This week's hockey column turns the focus on the Chichester Friars, who had been enjoying an unbeaten start to the season... until we decided to send a photographer along for a closer look. Report here - and news of the Chichester ladies' first team too.
Chichesrer Friars 4 Trojans V 5
Hampshire Area Div 4
The Friars’ winning run ended in anine-goal thriller, slipping to second in the league.
The wind and rain had abated by the start of the game, but the match turned out to be pretty stormy.
Trojans put out a team with a good number of experienced players and the teams were very evenly matched.
The Friars took an early lead on four minutes when a number of shots from a short corner were blocked before Andrew Savory fired the ball into the net.
Trojans began to get the upper hand and scored twice in three minutes to take the lead.
The Friars pegged the score back on 22 minutes when Gareth Wharton refused to give up on a ball that seemed to be going over the base line, but he tapped it home at full stretch.
A penalty stroke was awarded to Friars on 29 minutes when a shot was blocked by a defender’s leg. Savory fired the ball into the roof of the net with his usual style. But he Friars were not able to retain the lead for long, Trojans scoring again two minutes later.
It was 3-3 at the break and a close second half ensued.
Trojans came out very strong in the second half and created a number of good chances before restoring their lead on 45 minutes. The Friars still kept plugging away and Savory completed a fine hat-trick on 55 minutes, firing a low shot into the goal from a short corner. Unfortunately the Friars lost a player to a yellow card on 58 minutes and Trojans took advantage and used their young, fast players to good effect.
The Friars held firm before finally conceding what turned out to be the winning goal with only five minutes left. They were given a late opportunity with a couple of short corners, one of which was on the final whistle, but were not able to convert.
Despite the disappointment of a first loss, the Friars remain very upbeat about the season so far.
Friars: Torrance, Walters, Osborne, Richmond, Andrews, Hughes, Savory, Mercer, Green, Strange, Wharton, Locke, Boyce, Laurence.
Horsham Ladies III 3 Chichester Ladies 1
Sussex Ladies Premier
The game started in torrential rain and gusty winds. Chi started wellas great forward play from Chloe Goddard and Katie Rose worked the ball up into Horsham’s D.
Great defensive work from Megan Thomas, Pippa Geddes, Emma Bennison and Sally Bradley meant Horsham were not getting through.
Early in the second half, a great pass from Jess Gleeson to Racheal Trent led to Chi going in front.
Horsham were determined to fight back but great saves from Char O’Callaghan made them work hard.
Chi were still pushing and another great ball in from Gleeson saw Philly Bowry shoot just wide.
Horsham broke through and levelled but Chi kept going at Horsham with great skills from Demelza Peake and Bella Festa led to chances.
Horsham found gaps and scored two quick goals to make the final score 3-1 to Horsham. But it was a great effort all from the Chi girls in horrible conditions. There arw a lot of positives to take – next up Chi face South Saxons.
Chi ladies: O’Callaghan; Bradley; Geddes; Gleeson; Trent; Thomas; Festa; Rose, Goddard, Peake, Bowry, Bennison.