Chichester’s men’s side are still waiting to secure promotion - but two of the club’s ladies teams are celebrating already.
Old Georgians 2 Chichester 1
South Open Premier division one
Chichester travelled to Weybridge hoping for a victory that would all but seal the league title and promotion into the national league - but returned home with their first defeat in 12.
Now they’ll need to go for glory again at home to Oxford University at Kingsham this Saturday (1.30pm).
With four ex-Chichester players in the Old Georgians set-up, Chichester knew this would be a tough encounter.
Chichester had the better of a cagey opening, and a neat team move ended with Matt Cox finding space in the D - but his effort went agonisingly wide.
The visitors kept pressing forward and Ben Woodruff found Jack Lerwill in space, but he was denied by a dominant OGs keeper.
With Chichester being unable to make the breakthrough, OGs built in confidence and soon won a penalty corner which was converted with a fine drag flick into the top corner.
Chichester struggled to make any headway in the remainder of the first half and went into the break 1-0 down.
OGs set out their intentions from the very start of the second half with a very disciplined 11 men behind the ball trying to keep Chichester at bay. Chichester started to show their class by keeping procession and getting closer and closer to getting an equaliser.
It came with 15 minutes left as a well-worked penalty corner saw Alex Thakore calmly stroke the ball into the goal.
The remainder of the half was all Chichester - chances came and went but the inevitable happened.
OGs won the ball just outside the Chichester D and their player rounded the stranded keeper Dan Godsmark to take the lead with two minutes to go. Chichester were adamant that the ball came off an OGs foot in the build-up to the goal but the officials saw otherwise and the goal stood.
Chichester were disappointed with the result, but know a home win this week could seal the title. Get along to Kingsham on Saturday and support them.
Chichester PP Ladies 3 Bognor Town 1
This result confirmed Chichester as champions and earned them promotion to the Sussex Premier.
They knew they would have to play their best hockey and with a couple of key players missing, it was up to Holly Gyles and Lottie Greenlees to step up - and so they did.
Chi came out full of determination. The ball was passed around defence through Sally Bradley and Tracy Austin, out wide to Ellie Buckley and Emily Ursell and up front to Kate Wyman, the captain.
Chichester scored first from a penalty corner. It was well-worked and Ellie Buckley was on hand at the far post to score from a yard out.
Bognor applied pressure but the defence were able to deal with it.
The second half started where the first had left off, both sides knowing how important this fixture was to the league placings.
Bognor pushed forward and Chi failed to close down Charlotte Cox, who scored with a reverse-stick shot.
This gave them encouragement to come at Chi but goalie Claire Young made some fine saves to keep it 1-1.
Chichester soon gained the upper hand and Nikki Kuntze scored from ten yards after excellent work by Sarah Pack and Amy Chaplin - it was a well-deserved goal for Kuntze as she had worked so hard during the whole campaign.
Holly Govey was solid in central midfield as the ball was swung from the right to left with Lyndsay Hudson picking it up and creating and setting up chances to score.
The third goal came from another penalty corner and Buckley once again put the ball in the back of the net - with only seconds to spare. The win secured promotion with two games to spare.
CHI: Tracy Austin, Holly Govey, Kate Helme, Amy Chaplin, ClaireYoung, Nikki Kuntze, Sarah Pack, Ellie Buckley, Sally Bradley, Lyndsay Hudson, Lottie Greenlees, Holly Gyles, Emily Ursell.
Last week we gave an incorrect first name for Debbie Buckley. Apologies for the mistake.
Chichester Centurions Ladies 8 Chichester Priory Park Ladies II 1
Sussex Ladies’ League division one
Chichester Centurions were on top form when they hammered local rivals Chichester Priory Park II at home.
Within five minutes, Centurions took the lead when Nicki Williams went down the wing to provide Louise Thew with a cross which she converted.
Shortly afterwards Thew was awarded a penalty flick which she whipped into the net with ease.
Louise Harris worked tirelessly in the midfield to win balls and press forward. Anna Bevan assisted Thew to complete her hat-trick and set up Anna Pordage to score to increase Centurions’ lead to 4-0.
Chichester had several attacking breaks and two short corners but the Centurions defence kept them at bay until half-time.
Centurions began the second half with confidence and composure under pressure, blocking two Chichester short corners before Pat Simmonds wove past the opposition to give Thew the ball to make it 5-0.
Claire Mealing scored twice in ten minutes through a goalmouth scramble and a wonderful strike from a short corner. Bevan was unlucky not to score from a wide shot but Mealing had another winning shot up her sleeve to increase the lead to 8-0.
Chichester showed pace when they pressed forward but Lucy Sarson and Dawn Brooker worked well to force them back. Two further defensive short corners were well defended but a high shot was deflected off the Centurions goalkeeper to give Chichester a goal in the final ten minutes.
This well-fought win means Centurions have secured their place in division one for the next season.
Chi seconds finished a creditable fourth.
CENTURIONS: Lucy Sarson, Louise Thew, Vicki Wake, Anna Pordage, Nicki Edge, Debbie Brown, Louise Hurford, Louise Harris, Pat Simmonds, Anna Bevan, Nicki Williams, Dawn Brooker, Claire Mealing.
CHI II: Ruth Duckers, Mel Howarth, Alice Shoebridge, Tina Keartland, Sarah Jessop, Jenna Greenway, Tendo Manyarara, Sheena Lake, Doreen Wilkins, Jan Barnes, Lilly Smith.
Chichester Ladies III 1 Southwick 0
Chichester completed an unbeaten league season and go up to division two as champions.
They were already promoted going into this game but guided by the captaincy of Kayleigh Carter, they were determined to finish on a high.
Southwick played a high line but made many mistakes and Chichester had success through the middle with numerous chances from Abi Darke, Emma Bain, Teresa Willway and Chris Riley going wide or being kicked away by the goalkeeper.
Southwick were under pressure because of the sustained pressure of Heidi Dunster and Demelza Peake working together down the right.
When Southwick were able to attack down their left, Sarah Whittington and Emma Tyler tracked back and Whittington’s timely tackle helped the team to clear.
This led to a period in which Southwick had three penalty corners but they were unable to get past the defenders with Alex Hurd, Elaine Cruttenden, Kayleigh Carter and Sarah Whittington blocking the path to goal, meaning keeper Charlotte O’Callaghan had very little to do.
After half time Chichester were rewarded for their hard work and were awarded a penalty corner. Darke hit it sweetly down the middle like a rocket under the keeper’s feet.
With two minutes to go, Chichester were awarded a penalty flick after being denied a goal. O’Callaghan stepped up to take it but was not allowed to by the umpire and Darke took it - but the Southwick keeper saved.
The 1-0 win meant Chichester remained undefeated in all 18 league games.
CHI: Charlotte O’Callaghan, Elaine Cruttenden, Kayleigh Carter, Sarah Whittington, Alex Hurd, Emma Tyler, Teresa Willway, Abi Darke, Emma Bain, Heidi Dunster, Demelza Peake, Chris Riley.
Middleton & Bognor Hockey Club host a past v present ladies’ charity hockey game this Saturday in honor of their friend and fellow hockey player Stacey Bond and her heroic fight against leukaemia.
This one-off match will be played at the Littlehampton Academy and starts at 3pm. There will be ‘Olde English Games’ during half-time and refreshments.
After the game everyone is invited back to Middleton Sports Club for a evening of fun, nostalgia and entertainment with old and new face. Kicking off at 7pm there will be games, a raffle and great music from the Skedaddles.
Evening tickets are £5 a head and the restaurant will be open until 9pm.
A spokeswoman said: “We would love to see as many of you there as possible for this very worthwhile event so please bring your friends and families along to support. We will be collecting donations throughout the day/evening and are counting on your generosity to make this a memorable occasion for all.”