Fareham and Havant have teamed up with sides from Surrey and Sussex to form an Elite Summer Hockey League, which begins on Thursday evening (May 13) and will be played over the next seven weeks, with 13 matches in all.
Brighton & Hove, Chichester and Guildford are the other clubs involved, all having been denied any competitive hockey since the National League was suspended before Christmas last year.
Fareham host Havant in the Elite League curtain raiser at Henry Cort on Thursday, 7.30pm., with Chichester away to Brighton & Hove.
Vitality and England & Great Britain Women’s Hockey have announced one of the most significant partnerships in the sport’s history, as part of a landmark three-year deal.
The new partnership sees the health, life and investment company, become Principal Partner of England & GB Women’s Hockey teams (with Vitality’s logo on their shirt), Presenting Partner of FIH Hockey Pro League in Great Britain – which includes both men’s and women’s matches - and Title Partner of the English Women’s Hockey League, now named the Vitality Women’s Hockey League.
England Hockey’s grassroots participation programme will also be renamed Vitality Back to Hockey, with Vitality working closely with England & GB Hockey to drive visibility of the game and encourage many more people to try out or return to the sport.
The partnership will provide support to the game and further raise its profile as part of Vitality’s ongoing commitment to women’s sport and addressing the significant difference that exists in physical activity levels between men and women. Through the multiple aspects of the partnership, Vitality, together with England & GB Hockey, will further bring its core purpose to life – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives.
This announcement comes at the start of an exciting year for the sport, with the Tokyo Olympics, FIH Hockey Pro League and EuroHockey Championships.
The announcement also comes at the same time as the insurer announces Trojans raised former Olympic gold medal winning hockey player Alex Danson-Bennett MBE will be joining the Vitality team as a Performance Champion, where she will use her passion and extensive experiences in sport and health to help businesses to motivate and inspire their colleagues to look after and prioritise their health and wellbeing.
As one of the only sports played equally by men and women, hockey holds a unique position meaning it is well placed to drive engagement in physical activity with women in particular, supporting them to try out or return to the game. There has never been a more important time to be involved in women’s sport at all levels, inspiring many more people to become more active and live healthier lifestyles – which is all in-line with our core purpose, to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives.”
Speaking about Vitality’s partnership with England & GB Women’s Hockey, Alex Danson-Bennett, who spent her embryo teenage years enthralling crowds at Stoneham Lane, said: “This announcement is fantastic news for the game of hockey and for women’s sport. I am delighted to be joining an organisation that seeks to raise the profile of women’s sport, and I’m sure this partnership will see many more people get involved in the game, become more active and live healthier lifestyles.”
Local hockey has been saddened to learn of the recent death of Havant stalwart and keen town cricket follower Mike Adams, at the ripe out age of 91.
To say that he was a very valued and dedicated Havant member is an understatement, as will be become evident in this tribute.
Mike had been battling a debilitating illness for many years but, he was a fighter. He was admitted to hospital in November and subsequently contracted Covid 19, but despite his other health problems he fought and beat this dreadful virus.
Mike was educated at Taunton School and it was during his time there that he found a great love of sport, particularly cricket, hockey and, of course, golf. He was an accomplished player at each of these sports, and later played a round of golf with Ian Woosnam OBE.
After spending time in Australia and then Somerset (where he became a staunch county cricket follower), Mike and his wife Pam returned to Havant to form his own software company, Publisher, and was later to employ and sponsor a young David Faulkner on his way to Great Britain Olympic hockey fame and now President of Havant Hockey Club.
Once again Mike became heavily involved in local sport, he was dedicated to Havant Cricket Club during the Summer months, and in Winter to Havant Hockey Club. This combined nicely when Mike became Chairman of Havant Sports Club, he was also Captain of Hockey, Chairman of the Fundraising Committee, Manager of our Men’s 1st X1 team, editor of our match day programme and one of HHC’s first sponsors, which he maintained until his illness.
Mike was also responsible for bringing Ezz & Hamoza to Havant, the club soon realising he was a very special player, but following a return to Egypt the club found it difficult to get him a visa to return to the UK. Mike volunteered to fly to Egypt and sort matters out which he did, recalling: “When I was being driven at break-neck speed through the narrow streets of Cairo by a budding Sterling Moss, I thought I would never see England again.” Thankfully he did and brought Ezz and his skills back, which helped Havant to National honours.
Havant president and 1988 Seoul Olympic gold winning medal winner David Faulkner reflected: “There is no doubt that without Mike’s support, encouragement, guidance and wisdom my hockey and business career would not have developed at the pace it has and I can say that for other members of our Club too. Havant Hockey Club meant so much to Mike and we owe him so much for our success over the past 50 years”.
England Hockey has confirmed that, in the light of the latest COVID-19 restrictions imposed this week, grass roots and club/league hockey is suspended for the foreseeable future.
Only six rounds of matches have been played in the men’s South Division, with Havant’s last outing on November 1 when the recorded their first win of the season, a 5-3 victory at Oxford Hawks.
Fareham have been mothballed in second place in the West Conference, with four wins from six outings, while Chichester have been successful just once, beating Plymouth Marjon 3-2. They lie second from bottom of the log.
It’s an identical scenario in women’s hockey, with Trojans beating Slough and Surbiton to record two wins from six games in the South Division. The South Women’s League had previously suspended their season until February 27 2021, after which they hope (somewhat optimistically) to resume league matches on the basis that each team will play each other once and so complete a curtailed programme.
Following the Government announcements on Monday, there are now signs of what will be allowed during the next return to play. Whilst the headlines are promising there is not yet clarity on the detailed implications for hockey or the nature of what will be allowed in what tier from December 2.
England Hockey have been working with Sport England, DCMS and the other team sports and were able to demonstrate that outdoor team sports can be played safely and with extremely low Covid-19 transmission risks. Indeed, both government scientists and politicians have admitted this in statements in recent weeks. The good work hockey clubs have done in putting in place safe environments, following the guidance and reporting cases has been invaluable in providing evidence to government.
EH are now very optimistic that hockey will be able to be played before Christmas in line with Tier 5 of the Return To Play (RTP) guidance, as they were able to prior to the second lockdown. However, as was the case then, restrictions specific to certain areas may well still impact on what is possible.
As soon as guidance on the new tiered alert levels becomes available and the implications can be considered England Hockey will issue updated guidance. They hope this will be by this weekend.
Havant twice came from behind to record their first National League 1 South victory of the 2020/21 season.
At the sixth attempt, they defeated Oxford Hawks 5-3 away but remain bottom by virtue of an inferior goal difference to Old Cranleighans.
Havant began well with James Speke having a shot blocked on the line by St Cross Symondians cricketer Ed Ellis. Then a couple of half chances were not converted and Oxford countered, winning a penalty corner on their first visit into the Havant circle.
Jack Biggs finished well to give Oxford a ninth minute lead, but the visitors were level four minutes later when Jamie Rawlings converted from a penalty corner.
In a see-saw encounter, Oxford were back in front two minutes later from another Biggs flick.
Soon after the quarter break in the 26th minute, Havant pulled level with Maciej Janiszewski (pictured above by The News) finishing off a slick move down the right after Miguel Rodrigues linked well with Harry Croft-Baker.
Havant started the second half as they had the first and, in the 37th minute, Rodrigues fired them into the lead for the first time with an upright reverse shot after Tahsin Chowdhury had edged a ball towards goal.
The scores were level again just before the hour mark when Freddie Smith levelled for OxfordA.
As the hosts briefly took control, Maciej Pacanowski made some good saves to keep Havant in the game with George Harrison and Croft-Baker helping him to clear the threat.
The seventh goal came via a penalty stroke with a defender blocking a shot with his foot and Janiszewski scoring in the 62nd minute.
Bradley Lock and Eryk Bembenek linked well after Matthew Boote had fed the ball forward to create the chance.
With five minutes left, Croft-Baker pushed forward and beat two defenders at the top of the circle to set up Lock to net his first National League goal.
Having now claimed their first win, the second national lockdown will see Havant inactive until Saturday December 5 at the earliest. Old Cranleighans and Team Bath Buccaneers - the two teams just above Havant in the table - were due to be their next two opponents.
Winchester found themselves two goals down inside the opening five minutes against unbeaten South League Premier Division leaders Guildford – but found positives to take from the game despite the eventual 6-0 scoreline.
Jonny Haynes and hot shot Ross Ferguson got the Guildford ball rolling with those two early strikes, but Winchester didn’t appear phased by the quality of opposition and enjoyed a good share of possession in the visitors’ half, with Kieran Molloy (pictured below) setting the tone with a high energy performance, raising those around him to not allow Guildford to settle on the ball.
Much of the danger to the visitors came through Winchester's right flank with 15-year-old Joe Jenkinson emerging as a real prospect from right back.
After Winchester's first real goal attempt, well saved at the post by Ben Gaze, the Guildford keeper, the visitors went 3-0 up with yet another clever piece of skill under pressure, a well-directed reverse deflection to set Ferguson up.
Moments later, they thought they had gone 4-0 up, as a ball bounced off the post at a penalty corner and was scrambled home by a phalanx of alert Guildford players but was disallowed for an infringement.
They're fourth did come just before the break as a Guildford midfielder was quickest to the ball in the "D" as Winchester tried to clear their lines and Haynes passed the ball into the corner of the net for his second.
Things eventually improved for Winchester after the break, although not straight away with Guildford adding a fifth direct from a Sam Plater penalty corner and then a sixth from open play by Matt Fitter.
Thereafter Winchester then had two great opportunities to narrow the goal gap, firstly Ben Hibberd was thwarted at close range by a great save by Gaze and Todd Clark just failed to touch the ball-in.
Guildford had a further goal ruled out, but for the last 30 minutes of the game, Winchester gave a good, competitive account of themselves and played some of their best hockey of the season, with possession being maintained at a much-improved level. It also gave the significant under 18 element of the squad an excellent hockey experience, one in which they stepped up to the mark.
Charlie Cooper and Tom Salmon scored twice each as Bournemouth beat third placed Staines 4-1 to go into the pandemic lockdown top of South Hockey League Premier Division 2 West.
After six matches, five of which they have won, Bournemouth enjoy a three-point lead over Southgate, who have played a game less.
Bournemouth started at a face pace at Worpole Road, the strong forward press creating three circle entries in the opening phase, the pressure eventually being rewarded when Will Davies forced a short corner and Tom Salmon fired home the resulting drag flick.
The goal gave Bournemouth confidence and it wasn’t long before their lead was doubled – a Staines foot on the goal line denying the Lions a second. Charlie Cooper (pictured above) calmly converted the resulting penalty stroke.
By half-time Bournemouth had established an unassailable 3-0 lead – the Staines goalkeeper blocking Salmon’s initial short corner shot, but beaten by his follow-up finish off the rebound.
Predictably, Staines changed tact and pressed Bournemouth after the break, but the visitors held firm at the back until 20 minutes into the period when Saj Rana rifled a shot from a narrow angle past Jez Baker.
It proved only a consolation goal as Bournemouth quickly regrouped with Cooper putting the result beyond doubt with his second goal and the Lions’ fourth before the end.
Fareham twice took the lead against Ashmoor - but had to be content with a share of the spoils after a fast and frenetic West Conference affair ended 2-2.
The slippery Henry Cort surface was perfect for a fast and furious game, punctuated by yellow cards, with the result in doubt until the final play when Fareham were unable to cash in on a penalty corner.
Fareham lit the fuse with a first minute goal – James Seager, back in midfield despite long standing Achilles problems, bursting out of defence before feeding Alex Boxall, whose low ball into the Ashmoor goalmouth was deflected home by George Davey, showing off his new close cut hair 'style'.
The lead didn’t last long. Playing with pace and transferring the ball effectively, Ashmoor – denied by one fine short corner save by Rory Kemp – equalized ten minutes later through Morgan Stokes.
The fast and frenetic action predictably led to some over-zealous challenges – stronger umpiring from the outset might have prevented negative reactions from both sets of players, which compounded and escalated issues.
Fareham, down to nine men at one point, had Shane Vincent and Niall Stott binned – the Scotsman was also green carded twice, culminating in the side playing short for 14 minutes.
Ashmoor had three players yellow carded.
Fareham manager Malc Davies reflected: “There is still no excuse for dissent and is unacceptable in my mind. It just never has a positive outcome or influence on the game.”
Nonetheless, it led to a very watchable game, with some often chaotic and frantic goalmouth scrambles as play swung at pace from end to end.
Fareham restored their lead 12 minutes into the third quarter with a Vincent penalty corner – his third success of the season – but Ashmoor’s response was immediate with Lewis Hammett equalising straight from the restart.
Surprisingly, it remained 2-2 with Fareham wasting an opportunity to snatch victory when they forced a penalty corner in final play.
The draw leaves Fareham in second place in the log, three points behind Bristol University, who made it five wins from six, beating winless Cheltenham 3-1.
"It was a very frantic game and great for the spectators. From our perspective, a much improved team performance compared to last week and Shame we didn’t convert in the final play of the match with the PC and steal the points. Upon reflection 2-32 was probably a fair result," Davies added.
England Hockey have announced that the national lockdown announced on Saturday will mean no club or community hockey from 5 November until after 4 December at the earliest.
The latest government announcement orders all sports facilities to close and therefore club and other community hockey activity is suspended until the game is in a position to resume.
Over the last few months all those involved in delivering hockey safely have helped to prove that the sport is extremely low risk in terms of the transmission of Covid and this gives us confidence that we can be back soon. England Hockey is very grateful to all the Covid officers, volunteers, players, coaches and officials that went the extra mile to provide a safe place for hockey to be played.
England Hockey continues to receive overwhelming feedback from participants that the physical and mental health benefits of being able to take part are significant. They recognise that the next few weeks will be challenging for those like us that love the game and will miss the opportunity to be out playing, coaching and officiating with friends.
The government announcement made reference to returning to the Covid Alert Levels after the end of this period of lockdown, and should that be the case EH is confident that clubs will be able to resume promptly in line with previously-issued Return to Play guidance. If it becomes clearer in time that the lockdown will end on 4 December, they encourage clubs to consider resuming some activity before Christmas if at all possible. To mitigate the risk of changes and with the uncertainty about what Level the club may be in at the end of this period, we recommend that the time until Christmas is used for training and very local matches. The aim of this is to ensure that activities fall in line with any Level-based restrictions that may be in place.
It will take time to determine the best approach to reorganising activity and EH asks that players and clubs respect the need for organisers to consider the next steps properly in light of the timing and extent of the upcoming break.
England Hockey will communicate with all clubs, England Hockey League teams and EH Championships entrants as well as Player Pathway organisers in the coming days.
Chichester converted two penalty corners in the closing seven minutes but were unable to salvage a point as Khalsa Leamington returned to the Midlands with a 4-3 West Conference victory.
The result means Chichester go into the national pandemic lockdown third from bottom in the table, with a 3-2 win over Plymouth Marjon their only tangible reward from six outings. England Hockey has shut down with immediate effect.
Chichester were chasing the game from the off against Khalsa, who scored with their initial short corner through Joe Wells.
Joe Bugden equalized from a 21st minute set piece but soon after Ben Northedge restored Leamington’s advantage. A Szyman Oszyjcky brace left Chichester 4-1 adrift by the hour-mark.
Oli and Alex Baxter tucked away penalty corners in the closing seven minutes, but Chichester were unable to save the day.
Sarah Johns inspired Winchester turned around a half-time deficit to beat Southampton 3-2 in the all-Hampshire South Women’s League Division 3B derby played in foul, wet Sports Centre weather.
A fine save by Shelly Mott denied Southampton early on and gave Winchester the incentive to forge ahead through a short corner conversion by Sarah Johns.
But Southampton scored twice through Naomi Bulkeley to take a 2-1 lead into the half-time break, her second from a penalty corner.
Winchester found themselves on the receiving end of multiple cards after the break, frequently having one or not two players in the sin-bin – but still managed to win the match.
As Southampton failed to take numerical advantage, so Johns unleashed a thunderbolt equaliser to make it 2-2 – after which Winchester’s depleted troops had to hold on.
Not only did they hold out, but also scored a third – another Johns penalty corner – to snatch victory against all the odds.
New Forest ladies dropped to second from bottom spot after a 5-2 defeat by Horsham, who twice took first half leads only to see their advantage wiped out by equalisers from Lia Waine and Jade Lock.
Horsham scored again but at 3-2, Isla Troup and Ella Adams went close. Two goals in the last seven minutes gave the West Sussex visitors a flattering 5-2 win.
Fareham ladies conceded two late penalties to suffer a 2-0 defeat at South Women's League Division 2 rivals East Grinstead - coach Steve Lemon's side once again being weakened by injuries and unavailability.
East Grinstead looked slightly the better side early on and it took some stubborn defending and good saves from Jilly Tovey to preserve a goal-less first half. Fareham had more purpose after the break and at their solitary penalty corner, Sky Sian Edwards dished up a blocked shot, the rebound from which Lydia Jackson slid just wide.
It remained goalless until 13 minutes from time when Fareham, stunned by the decision, conceded a stroke and JoJo Davis, once of Trojans, tucked it away. Six minutes from time the Bajan striker repeated the dose to send Fareham home pointless. It's tough this Saturday (11.45) with second placed PHC Chiswick visiting Henry Cort.
Stuart Avery netted twice as Portsmouth claimed their second away victory of the Hampshire/Surrey Regional 2 season.
They travelled to Battersea and recorded a 3-0 success against a Wanderers 2nds side who have yet to pick up a point and who prop up the table.
On a wet and blustery afternoon, Portsmouth’s steadfast defence and midfield controlled the majority of the game. They took the lead when Avery drew in a couple of defenders at the top of the D and slipped the ball to Adam Payne to score.
A well-worked short corner routine saw Avery score his first of the day as Portsmouth doubled their lead before half-time.
The visitors produced some fine intricate play in the midfield with an excellent display from man of the match Jack Boswell.
Wanderers came out stronger in the second half but were unable to penetrate the Portsmouth defence with Freddie Rainbow making a couple of saves.
Top scorer Avery settled the game after a powerful run took him past three defenders before smashing a low shot past the keeper.
Havant ended Haslemere’s unbeaten start to the South Women’s League Division 3B season.
The Surrey club had belted 17 goals in their first four games, but Havant scored in each half for a superb 2-0 away victory.
Havant began on the front foot with the front three of Poppy Herbert, Verena Grave and Alice Worsley put the home defence under extreme pressure.
Numerous penalty corners resulted and eventually Havant were deservedly in front through Louisa Taylor.
Haslemere hit back and at times Havant were guilty of giving possession away too easily, though Kimberley Tyrell gradually ensured control and led the Havant dominance with the help of inside forwards Katie Peckham, Ella Welch and captain Izzy Parry.
Midway through the second half Herbert’s long dribble was brought to an end by a clumsy tackle in the D.
Cat Evans converted the resultant penalty and Havant were largely untroubled after that with young keeper Pippa Jones keeping a clean sheet.
Havant, now just a point behind second-placed Haslemere, are home to Brighton & Hove this Saturday, 3pm.
Havant ended a run of National 1 South defeats by picking up their first point of the season. And what a point it was - ending leaders Teddington’s 100 per cent start.
In contrast, Havant had entered the game having lost their opening four games, but survived a late scare to record a creditable 2-2 draw.
They remain bottom - the only team in the division yet to win - but will take great confidence from their unexpected point.
Havant started strongly and a good save from Peter Symonds’ College educated Rory McCallum, pictured left above, denied them a second-minute lead.
It was just rewards for their attacking hockey that they went ahead in the 12th minute after a Teddington foot in the circle gifted Havant a penalty corner. Jamie Rawlings (pictured above playing for Fareham last season) made no mistake, flicking low inside McCallum’s right post.
Teddington slowly worked their way into the game and by the end of the first quarter they had pushed their forwards high and wide.
They began the second quarter in menacing form, and in the 21st minute won the first of six penalty corners.
Havant conceded an equaliser three minutes later when Ed Greaves slapped a cross past Maciej Pacanowski.
Four minutes later worse was to come as Havant conceded a second goal from Teddington’s second penalty corner. The flick found a defender’s foot on the line and a penalty stroke was awarded, Kyle White giving Pacanowski no chance.
Havant did win a penalty corner in overtime at the end of the first half, but could not take advantage.
To their credit, Havant levelled on 43 minutes after a break down the right.
Maciej Janiszewski, who had another good game, found fellow Pole Eryk Bembenek in the circle. After running into space to receive the ball, the striker fired a reverse shot past McCallum.
Teddington won two more penalty corners, Pacanowski pulling off a superb double save from the second one.
Bembenek had an opportunity to put Havant ahead, but he was forced wide and could not get his shot in.
A minute later Teddington won their fifth penalty corner which was once saved by Pacanowski.
With three minutes left Havant won a penalty corner, but the effort was saved.
Then, in overtime, the visitors were awarded their sixth penalty corner. Teddington sensed victory, but the shot went wide and Havant had their first point on the board.
Havant travel to third-placed Oxford Hawks this Sunday (2pm).
Chichester swept into a two-goal lead at Exeter University, but were undone by three Isca penalty corner conversions in a ten-minute period either side of half-time, which led to the west country side running out 6-3 winners.
Ollie Baxter tucked away a short corner of his own to give Chichester a seventh minute lead, which Alex Thakore (pictured above : Neil Marshall) doubled soon after.
But problems began for Chichester when Cuthbert pulled a goal back for Isca barely a minute later.
The game turned on its head when Tom Brooks buried three penalty corners past Chris Bristow in ten devastating minutes to give Isca a 4-2 lead early in the third quarter.
“It was very disappointing to go ahead then allow them back into the game like that,” conceded Chichester skipper Matt Sewell.
Shepherd scored Isca’s fifth before one-time Fareham player Simon Tremlett made it 6-2 from a fourth short corner success.
Alex Baxter cut the gap in the closing stages to add a touch of respectability to the final scoreline.
Sewell added: “Their 6-3 margin of victory could have been more if had it not been for some great saves from Chris Bristow in the second half.
“It was a long day in the rain for no points.”
The defeat leaves Chichester third from bottom of the log ahead of Sunday's visit of Khalsa Leamington to the College, 2pm. ahead of Cardiff University, whose last two matches have been cancelled due to Covid lockdown in the Welsh capital.
Fareham’s four-match winning West Conference start hit the buffers with a 2-1 defeat by Plymouth Marjon – the defeat bowling them off top spot in the process.
Chasing the game after two successful Plymouth first half penalty corner conversions, Fareham were unable to master Marjon’s deep press and only had a late Shane Vincent goal as a token consolation.
Fareham’s first defeat has enabled Bristol University to leapfrog to the front – the west country students drawing 1-1 with Harborne, whom George Harris’s side had beaten 9-4 a week earlier.
Fareham struggled to master Plymouth’s game plan from the off and directly Jon Tew gave the visitors a sixth minute lead they were up against it.
Plymouth doubled their lead five minutes before half-time with a Rory Close short corner, leaving Fareham with then proverbial mountain to climb.
It wasn’t until the final quarter that Fareham got things together. Pushing towards the clubhouse goal, they pinned Plymouth back but only Shane Vincent, with a penalty corner four minutes from time, managed to achieve a breakthrough.
Fareham second team’s five matches in Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 1 have produced an amazing 37 goals – then of them going in their own net (and past George Harris) at Croydon a week earlier.
But Fareham bounced back from that 10-0 mauling in Surrey with a 5-3 win over Old Cranleighians, George Davey celebrating his return from suspension with one of the goals.
Chris Tagg converted two penalty strokes to join Nick Knight and Zac Way on the scoresheet.
Elsewhere, Andy Pett scored both the goals as Basingstoke beat Barnes 2-1, while goal hungry Rowledge cricketer Ian Metcalfe grabbed his fifth of the season as Aldershot & Farnham trimmed promotion rivals Oxted 3-1. Jon Pickett scored twice as Havant II went down 3-2 at Reigate Priory.
Bournemouth have opened up a three-point lead at the top of South League Premier Division 2 West after coming from behind and then weathering late pressure to beat Woking 3-2 at Chapel Gate.
Woking soaked up early pressure to snatch the lead when Harrison Hubbard was first to a rebound off a short corner, initially saved by Jez Baker.
But Bournemouth, who visit third placed Staines on Saturday, with Conor Moors (left) equalising with a neat deflection to climax a fine move.
He almost added a second straight from the restart, but shot inches wide.
Bournemouth were back on the front foot again at the start of the second half and when Ross Hattemore’s skills forced a penalty corer, up stepped Tom Salmon to convert.
Work on the training ground proved the key to Bournemouth’s third goal – Hattemore rifling the ball home after Sam Bury’s initial drag flick had been saved.
With the clock ticking down, Woking’s Juan Trimboli set Bournemouth nerves jangling with a second – his goal prompting late pressure which the Dorset side soaked up to clinch the win points.
Ben Hibberd converted two set pieces and goalkeeper Sammy Laurent saved a penalty stroke as Winchester won 4-3 at Banbury to make it make-to-back South League Premier Division wins.
Winchester, who broke their duck with a 3-2 victory over West Hampstead the previous week, got off to a bright start under the Warwick Road floodlights, with several efforts troubling the Banbury defence before a string of penalty corners finally resulted in Ben Hibberd converting from short range to give the visitors a deserved lead.
Winchester’s dominance continued with Banbury having to withstand heavy pressure before Todd Clark doubled the lead with a well placed finish.
Banbury hit back soon after though Will Kellett from a well worked penalty corner trimming Winchester’s half-time lead to 2-1.
Banbury maintained their new-found momentum, pushing for an equaliser, but the centre back partnership of James Pawley and the influential Harry Trussler [pictured] kept their efforts at bay. Midway through the second half, Trussler himself restored Winchester's two goal advantage, a well-placed drag flick putting his side firmly in control.
Banbury switched system shortly after and hit back almost immediately through James Long to reduce the deficit to 3-2 and leave the game on a knife edge.
With 15 minutes to go James Pawley conceded a stroke after a poorly timed tackle in his own D – but Laurent easily saved a tame flick to spare his team-mate’s blushes.
Winchester countered and almost immediately won their own stroke. James Lander found himself free on the back post but could only find the body of a sprawling Banbury defender. Hibberd stepped up to convert the stroke and give Winchester 4-2 lead going into the final ten minutes.
A flurry of cards then saw both sides reduced to ten men before a high press from Banbury yielded a third goal for Steve O’Connor to make it 4-3 but Winchester held on.
Winchester are now level on six points with neighbours Trojans, who lost 4-3 at Milton Keynes, despite a fifth of the season by Matty Bell and goals from Colin French and Harry Markham. It was Trojans second consecutive defeat.
She loved life – and loved hockey. Daisy Strange was a star on the pitch when turning out for Chichester, East Grinstead or Trojans – and very popular off it.
Her enthusiasm and talent led her to become head of girls’ sport in the prep school at Seaford College near Petworth, where she later worked, writes Steve Bone of the Chichester Observer.
Now the ladies of Chichester Hockey Club who could call Daisy a friend and teammate are paying tribute to her after her death at the age of 25, less than a year after she was diagonsed with a rare form of tongue cancer.
The team have been wearing commemorative shirt sporting the logo of St Wilfrid’s Hospice, who cared for her and her family, who live in Birdham in her final days. The shirts also have an image of a daisy on the sleeve.
Chichester will playing a memorial match in due course – but with times as they are, they wanted to do something to remember Daisy now.
Sally Bradley, manager and player with the Chi ladies’ first team said: “It was such pride that I put on my green shirt, not because it was green, or that it was new – for me it had far more significance.
“It had a daisy on its sleeve and the ‘supporting St Wilfrid’s Hospice’ logo clearly displayed on it – in memory of Daisy Strange.
“With Daisy’s mum Diana, I ran a development side at Chichester Hockey Club some years ago. We had a group of 11 to 14-year-old girls who were all desperately keen to play hockey.
“It was clear, however, that there was one young girl in the team who, even at that early age, was heading for great things from her hockey.
“Daisy was fiercely competitive and that, along with her bubbly personality, encouraged Daisy to push herself further, and everyone recognised that she would do well.
“Daisy left Chichester after progressing from the Canons to the ladies’ firsts and everyone watched with interest as her hockey career developed.
“Last summer Daisy was diagnosed with a rare form of tongue cancer which she fought with the same determination and dignity that she showed for everything.
“However on April 11, during lockdown, sadly Daisy died.
“We had planned to have a memorial game, but lockdown stopped this, so these shirts are a constant reminder of Daisy.
“Some of the girls in that original Canons team are still playing with me now, however Daisy’s infectious personality touched so many other players within the club over the years.
“The majority of the girls in Chichester Ladies’ first XI are a similar age to Daisy and we were all so very proud to wear the shirts knowing that it commemorates a girl, just like us all, who loved life and loved hockey.”
As well as Daisy’s mum having been involved with the Chichester club, her father Adrian and brother Jack still play for them.
Sally, inspired by Daisy’s story, has now started fundraising for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
You can donate to my JustGiving page by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chichester-hockey-club
Lynn Jones grabbed a last minute equaliser to earn the New Forest their first South Women’s League Division 3B point from a thrilling 4-4 draw at Aldershot & Farnham.
Fortunes fluctuated throughout, with Aldershot’s early lead through May Percival being cancelled out by Lia Waine’s penalty corner shortly before the break. Forest did, however, lose Octavia Allan with a nasty injury after an accidental collision with Shots' Louise Sleep, who was concussed.
The second half produced plenty of chances from both sides. Keeper Becky Snook, along with Forest’s defence, made numerous saves to keep Aldershot out before the inevitable breakthrough came from Tammy Davis.
Neither team were ahead in the game for too long, with the NF equaliser shortly after from a reverse stick shot from Jade Lock to make it 2-2.
Forest then snatched the lead for the first time following a long ball out of defence and a sharp 1-2 between Lauren Gavin and Waine, who hit the backboard to make it 3-2.
Within minutes it was 3-3 (Phoebe Bryant) and doing into the closing stages 4-3 to Aldershot after a controversial goal by Libby Hill. Undeterred, the New Forest girls hit back with Jones equalising in the dying moments to give the visitors their first point.
Winchester's scheduled home match against Trojans II was called off due to on-going Covid-19 issues.
Havant Ladies' rise up the South Women’s League Division 3B standings was halted after they fell to defeat in a five-goal thriller with Southampton.
A fine win over Winchester last time out had filled them with confidence but it wasn't quite enough to prevent them from suffering a 3-2 loss to Southampton, who celebrated their third win in four outings.
England 60s star and player/coach Sue Merry took another step towards her 100 league goal milestone with a fifth minute penalty corner conversion.
But Havant were soon back on terms as Elisabeth Allen finished off a move to leave it 1-1 at half-time.
As in the first half, there was little between the teams in and end-to-end thrilling second period.
Southampton emerged from the oranges break on the front foot, their 16-yard presses were strong right the way through to the midfield and defence making it difficult at times for Havant to get the ball through; great er pressure meant the hosts frequently gave the ball away.
Within minutes of the restart, Zoe Stride (who had a spell with Havant) received the ball from outside of the D and dribbled it into the D and with her slick skills drove it around the defence making a brilliant finish to give Southampton a 2-1 lead.
Havant were not beaten yet and came back as strong, with Louise Taylor converting a 51st minute short corner to make it 2-2.
It was all now to play for. Southampton stepped up a gear and every single player worked their socks off. Pressure brought its rewards with Zoe Stride making a great pass across the goal where Lou Hopkins was running to the back post and scored with a perfect reverse stick deflection.
Southampton remained tight with the defence doing an amazing job soaking up Havant attacks, but good communication and team-work meant they were able to hold on to their winning 3-2 lead.
Havant's early season struggles continued as they suffered a fourth successive National Division 1 South defeat.
The latest came as they were beaten 2-0 on the road at Brighton & Hove to leave them propping up the table.
Things don't get any easier either, with a visit from table-toppers Teddington - still with an 100 per cent record - to come at Havant College on Saturday (1.15).
It was a familiar story for Havant, who had lots of good possession but are just struggling to find that cutting edge at the moment.
Jack Jones would punish them, drifting into the circle and firing past Maciej Pacanowski on 24 minutes.
Havant's task became tougher on 47 minutes as Brighton doubled their lead through Ali Higginson, who was on hand to fire home a rebound.
The visitors created some good chances in the closing stages but they failed to find a way through and still remain pointless after four league matches.
Bournemouth regained top spot in South Hockey League Premier 2 West, knocking overnight leaders Maidenhead off their perch with a 2-1 victory over the Berkshire side at Chapel Gate.
It was Bournemouth’s third win in four matches and a creditable one with last season’s top scorer Conor Moors, the evergreen Duncan Marsh and university student Hugo Creaney-Birch all absent.
An astute tactical switch by coach Adam Tapper gave Dan Salmon (pictured) the opportunity to play higher up the field and he didn’t disappoint, linking with Charlie Cooper to fire Bournemouth into the lead with a low reverse stick shot.
But shortly before half-time Bournemouth conceded a soft penalty corner and Dan Harding equalised for the visitors.
Will Davies, who had scored in Bournemouth’s 3-1 defeat at Henley the previous week, put in a tremendous shift in midfield as the lions bossed affairs without regaining the lead – until Matt Underhill got onto a back post pass to secure a decisive lead.
Maidenhead threw everything at Bournemouth without getting a second goal past goalkeeper Jez Baker.
“The lads showed a lot of character under pressure whilst still creating chances to have seen out the game a little easier,” praised coach Tapper, whose table toppers host Woking at Chapel Gate on Saturday, noon.
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