Chichester give Hove the heave-ho at Fortress Oaklands
Chichester 19 Hove 13
Chichester deserved to beat Hove and achieve their second double of the season. But they were made to work very hard by gritty opponents with determined defence and occasional counter attacks, running out 19-13 victors.
Each side scored a converted try, but Chichester kicked four penalties and Hove managed only two dropped goals.
The exchanges were tough and there was too much needle at times, but the Blues were better in the loose play and the linking between forwards and backs gave them the majority of possession and territory which won the day.
The pitch was in reasonable condition despite the recent rain. Both teams were missing a couple of regulars and for Chichester, Will Mitchell came in at full-back with Toby Golds moving to the wing.
Seventeen-year-old Jack Walker made his home debut at scrum half. Hove had the better of the first ten minutes but Chichester stopped thrusts by Rankin and Allan.
A penalty was missed by the visitors and Golds identified and arrested a very short-haired Eubank with a firm tackle.
The Blues started to roll and Richard Adams bombarded with some high kicks, one of which pinned full-back Coulson to the right corner where he had to hoof the ball to touch.
Lineout and drive gave quick ball to Adams and on to Jack Smallman to make the half-break and offload.
Mitchell was in support and crossed for the opening try. Adams added the extras with a good kick.
Chichester continued to attack with Moses Kasujja, Josh Pszczonka and Andy Gray prominent. At the other end Hove playmaker Phillips at outside centre kicked to a useful position but the ever-reliable Phil Veltom stole the ball and danger ceased.
The Hove backs moved the ball across but Smallman and Golds were ready for them. Scott Barlow charged out of the 22 and swift transfer from Nick Blount to Gray and then to Chris Johnson was nearly rewarded but the final pass was marginally forward. Blount was injured and Jon Lindsay came off the bench.
With Chichester seeming to be on top, they were shocked by a breakaway and slick passing by the Hove backs to give their young winger Marsh a chance. He took it brilliantly with great speed, cutting inside and going over behind the posts. Golding converted and it was 7-7.
The Blues pressed hard in the last part of he half and fully tested the Hove defence, twice being held up over the try line following a dramatic break and run by Walker through the middle.
Another attempt saw the ball killed on the ground, with Hale given a yellow card. No penalty try was awarded, just a penalty for Adams to put over.
Then Chichester thought they had cracked it but Kasujja lost hold of the ball as he plunged over.
After the break, Chichester were penalised for holding on and the 45m penalty was just too much for Coulson. Golds gathered the ball and his kick spelt danger for Hove but it went too long.
Although Hove appeared to knock on a clearance by Chichester, the ball was shipped to Phillips who promptly dropped a huge goal from 40m.
Tom Jackson and Adams combined to win corner position. Again the hosts pushed hard at the door but entry was refused by well-organised and tenacious defenders.
Barlow broke through but his unselfish instinct made him pass and the chance went begging. He also received a kick in the face and went off for treatment.
Adams kicked a penalty and Chi were ahead again but it was shortlived as Phillips dropped his second goal from 30m.
Adams confidently slotted two more penalties as Hove were forced into infringements. Two powerful drives led by Veltom gave ball out from Walker to the centres but replacement Tom Polhill was well tackled.
Kasujja thundered down the touchline but his offload failed and the ball was run out. Golds followed up a short kick over the try line and touched down but the try was mysteriously disallowed.
Mischief by Hove gave Chichester another penalty which went wide. Barlow and Adams sped over the 22 but a last pass was spilt. Hove had been unable to threaten but they never gave an inch and they made a last attempt but Eubank was shackled.
The referee had a difficult time with warring factions and the game finished with him lecturing the captains.
The outstanding players had been Golds for Chi and the talented and very talkative Phillips for Hove.
Blues director of rugby Paul Colley said: “It was a typical derby and Hove made it very difficult for us.
“We did well in the first half against the wind but were disrupted by injuries in the second. Some decisions were highly debatable and prevented us adding to the tally.
“Our eldest player was 27 and youngest 17 – the squad has lots of potential.’
CHICHESTER: Decoteau, Pszczonka, Veltom, Blount, Barlow, Gray, Johnson, Kasujja, Walker, Adams, Golds, Smallman, Renwick, Jackson, Mitchell, Lawrence, Lindsay, T Polhill.
This week Chichester travel to Tunbridge Wells.