Hockey: Great escape still on... Ladies end on a high at home

The Chi PP ladies' second team / Picture by Kate Shemilt
The Chi PP ladies' second team / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Chichester’s men’s first team notched an absolutely vital National League win, while the ladies’ seconds also enjoyed victory in their final home game of the season.

Chichester 4 Bath Buccaneers 2

Conference West

Chichester beat Bath in what was a must-win game for them.

At the start of the day Chichester were four points adrift at the bottom with two games remaining. The hosts ended the afternoon still dreaming of a grest escape from relegation.

Chichester started brightly and with Jason Collins coming into the back line, Chichester approached the game with patience and kept possession well.

Automatic relegation will go down to the wire between Chichester and Guildford. Guildford are favourites to gain a play-off place but Chichester will give it everything they have to remain in the National League.

They took the lead after 14 minutes when Tom McCarthy broke into the D and his reverse pass found Matt Cox diving in at the back post to deflect the ball in.

Chichester took their foot off the pedal after taking the lead and conceded a short corner which was neatly converted by Bath’s Navraj Degun. Three minutes later Bath took the lead when a messy penalty corner got bundled in off a Chichester stick.

After the break Chichester came out the blocks all guns firing, and captain Kieran Henn broke down the right and along the baseline before finding McCarthy in space - and he fired the ball into an empty net for 2-2.

In the 53rd minute, Chichester took the lead when a fierce strike from Luke Emmett nestled in the bottom corner.

Chichester won another penalty corner and a fierce strike from Emmett was saved – but Ben Palmer was quickest to react anf struck the ball into the roof of the net.

With ten minutes to go Chichester gave themselves some defending to do by giving the ball away easily but they saw the game out and collected a vital three points.

Defeat for Guildford at the University of Birmingham sees Chichester go into the last league match of the season one point behind them.

Automatic relegation will go down to the wire between Chichester and Guildford. Guildford are favourites to gain a play-off place but Chichester will give it everything they have to remain in the National League.

All support will be very much appreciated when Chichester face Indian Gymkhana at Kingsham on Sunday (2pm).

Chichester PP Ladies 2nds 2 Southwick 1sts 1

Chichester enjoyed a home win in their penultimate game of the season.

They started well, with passing and movement good, but a lack in concentration seemed to be their worst enemy.

It was a rather ragged half from both sides with the visitors having the greater possession as time went on.

Chi began trying to push the opposition back and the pushed too high, and Southwick got in behind – and despite her best efforts Claire Young couldn’t stop them scoring.

This was a wake-up call for Chichester, who began building play, trying to be more constructive and calmer on the ball.

Some excellent build-up through young guns Jess Gleeson, Rachael Trent and Charlotte Binning gave Chi new hope and Young made a terrific save one-on-one with a Southwick forward.

Jessop got into the D and just as she was about to shoot, she was prevented from doing so by an intentional stick obstruction from Southwick. A penalty flick was awarded and was calmly put away by Jenna Greenaway giving the Southwick goalie no chance.

Despite the odd scare, Chichester were on top and the icing on the cake came from a glourious build-up move involving the whole team gave Trent, who was unmarked in the circle, the chance to score calmly, putting the ball past the on-rushing goalkeeper.

Chichester soaked up the pressure but were able to deal with it.

CHI LADIES II: Claire Young, Tracy Austin, Jenna Greenaway, Tendo Manyarara, Rachael Trent, Sarah Jessop, Charlotte Binning, Jess Gleeson, Jenny Horton, Lindsay Hauxwell, Holly Gyles, Harriet Gray.

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