There were mixed fortunes for Chichester's hockey teams as they got back on the pitch after the festive break - while the under-eights and under-tens had a home festival to enjoy.
Chichester Friars 6 Guildford 2
Wessex Masters Cup
This was a great start to 2019 for the Friars.
For the first ten minutes, the Friars were under constant pressure, unable to put any form of attack together. Rob Torrance in goal made an excellent double save to keep Guildford out.
In the first Friars attack, a short corner was awarded and Martin Hughes smashed in the shot to make it 1-0 – against the run of play.
Guildford enjoyed most of the ball but were unable to score thanks to a great performance from Torrance and some solid defending.
Guildford got a breakthrough after 28 minutes with a superb reaction shot from the top of the D. Almost immediately, the Friars found themselves ahead again with Alex Langhein finishing off a sweeping move with a great finish.
Five minutes later, the lead was increased to 3-1 when Tracey Boyce went on one of his weaving runs into the D, slotting the ball past the keeper with a reverse-stick shot.
From the second-half pushback it was clear the Friars would be more dominant. Andrew Savory fired in a shot with 50 minutes gone to increase the lead to 4-1, but it took only two minutes for Guildford to hit back from a close-range effort.
The game became very competitive and the Friars had to work hard in defence and midfield.
Nick Laurence increased the lead after 57 minutes, stealing the ball from the defender to tap home after a great pass into the D from Langhein.
The win was sealed in the last minute when Hughes fired in another short corner shot which dipped over the keeper.
It was another great team performance, but special credit goes to Torrance in goal and Dave Walters, who covered a huge amount of ground and completed countless tackles in midfield.
Friars: Torrance, Walters, Hughes, Savory, Jaeger, Boyce, Osborne, Strange, Wharton, Smith, Langhein, Laurence.
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Chichester 2nds 2 Andover 7
Chichester entertained league leaders Andover in their first game of 2019 hoping to build on a run of three pre-Christmas wins - but it didn’t work out that way.
The first real opportunity fell to Chichester with a well-worked attack down the left by Oscar Pacey, who slipped the ball to Connor McLaughlin – but he saw his shot parried away by the Andover keeper.
Andover started to gain confidence and looked to attack on the break and with a period of increased pressure, they gained a penalty corner which was converted with a well-struck shot past Jasper Marshall, the Chichester keeper.
Chichester won a series of short corners and Neil Pendle finished a nice routine to level.
The second half started with Andover producing a well-worked goal to go 2-1 up but this didn’t deter Chichester.
Good defensive work from Matt Ricketts and Martyn Collins in the centre allowed the midfield to press further up the pitch and put pressure on Andover who started to backtrack.
This gave the impetus to Chichester to attack and Pendle again converted to make it 2-2.
Andover started to roll their substitutes and up the speed. This worked very well for them and as Chichester tired, they scored five goals to win 7-2.
Chichester’s third XI started the second half of the season with a convincing 6-1 victory.
Captain Bryan Lock opened their tally after good team work and quick passing got the ball up the pitch, Lock putting it away in the bottom corner.
Chichester soon made it two after Tom Scott picked up a rebound off the Worthing keeper to score with a well-aimed slap hit.
Chichester captain Lock got his second just before half-time with a deft piece of skill to dribble past two Weymouth defenders, scoring with his second strike after the first rebounded off the keeper.
The second half was end to end as Weymouth kept their heads up and tried to make the most of counter attacks. It was Chichester, however, who scored next with Andy McCartain picking up a loose ball after a Chichester penalty corner broke down and putting it in the back of the net with a powerful sweep.
Weymouth forced Chichester to concede a penalty corner after a quick break from their own circle. The resulting shot bounced awkwardly and caught the Chichester keeper off balance, slipping passed his leg pads and brought the scoreline to 4-1.
Chichester regrouped quickly and played the ball around their midfield, dominating the centre of the pitch. This led to opportunities to be put away first by Pat Sowden with strike that left the Weymouth keeper standing still and then second by Mark Pacey, who beat two defenders and then slid the ball into the bottom corner from the penalty spot.
The win brought Chichester up to fourth in Hampshire division two.
Basingstoke 5s 2 Chi Ladies 4s 0
The first game after the long Christmas break can go one of two ways and Chi fourths chose to play a great cohesive game which showed how much they have come together as a team.
Chi dominated the first half with some great passes at the back between Debs Cox, Elaine Cruttenden and Sarah Whittington. This released Heidi Johnson and Mandy Clarke to do some superb running up the right, only to be denied by the Basingstoke keeper.
Mel Litchfield, Kim Howarth and Gillian Ashton worked tirelessly in the middle and on the left to thread the ball through to Kelly Lilywhite, Caroline Dale and Teresa Willway. Again, shots and lifted flicks on goal were saved.
Basingstoke came out stronger in the second half and scored a controversial goal. Char O’Callaghan felt it had been dangerously lifted by Basingstoke outside the D and touched in. However the umpire was unmoved.
Once the second goal went in, again at a questionable height, Chi were a little downhearted.
Star player Cruttenden picked up the ball many times to deny Basingstoke runs.
Chi take away the positives and hope they can build on this next week.
Chi ladies: O’Callaghan, Cox, Cruttenden, Whittington, Ashton, Litchfield, Howarth, Johnson, Lilywhite, Dale, Willway, Clarke.
* Chichester’s youngsters had a great day at their junior hockey festival. Chichester were pleased to welcome under-eight and under-ten teams from Fareham, Gosport, Hamble, Middleton, City of Portsmouth, Petersfield, Haslemere and Havant.
Thanks went to all who helped on the day – managers and coaches, umpires, Ian Wilmot for arranging all fixtures and Debs at Chichester College.
For the Chi under-eights Jo Kirby scored his first goal, Freddie Richmond, Amy Butler and Elliott Goode were tireless and the whole group did themselves proud. They beat Fareham and two Haslemere teams, drew twice with Havant and lost to Gosport.