Hockey: Chichester can’t finish off the champions

Action from Chichester II's tussle with Cranleigh  Picture by Kate Shemilt
Action from Chichester II's tussle with Cranleigh Picture by Kate Shemilt

The hockey season may be coming to an end, but Chichester teams are still enjoying dome ding-dong matches.

Chichester II 2 Old Cranleighans 3

The sun finally shone as Chichester hosted unbeaten league champions Old Cranleighans.

With a slightly under-strength side, this was always likely to prove a tough game for the home side.

Chichester started brightly, passing the ball round neatly and dealing with any Cranleighans threat.

Their patience was rewarded when Strudwick finished from close range.

The away side started to pour on the pressure but the back four of Jenkins, Dougal, Lane Smith and Beales coped admirably with any attacking intent.

Chichester were soon 2-0 up thanks to a neat finish from Tom O’Boyle. The first half finished with Chichester 2-0 up and sensing an upset.

However the second half was a different affair with Chichester unable to impose themselves and produce any chances of note. Some needless yellow cards didn’t help their cause.

Cranleighans cranked up the pressure and scored two short-corner goals and a penalty stroke to win the game 3-2.

To run the league champions so close was a great finish to what has been an enjoyable and successful season for the second XI.

This week they take on East Grinstead in the Sussex Cup semi-final at 1.30 at the high school at Kingsham. Any support would be greatly appreciated.

Chichester Chipmunks 6 Worthing IV 1

Sussex division three

A balmy spring day saw Chichester beat Worthing in their last game of the season.

A depleted side had the early ascendency when Lowther and Toby Hindmarch combined to set up Kathegesu.

The advantage was doubled as mature build-up play saw Hindmarch unselfishly lay the ball off to Sturdey on his left and he calmly slotted home.

Despite their pressure, Chichester did not kill the game off and with the defence parting, they gifted Worthing a clear shot on goal which cruelly beat the improving Hetherington in the Chichester goal.

Sturdey restored the two-goal advantage before half-time.

Chichester looked to dominate the second half but were rocked back by early Worthing pressure as they played a higher line and looked to pressure the Chichester D, forcing a number of penalty corners. Robust interventions from James Palmer and Woodruff saw off the danger.

At the other end Sturdey converted again to finish as the team’s top scorer for the season, one ahead of Hindmarch.

As the game wore on, Chichester created a number of chances before Tim Gleeson trundled up from the back to convert a penalty corner after a lay-off from Craig Hindmarch before Ben Palmer rounded off the scoring.

The result saw Chichester finish fourth in their league with the squad having developed and matured over the season.

CHICHESTER: Hetherington, Andrews, Palmer J, Gleeson, Woodruff, Kathegesu, Hindmarch T, Hindmarch C, Lowther, Sturdey, Creswick, Palmer B.

The final fixture for the Chichester under-12 girls’ squad was at Havant for the John Wright tournament.

The hosts welcomed senior clubs from across the south for a tense afternoon.

Chichester started with a 1-0 win over Bath A. It took the team a little time to settle but Katie Rose broke the deadlock to give them the points.

Next they came up against eventual tournament winners Reading, whose stronger girls slotted three past Chichester without response.

Undeterred, Chichester bounced back with a fine 4-1 defeat of Winchester with a hat-trick from Jenny Horton marauding through from defence and the fourth from Jess Gleeson.

After a break, Chichester faced Guildford and Gleeson and Tabitha Trend secured a convincing 2-0 win to keep Chichester in the hunt for glory.

They suffered a setback against Trojans from Southampton, who beat them 2-1 in a tight game in which Chichester, with a third goal from Gleeson, were unlucky not take points from.

Still in the tournament, Chichester met Bath B. Hard-working skipper Rachael Trent got on the scoresheet after being denied earlier in the day and a second goal from Tabitha Trend gave Chichester a 2-0 win.

Their final game saw Chichester come up against tournament hosts and local rivals Havant. Dominant play saw the Havant keeper stranded and Chichester were denied a goal only by a foot on the line.

Horton calmly slotted home the ensuing penalty flick that followed, with Rachael Trend rounding off the scoring in another 2-0 win.

Despite five wins from seven matches, Chichester were unlucky to finish out of the prizes on goals scored. However great performances on the day give Chichester hope for next season.

CHICHESTER: Batchelor, Wain, Stemp, Horton, Lock, Renwick, Trent, Gleeson, Rose, Trend

Chichester 16-year-olds Toby Hindmarch and James Gleeson again represented Sussex at under-17 level.

With Hindmarch captain, Sussex took on home side Oxfordshire in the first of two games. Despite going two goals down early on they pulled themselves back into it and finished 3-2 down.

Next they met Hampshire in a nail-biting affair. Sussex took an early two-goal advantage, only to see Hampshire peg them back and then go ahead.

Sussex equalised, and despite a series of penalty corners Hampshire could not convert, with Sussex clinging on to a hold out for a 3-3 draw in a tense finale, despite Hindmarch being sin-binned in the final minutes for breaking down play as Hampshire strove for a winner.