
Chichester pulled a goal back before half-time through a sweetly-struck shot from Strudwick.
After a change in formation, the home side started the second half rejuvenated. Chichester’s midfield began to find further possession and despite quick flowing moves through Wallis and Pendle, the home side could not keep the ball in the final third.
Great saves from Gotham ensured the scoreline remained the same and Chichester had further chances through Strudwick and Lane-Smith, one kept out by an acrobatic clearance off the line.
In the dying minutes, Havant pounced on a mistake by the Chichester defence and slotted the ball in for 3-1.
Chichester remain fifth in the table.
CHICHESTER: Gotham, Dougal, Hayward, Beales, Veltom, Wallis, Pendle, Baxter, Jenkins, Lunn, O’Boyle, Strudwick, Lane-Smith.
Chichester over-40s took part in the Sussex veterans’ qualifying tournament in Lewes in a bid to retain the county cup for the fifth year in a row.
One team had to drop out so this became a triangular event with Lewes and Mid-Sussex.
Lewes beat Mid-Sussex 3-0 so the pressure was on Chi to perform well against Mid-Sussex. Some of the players had never met before and several were playing out of position, so it was always going to be difficult.
Pressure finally resulted in the first goal for Mid-Sussex. Chi did not let their heads go down and late in the half a great run by Bryan Locky was converted by Edward Tupper with a cool finish.
After the break Andrew Savory crashed a shot in from the top of the D after Jon Clear’s set-up.
Mid-Sussex equalised when a speculative hit into the D got the faintest of touches on a Chi stick. Chi clawed back the lead to go 3-2 up and held on for the win.
Chi went into the last game knowing a draw was not good enough as Lewes had the better goal difference.
They thought they had scored when the umpire held a good advantage in the D, only to inexplicably blow for the short as Lock touched the ball into the goal.
Despite a great effort Chi were unable to find a goal as Lewes decided to defend the point they needed.
So the title defence was over as Lewes progressed.
CHICHESTER: Colin Ball, Adrian Strange, Danny Jaeger, Neil Pacey, Dave Alexander, Tracy Boyce, Andrew Savory, Craig Hindmarsh, Bryan Lock, Edward Tupper, Jon Clear.
Chichester Centurions 2 Honeybees 1
Ladies’ Sussex League
Centurions continued their recent run of success in a home match against Honeybees. They were quickly put under pressure by Honeybees, who scored after ten minutes during a defensive scramble.
This galvanised Centurions and they made several strong attacking runs, one shot glancing off the post.
Centurions were showing some changes in position but the team supported each other well.
Goalkeeper Chantelle Strudwick made excellent clearances and the defence did not allow Honeybees to convert three short corners. Centurions found their pace and a neat pass from Claire Mealing to Louise Thew resulted in an equaliser with a well-placed strike before half-time.
In the second half, Centurions were quicker on to the ball and Debbie Brown made several good interceptions which enabled Kerry Eames and Nicki Williams to push forward.
Centurions were unable to convert three short corners, one lovely shot by Anna Pordage just missing. Thew made the Honeybees goalkeeper work hard.
Eames displayed skill under pressure to maintain possession in the D to slip the ball to Mealing. She gave it to Thew, who fired in.
Williams made a superb strike from the edge of the D but it was too high so was disallowed. The defenders worked hard right up until the final whistle to keep Honeybees at bay. This week, Centurions travel to Southwick.
CENTURIONS: D Brown, N Edge, N Williams, V Wake, K Eames, E Dixon, C Strudwick, L Thew, C Mealing, A Pordage, L Brooker, L Hurford.
Chichester PP Ladies III 5 Penguins 0
Chichester came out fighting from the start with some great passing down the centre. However Penguins weren’t going to let Chichester have it all their own way.
The hosts were rewarded with a fantastic goal from Rachel Black, playing her first game back for Chichester after time away. There was a scuffle in the D and Chichester were awarded a penalty. Kim Howarth stepped up but missed by a whisker.
Just before half-time though Kelly Lillywhite was just in the right position to receive a ball from Meg Goring and make it 2-0.
Chichester began to use the width of the pitch to create plenty of chances.
The third goal came from Holly Gyles before Penguins fought back and broke through several times. But Sophie Tanner in goal held her nerve, saving the day on a couple of occasions.
There were two more goals from Lillywhite in the last ten minutes, both in off the post.
This victory was another step towards avoiding relegation.
CHICHESTER: Lillywhite, Dunster, Black, Gyles, Peake, Tyler, Howarth, Howarth, Goring, Halterman, Cruttendon, Tanner.
Penguins 0 Chichester Bad Habits 1
Sussex ladies division four
With the welcome return of captain Sheena Lake and the original Mad Habit Jan Cleghorn, Chichester travelled to Angmering. Chichester dominated most of the play with most of the game being played in the opposition’s half.
Relentless attacks on goal by Gillian Flowers and Rachel Austin paid off with a fantastic goal tapped in by Rachel Trent.
Midfielders Sarah Wittington and Teresa Willway ensured the play stayed in the opposition’s half. Penguins’ attacks were comfortably dealt with by the back-line of Lily Smith, Jenny Horton, Sophie Tanner and Kirsty Grove. It could have ended more than 1-0.
BAD HABITS: Procter, Lake, Cleghorn, Smith, Tanner, Grove, Flowers, Willway, Wittington, Austin, Trent, Horton.
Chichester Chipmunks 5 South Saxons III 2
Sussex division three
Buoyed by their derby win at week earlier, Chichester notched another win - this time against visitors from Hastings.
Chichester passed the ball fluently from the off, probing the defence down both flanks.
Kathegesu opened the scoring after a swift interchange and Lowther was unlucky not to extend the lead when his strike was ruled to have been marginally outside the D.
Chichester pressed on and from a penalty corner Toby Hindmarch slammed the ball home. More followed with the hard-working Andrew Creswick rewarded by a goal before half-time.
Saxons scored from a penalty corner.
Chichester lapsed at the start of the second half and Saxons pounced on a series of errors to make it 3-2.
This spurred Chichester into action and they never looked like allowing Saxons a further foothold. Two further goals followed from Hindmarch and skipper Sturdey to see Chichester go fourth with a tough trip to Brighton to come.
CHICHESTER: Hetherington, Gleeson, Stemp, Dannatt, Woodruff, Kathegesu, Hindmarch T, Hindmarch C, Lowther, Sturdey, Creswick A, Troy, White.
Three Chichester players were selected to represent Sussex under-17s in games against Berkshire and Buckinghamshire at Christ Hospital, Horsham.
Toby Hindmarch, 16, (pictured right) featured in midfield and set up Sussex’s only goal from a well-worked penalty corner in a 5-1 loss to Berkshire.
Playing in a slightly more advanced role that suited his attacking instinct, Hindmarch was unable to find the scoresheet in the defeat by Buckinghamshire that followed.
Bishop Luffa pupil Jamie Gleeson, 16, (left) also showed versatility playing in various positions across the defence in both games.
Gleeson made a series of runs from deep in both games and was unfortunate not to convert a chance against Berkshire that would have brought them back into the game.
Also selected was last year’s skipper Charlie Futcher who was unable to travel, and whose influence was greatly missed.