It was a tough week of fixtures for Chichester Hockey Club's ladies' teams - but the Friars and under-12s recorded good results.
Chichester Ladies 1s 0 Eastbourne Ladies 1a 3
Chichester expected this game to be a tough one given the high number of goals scored by their opponents in their last season’s matches.
However from the start Chichester played with maximum effort and concentrated on their passing game as ordered by Captain Sally Bradley in her pre-match speech. At the start of the first half Chichester found themselves under constant pressure however sterling defensive work by Bradley and Catt and some great saves by goal keeper Griffith kept the score to 1-0 down.
In the second half, Eastbourne re-grouped after being put under pressure at the end of the first half and Chichester became under pressure once more eventually conceding a second goal.
Notable in this half was an amazing goal line save by Bradley’s back stick which contributed to her being awarded Man of the Match. Despite being awarded some short corners throughout the game, Chichester were unable to convert these and this will be worked on at training. A momentary lapse of concentration in the dying seconds of the game led to a third goal.
Chi: Fionagh Griffith; Sally Bradley (Captain); Vicky Catt ; Jess Gleeson; Rachael Trent; Lottie Greenlees; Megan Thomas; Bella Festa; Katie Rose, Chloe Goddard, Jenny Horton, Demelza Peake
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Horsham IV 4 Chi Ladies II 0
Sussex Ladies Div 1
The second game of the new season brought defeat for Chi ladies two when they travelled to Horsham. With Chi fielding four new players and missing some regular ones, they adjusted well.
It was an evenly matched game with chances for both sides. Horsham soon had the upper hand and although Chi battled hard they were always playing catch-up.
Lois Rice and Gabby Crisp showed great awareness and skill as debutants. Chichester fought hard and came close but the home side scored again before half-time.
Chichester passed the ball well with Alex Hurd and Kath Mundy linking up to force the Horsham defence back.
Despite their valiant efforts Horsham went on to score twice more to seal the win.
Chi ladies: Abson, Austin, Baxter, Woods, Catt, Mundy, Bradford, Ayling, Rice, Crisp, Hurd.
* Chichester Under 12s started their league season against Fareham. The match did not disappoint spectators with goals, great attacking play and do or die defending.
Despite Chichester playing some great passing hockey, Fareham scored first.
Chichester equalised from a great move involving several players and finished off by Harry Wheeler. The first quarter ended 1-1.
The second quarter continued at a frantic pace with more great attacking play and some very solid defence from J Christiansen, who was excellent on debut, and Russtell.
Weller was a constant threat with his strong running in an all action captains performance. This resulted in his goal putting Chichester ahead.
Fareham fought back and equalised. Chichester’s bench made a real difference in the middle part of the game.
The final quarter summed up the game with some ferocious attacking and defending.
Fuller ran superbly and nearly scored twice as did Homer who was also brilliant on debut. Chichester battled to stay in the game and superb defending from Brixey and Beau kept them in the lead until Fareham finally equalised on the counter attack.
Chichester’s resolve resulted in a much-deserved draw.
Chi Ladies VI 2
Southampton Ladies V 1
Chi were at home for their first game of the season and having had no friendly to get back into hockey after the summer break, and no subs, it was going to be a baptism of fire.
However Chi from the off let the ball do the work with passes transferring the play from one side of the pitch to the other.
The play was dominated by Chi and this lead to a short corner being awarded after some attacking play into the opposing D.
The push out to Willway saw a lovely clean strike hit the back board and Southampton exclaim that it was unstoppable. Kelly Lillywhite then doubled to the lead.
Southampton came out strong but Tracy Austin in midfield and Debs Cox at the back kept the attacking Southampton balls at bay.
Chi seemed to lose pace in their game and this allowed Southampton to take a consolation goal.
Chi kept up defence with some swapping of positions by Caroline Homer and Rachel Austin meaning that the Southampton key players were always marked.
Chi: Batchelor; Priddle; Cox; Ashton; T Austin; Whittington; R Austin; Willway; Homer; Lillywhite; Johnson.
Haslemere IV 1 Chi Friars 6
Hampshire Area Div 4
With the Masters league having folded, the Friars have taken on the role of Chi’s fourth XI, playing as a masters team in a men’s senior league.
This is big a challenge, which was met head on with a fantastic performance away from home to kick off the new season.
Availability issues resulted in a significant reshuffle in defence, but right from the start it was clear the shape and organisation of the Friars would cause the opposition problems.
A strong start resulted in several chances before Bryan Locke fired home the first goal after 12 minutes.
The pressure was maintained and Locke doubled the lead three minutes later, again from a flowing open play move.
Haslemere began to get more possession, but strong work from the midfield and defence minimised the threat. Rob Torrance in goal was in control.
A strange passage of play resulted in about ten short corners in a row for Haslemere, with Torrance making a string of saves with his gloves and scrambling around on the ground.
Another sweeping move from the back resulted in a great first time strike by Gareth Wharton near the top of the D, giving the keeper no chance and meaning Friars had a 3-0 lead at half-time.
In the second half, Haslemere forced a number of short corners, finally scoring after 38 minutes.
Friars regained control building from the back. Locke completed his hat-trick after 42 minutes to restore the three-goal lead, closely followed by a well-deserved goal from Andrew Savory two minutes later.
Haslemere were awarded a short corner, but the umpire played the advantage and two chances were missed and the Friars broke from their own P spot and Tracy Boyce made one of his typical runs and finished in style.
Notable performances came all over – Locke with his hat-trick, solid defending by Mark Richmond, incredible running from Wharton and an outstanding performance by Torrance but this was a very strong team performance.
Friars: Rob Torrance, Dave Walters, Mark Richmond, Andy Osborne, Adrian Strange, Gareth Wharton, Andrew Savory, Chris Pacey, Steve Mercer, Bryan Locke, Tracy Boyce, Nick Laurence.