Hockey: Hawks grounded by high-flying Chichester

C121700-2 Spt Hock Centchi  phot kate

C121700-2 Spt Hock Centchi phot kate

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Victories for Chichester’s men’s and ladies’ first teams and Bognor Town ladies all feature in our latest hockey round-up.

Send your team’s half-season report to sport@chiobserver.co.uk for publication over the Christmas/new year period.

Chichester 4 Oxford Hawks 1

South open premier div one

Chichester went into the Christmas break keen on a high with another fine victory.

Visitors Oxford Hawks arrived just one place behind Chichester and a win was crucial.

Chichester started patiently and showed a willingness to keep the ball which had been lacking in recent weeks.

Oxford Hawks turned up with a desire to play open, attacking hockey - which was good news for Chichester.

Chichester took the lead when a patient build-up saw the ball transferred from right to left, where Martin Gough passed to the back post for Alex Baxter to deflect home.

Chichester were soon 2-0 up when Connor McLoughlin went on a mazy run, passing three Oxford defenders and calmly slotting the ball past the goalkeeper.

The tide turned in the second half as Oxford came out of the blocks quickest and soon pulled a goal back through a quick counter-attack which left Chichester exposed and an Oxford forward made it 2-1.

This seemed to wake up the hosts and the back four of Luke Matthews, Jason Collins, McLoughlin and Kieran Henn dominated and Chichester passed with control - and with urgency when required.

Good work from Alex Thakore resulted in a Chichester penalty corner which led to Sparshott pouncing on a rebound shot from Gough to make it 3-1 Chichester.

Gough soon made it 4-1 when he fired the ball into the top corner to ensure Chichester ended the first half of the season on a high.

At the halfway point in the league Chichester are nicely placed in third and ready to press on in the new year.

Chichester Centurions 1 Chichester PP Ladies 6

Centurions were prepared for a tough match against top-of-the-table Chichester Priory Park - and got just that.

Chichester applied pressure on Centurions from the outset but there was solid defending from Centurions.

Chantelle Strudwick made fine saves and Vicki Wake twice swept the ball away from in front of the goal.

Whilst Centurions successfully defended three short corners and a penalty flick, they were unable to create many opportunities.

Chichester made numerous attacks and by the end of the first half were three up.

First Sally Thew was in on goal and slipped the ball under the keeper’s body.

Floor Van der Stap scored with a reverse-stick slap into the far corner before fine play saw her get her second of the half.

Centurions approached the second half in positive mood, gaining more possession.

The Chi PP backs and midfield gave Centurions problems and they couldn’t cope with the speed and passing.

Several more short corners were successfully defended by Centurions but a penalty flick was slotted past the Centurions keeper by Kate Helme.

Debbie Brown made several strong interceptions for Centurions to push the ball up the pitch but Chichester kept on scoring.

Great work from Beth Marks down the right ended with her being on the back post to slip another goal past the goalie.

Thew scored her best goal after great teamwork between Austin, Helme and Kuntze up front.

Centurions battled to the end and in a goalmouth scramble Kerry Eames pounced to give Centurions a well-deserved consolation.

CENTURIONS: Louise Thew, Kerry Eames, Anna Pordage, Nikki Edge, Claire Mealing, Debbie Brown, Chantelle Strudwick, Nicki Williams, Vicky Wake, Louise Hurford, Lucy Sarson, Dawn Brooker.

CHI PP: Claire Young, Emily Ursell, Kate Helme, Amy Chaplin, Beth Marks, Lyndsay Hudson, Nikki Kuntze, Tracy Austin, Josephine Arke, Mel Banks, Sally Thew, Floor Van der Stap, Livie Knight.

Bognor Town Ladies 5 Eastbourne Swifts 1

Bognor capitalised on their recent run of good form and, after a heavy defeat in the away fixture at Eastbourne, knew they needed to call upon their experience and guile.

Clare McKnight opened the scoring early on with an unexpected break and superb finish. Evergreen June Rogers popped up in the D for a double before half-time.

Eastbourne rallied at the start of the second half, but the Bognor defence of Gammon, Arnold and Jackie Okonta absorbed the pressure and passed well out to wings Rogers and Harmer.

Rogers added a third and Harmer capped a superb performance with a signature sizzling shot from the edge of the D that rattled the backboard.

Stand-in keeper Kim Agate was a stalwart in the Bognor D, but was caught stranded by the Eastbourne centre-forward who slipped in a late consolation.

BOGNOR: Kim Agate, Jackie Okonta, Clare Gammon, Helen Arnold, Sue Perry, Debbie Cox, Pat Simmonds, June Rogers,

Theresa Cooper, Clare McKnight, Karen Harmer, Barbara Murray.