Two University of Chichester netball teams will be crowned champions after building unassailable leads at the top of their south-eastern divisions.
The Conference Cup runners-up, Chichester’s netball ones, replaced title rivals Portsmouth at the top of South Eastern 1A thanks to a 59-38 victory, while the fives picked up their seventh consecutive league win overwhelming New Bucks 88-6.
The netball threes lost 40-34 to second-placed St Mary’s but the fours got the better of Royal Holloway 48-38.
Chichester’s men’s futsal ones put the heartbreak of their sudden death penalty shoot-out cup final loss against Westminster behind them when they beat Kingston 6-3 in what could prove to be a title decider with Marcus Ball, Hamido Jalo, Matty Roberts and Niah McKinley-Burke all on target.
In another tussle between teams in first and second place, Chichester’s men’s tennis lost 8-4 to league leaders Surrey, while women’s tennis moved up to third after a 10-2 win at home to Hertfordshire.
Elsewhere in racquets sports, the Chichester men’s and women’s badminton faced teams from Brighton. The men lost 6-2 but the women drew 4-4.
Men’s table tennis edged a close encounter with Kent 9-8 to keep up the pressure on Queen Mary in second.
It was a case of mixed fortunes for the university’s football sides.
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It's a big battle for football and netball honours
Brad Morgan was the busier of the two keepers in the opening exchanges of the match between the men’s second team and Sussex ones. Jamie Austin spurned a good opportunity for Chichester in the 15th minute before the visitors went close twice just after the half-hour mark.
The hosts had an effort cleared off the line early in the second half and then conceded two goals in ten minutes – a super strike followed by a low drive that beat Morgan at his near post. Austin sent a header narrowly wide and the Sussex No1 pulled off a spectacular save late on to deny Chichester a consolation.
Brunel came from behind to beat men’s football threes 3-1; it was goalless between the fours and Brighton; the sixes lost 5-3 at Reading but the fives cruised to victory at New Bucks to leapfrog St George’s as division frontrunners. The women’s second team thrashed Roehampton 7-0.
In rugby, the women’s run of three successive victories came to an end when they lost 31-10 to tabletoppers Sussex. Men’s ones crushed Reading 48-5, running in eight tries.
There were losses for men’s and women’s basketball against Brighton and Brunel respectively. Sussex defeated men’s hockey ones and the women’s team lost 4-3 to Imperial.
Men’s volleyball ones beat Royal Holloway 3-2 but the men’s second team lost 3-1 to Hertfordshire.
Men’s and women’s lacrosse both met Portsmouth. The men suffered a heavy 27-1 defeat whilst the women, who lost the SECC final in extra-time last time out, had a convincing 13-2 win.
Follow all the action in the Observer and at www.chichester.co.uk as the university teams head into the sharp end of the season.