Mead’s magic gives Chichester a big lift

Luke Emmett on the run for Chichester in their victory over London Wayfarers
Luke Emmett on the run for Chichester in their victory over London Wayfarers

Our latest hockey round-up features a win for Chichester’s first team, a thumping victory for the Centurions and a win for Chichester Priory Park Ladies’ second team.

Chichester 4 London Wayfarers 2

South open premier div one

Chichester triumphed in a must-win clash with second-placed Wayfarers that they desperately needed to win to ease relegation fears.

From the first whistle, Chichester showed why they had potential to be at the other end of the league. The opening ten minutes were all Chichester, although four attacks came to nothing.

Fantastic team moves created great chances for Martin Gough and Connor McLaughlin and both were unfortunate not to score.

Chichester broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when Alex Thakore broke down the right and fired the ball to the back post for Jack Lerwill to slot home.

Every time Chichester broke they looked a threat, Matt Cox and Andrew Sparshott creating numerous problems for the LW backline.

Chichester doubled their lead through a penalty corner slipped to Matt Cox and fired to a waiting Luke Emmett to calmly score to make it 2-0.

So far this season Chichester have not played well in the second half of games, and the opening ten minutes of this game’s second period suggested the trend would continue.

Chichester started to sit back and it was soon 2-1 though a LW penalty corner.

Five minutes later it was 2-2 when LW put together a well-worked move.

But for Chichester this was a wake-up call and their lead was soon restored when Lerwill dispossessed LW in midfield and fed Sparshott, whose pace left the defence in his wake.

The ball was fired into the D for Cameron Mead to superbly deflect the ball over the keeper and in. Suddenly Chichester’s confidence came back.

Gerald Cox ran the show from the centre while Steven Spears, Ed Hodge, James Lunn and Luke Matthews defended superbly.

Gough fed Mead again on the top of the D and he despatched his shot with perfection to make it 4-2.

A late scare for Chichester saw Spears yellow-carded but the hosts saw the game out.

They’re now out of the relegation zone, but only another win in their last game against Staines will make sure of safety.

Centurions 12 Penguins 0

Ladies’ Sussex League

The season ended in the sun – and with smiles for Centurions.

Mealing opened the scoring in the first minute and Thew followed it up with a second. Proctor spotted an opportunity and a pass to Thew secured a third.

From a corner to Penguins, keeper Vaughan made a sound save.

Hurford fed the ball to Thew, who got her hat-trick. A second for Mealing and a fourth for Thew took the game to 6-0 at half-time.

A pass from Thew to Pordage set up another quick goal. Pressure from Penguins was thwarted by Sleet, who made strong interceptions.

Skinner was well-positioned in the D and a pass to Pordage secured her second. Pordage’s hat-trick came off the unlucky defence. Edge’s strong hit-out linked with Mealing for her hat-trick. Dixon, well positioned all match, got her reward with a fine goal. A final fifth for Thew made for a pleasing result against a Penguins team that never gave up.

CENTURIONS: B Vaughan, L Harris, N Edge, H Sleet, L Hurford, D Brown, A Skinner, L Proctor, L Thew, A Pordage, E Dixon, C Mealing.

Chichester Priory Park Ladies II 2

Brighton and Hove II 1

Chichester won their final game of the season – although their good run of form came a little too late in the season to make a real difference to their league position. Chichester started the stronger side and ten minutes in, Hudson put the first goal away when a muddle in the B&H defence gave her a clear strike at the near post.

Brighton were persistent and made Chichester work hard, but the defence were up for a battle.

It was Savage’s last game and she gave a performance to savour as sweeper, cutting out anything Brighton could throw at her.

The opposition fought hard and got their reward with a goal close to half-time.

In the second half, Chichester pressed the Brighton defence and forced some errors, resulting in a short corner from which Thew put it goalwards, with Howarth on the line to make sure.

Next season Mel Banks will be captain again after doing a fantastic job this season.

CHICHESTER: Chantelle Hedge, Jordan Savage, Mel Banks, Mel Howarth, Tracy Austin, Amy Chaplin, Rachael Black, Lyndsay Hudson, Emily Ursall, Sally Thew, Beth Marks.

South Downs 9 Chichester Cannons 0

In Chichester Cannons’ penultimate match of the season, confident leaders South Downs quickly took the lead with a string of goals, dominating with a 4-0 lead by half-time.

The fledgling Cannons team fought back, with star player Charlotte Vincent demonstrating impressive defensive skills.

Despite a sustained attack from South Downs and more goals, Cannons persevered in the second half. In her first match, Cannons’ Lotte Margarson led a number of attempts at goal, playing a pivotal role in the attack.