Hockey: One trophy won - but will another one come Chichester’s way?

That's how to defend - Chichester youngsters decide on safety in numbers on the goal-line in their fun tournament  Picture by Tracey Waller
That's how to defend - Chichester youngsters decide on safety in numbers on the goal-line in their fun tournament Picture by Tracey Waller

Two Chichester teams are at different stages of knockout success - while youngsters from the club have enjoyed a day of playing for fun.

Eastbourne 2 Chichester 3

Sussex Cup semi-final

Chichester have earned the chance to end their season with silverware after winning a close-fought semi-final.

They travelled full of confidence about reaching their third consecutive county cup final.

On a very wet and windy day in Eastbourne, Chichester struggled to find any sort of flow and Eastbourne were hard to break down. Very few chances were created in the first half.

Eastbourne took the initiative in the second half and were rewarded when a flowing move led to the ball falling to a unmarked forward to tap in.

This seemed to wake Chichester and when Alex Thakore won Chichester’s first penalty corner, Martin Gough was on hand to collect the rebound and level the scores.

Soon after it was 2-1 to Chichester when captain Richard Blakesley broke through on goal and fired a pass to the back post for Gough to deflect in.

Chichester were on a roll and some fantastic passing led to a marvellous team goal involving 15 passes which ended with Gough completing his hat-trick with a comfortable tap-in at the back post.

Eastbourne scored with two minutes to go to create a nail-biting final minute but Chichester held on to reach their third consecutive final.

Chichester will play Brighton or Lewes in the final on Sunday, April 28 at East Grinstead.

Chichester Friars picked up more silverware when they travelled to Warminster to compete for the Investec Wessex League Cup, having already won the Wessex Masters League.

First up was a match against a Winchester side who Chichester had beaten convincingly in their two previous meetings.

The early signs were positive from Chichester, who were unfortunate not to score with the Winchester goalkeeper making good saves from Lock, Boyce and Chris Pacey. Eventually the pressure was too much, with Chichester scoring three goals before half-time.

The second half again found the Winchester goalkeeper in top form. Winchester broke and managed to pull a goal back but this inspired the Chichester midfield and a fourth goal was scored. With five minutes to play, Winchester netted a second.

The win meant Chichester were to play West Wilts in the final.

After a welcome break to dry off from the constant rain, Chichester Friars knew they had to play better than they had early in the semi-final.

The midfield of Neil Pacey, Walters, Gray and Pacey pressed, giving West Wilts no time on the ball.

Friars scored three good goals in next to no time. The game became one-sided with the Chichester defence of Hughes, Osbourne, Andrews and Smith picking off any West Wilts attacks.

Half-time saw Alexander come on for Smith. The Friars added to their tally from a short corner.

Chichester took their foot off the pedal and allowed West Wilts to win a series of short corners, one of which led to a goal.

The Friars tried to play out time but gave the ball away, allowing West Wilts to break and win a short corner. But they stood firm, only allowing West Wilts to score with the final hit of the game - 5-2 the final score.

Captain for the day Neil Pacey said: “This was a very satisfying way to finish a successful season for us and we’ll be looking to repeat the double next season.”

He thanked all the players who had played for the Friars this season, including regular captain and goalkeeper Colin Ball.

FRIARS: C Kemp, T Andrews, M Hughes, A Osborne, C Smith, D Alexander, D Walters, S Gray, N Pacey(capt), C Pacey, T Boyce, B Locke.

CHICHESTER Hockey Club marked the end of the season with a junior event for children aged eight to 16.

Throughout the morning there were fantastic skills and teamwork, showing a bright furture for the club.

The winning team consisted of Megan Cliff, Luke Savory, Michael Kemp, Jenny Horton, Georgia Wain, Charlotte Stemp, Maizie Blight and Rihanna Bachelor.

The awards for most valuable players went to Ewan Flowers and Remi Briggs, both of whom were among the youngest and smallest players there.

The top goalscorer title was shared between Raife Lock and Jenny Horton, who scored five goals each.

Not to be outdone, a selection of adults played a mixed game - including players past and present from some of Chichester’s most seniors teams.

The game was watched by the youngsters and their parents as they enjoyed a picnic lunch and some long-awaited sunshine.