Chichester students back in sporting action - plus picture special on Spitfires Amercian football action

The Spitfires in action / Picture by Jordan Colborne
The Spitfires in action / Picture by Jordan Colborne

University of Chichester sports teams returned to action after the festive break with a number of sides contending for top spots in various British Universities and Colleges Sport divisions.

Chi’s men’s football ones, on a five-game unbeaten run, thrashed Surrey 9-1 to maintain pressure on front-runners Reading and East London. Alfie Lis bagged a hat-trick. Emmett Dunn (2), Kanranjeet Pal, Lukas Franzen-Jones and Lloyd Rowlatt got on the scoresheet with the hosts conceding an own goal.

Chi’s football fifths beat the sixes 2-1 to earn bragging rights and pole position in the division. The fives went ahead on the stroke of half-time through Malin Bowman’s neat finish. Brad Gallagher pounced on a loose ball and turned it in after the fives failed to clear their lines.

Jack Harvey caught sixes keeper Brad Arnott out with a long-range effort to send the fives in front again. Jonny Linard went close to equalising on the hour before Arnott made a smart save to keep his team in things.

Leo King and Kieran Dowell linked well as the sixes pressed in the last 15 minutes. There were chances for the sixes to grab a point but the fives defended resolutely.

The women’s football firsts lost 4-1 in their bottom two clash with Portsmouth. Frankie Webster scored a hat-trick and Gemma Freaney added the other in a Premier South survival encounter.

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Chichester fencers in fantastic form
It’s been a tough season for Chichester, a side who have been runners-up in this elite division of university women’s football the past two seasons. Their Prem South place now depends on the relegation play-offs.

In netball, the first team are top of South Eastern 2A after a 61-30 victory over Sussex. Only goal difference separates them from Portsmouth but Chichester have a game in hand on their south-coast rivals.

The two universities will face each other in the quarter finals of the Conference Cup.

The netball fives are also in pole position in their league following a 45-5 win away to Roehampton threes. They have yet to lose this season and look like a side with title credentials, although Kingston twos are also in contention. The netball threes beat their Portsmouth counterparts 53-45 and it was 43-43 in the game between the twos and Brighton threes.

The possibility of back-to-back promotions is still on for Chi’s men’s tennis team, who remain undefeated – their latest win in South Eastern 2A an 8-4 victory at Reading.

Chichester have fellow challengers Surrey to play home and away in the league with a meeting between the two teams in the last eight of the cup set before those fixtures.

The men’s hockey twos beat Portsmouth threes 2-1, Chi’s men’s badminton team got the better of Surrey’s second team 6-2 and women’s basketball were 82-44 winners against Portsmouth. There were losses for the men’s and women’s volleyball sides, women’s badminton, men’s table tennis and men’s hockey ones.

The university’s American football team, the Spitfires, moved up to second in their league after a 12-0 home win against Greenwich thanks to Abdul Zafar’s 60-yard touchdown reception and a ‘pick six’ (an intercepted pass returned for a touchdown) from safety Tom McLoughlin. See a slideshow of recent Spitfires action captured by Jordan Colborne in our slideshow, above.

In men’s futsal, the ones and the twos, who booked places in the semi-finals of the Conference Cup last week, began the second half of the season top of their respective divisions.

After the euphoria of those cup wins there were setbacks for both teams’ title tilts in the league. Nehniah McKinley-Burke, scorer of the winner in the quarter-final penalty shoot-out against City University, and Josh Clark bagged hat-tricks for the ones in a 6-6 draw with Westminster. Rhys Kemish, Hector Clements and Luis Mujica scored a couple of goals apiece as the twos mounted a second-half comeback against Reading only to lose 8-6.