Hockey: Ladies lose out despite brave battles for points

Ladies’ hockey takes centre stage this week with action involving Chichester PP Ladies’ first and third teams and Centurions.

Hailsham 2 Chichester PP Ladies 1

Chichester PP travelled to Hailsham for a rearranged top-of-the-table clash.

Both sides pressed at every opportunity to get the upper hand and to strike the first blow.

Chichester were a little nervous but had more possession, although failed to convert.

Hailsham broke the deadlock - despite the Chi defence working hard to keep the ball out, the ball deflected after a good save from Young the goalie and there was a simple tap-in.

Chi’s heads were a little down and Hailsham had a penalty corner that went in at the right-hand post. Half-time gave Chichester a chance to re group.

Chi’s second-half performance picked up and they were winning more of the midfield battles and their confidence grew.

With eight minutes to go, the ball was passed across the D and Lyndsay Hudson scored. Chi fought well but it was not to be.

This could mean the end of Chichester’s promotion hopes as Hailsham now need to slip up twice - although there is still a long way to go.

CHICHESTER: Claire Young, Emily Ursell, Kate Helme, Amy Chaplin, Beth Marks, Lyndsay Hudson, Tracy Austin, Josephine Arke, Mel Banks, Sally Thew, Floor Van der Stap, Livie Knight.

Crawley Ladies II 3 Chichester Ladies III 2

In vice-captain Abi Darke’s last game this season before moving abroad, her team-mates wanted her to go out on a high.

The visitors started slowly and Crawley started well.

Their first goal was scored from the edge of the D, which kick-started Chichester.

Towards the end of the first half Demelza Peake was injured by a whack on the foot from the opposition which took Chichester down to ten players.

Crawley took advantage and scored another goal, taking the score to 2-0 at half-time.

The second half began with Peake back on the pitch and Emma Bennison making some great tackles to win the ball.

Wingers Kelly Lilliwhite and Heidi Dunster had some good runs but were not quite able to convert them.

Emily Halterman suffered a bloodied nose from a stray ball. First aid was given and she was helped off.

Thankfully there were no broken bones.

Chichester were rewarded with a goal by Lilliwhite, who pushed a great cross by Teresa Willway into the corner of the goal.

Crawley, on a break from the centre, hit a fast ball from way outside the D going towards the goal. It flew past a Crawley forward and in - and a goal was given after much dispute from a Chichester defence convinced it hadn’t touched anyone in the D.

Halterman, who had managed to stop her nose bleeding, came back on.

Darke, after a terrific run through several players in the centre, scored a cracking goal from the edge of the D to make it 3-2.

In the very final few seconds, Chichester were awarded a short corner - then the final whistle was blown.

Chichester were allowed to take the short corner, Heidi Dunster hit it to Darke but the defence were quick out of the goal and kept Chichester out.

CHICHESTER: Heidi Dunster, Abi Darke, Sophie Tanner, Kelly Lilliwhite, Elaine Cruttendon, Emily Halterman, Christina Procter, Demelza Peake, Rose Phillips, Teressa Willway, Emma Bennison.

Lewes III 3 Centurions 2

Ladies’ Sussex League

Centurions passed the ball well early on and their efforts were rewarded by a goal from Michelle Harbord after ten minutes.

Led by keeper Rachel Pain, the Centurions defence made numerous strong interceptions to deny Lewes.

Centurions pushed forward and made several attempts on goal. A goalmouth scramble resulted in a penalty flick to Lewes, which they converted, and then a short corner made it 2-1 at half-time.

The second half saw Centurions continue to work hard to keep possession. Claire Mealing and Louise Thew battled against defenders in the D and Mealing lifted the ball beautifully over the keeper to even the score. Centurions made several more attacks but the Lewes keeper denied them.

As the final whistle approached, Lewes snatched a final goal to win it - but Centurions played an excellent game and despite the disappointing final score, they showed their determination and skill under pressure.

CENTURIONS: M Harbord, N Edge, C Mealing, Pat Simmonds, D Brown, L Sarson, L Hurford, V Wake, T Pollock, R Pain, L Thew, N Williams.