Chichester were in seventh heaven after launching their National League Western Conference campaign with a blistering 7-2 win over Isca at Exeter University.
They fell behind to an eighth minute penalty corner by Isca’s James Morris, but by half-time were 3-1 up through a Dan Brook set-piece and two field goals in a minute from Alex Holton and teenager Alex Pendle.
Jon Wright clawed one back for Isca with a penalty stroke three minutes after the break, but Chichester ran amok with three goals in quick succession midway through the half by Jo Bidgen, Alex Messenger and Alex Baxter, who added a seventh late on.
Fareham and Havant began their respective programmes on a less successful note, losing to promoted Oxford Hawks and Olton & West Warwicks, respectfully.
Complex technical issues relating to player registrations meant Fareham were unable to field anything like a full side at Oxford, Kiwi goalkeeper Tom Mallon and Peru’s Seb Dennison being among the spectator absentees.
It culminated in a 5-2 defeat for Fareham, who clawed back a 2-0 deficit (Jack Biggs and Andy Watts) to draw 2-2 through a fine individual goal by George Davey and Jack Gilbert’s penalty corner conversion.
But Oxford scored three times in the last five minutes – Watts completing his hat trick either side of Kit Cutter’s fourth – to run out rather flattering winners.
Charlie Stubbings marked his Havant comeback after a spell at Durham University by opening the scoring, but Olton & West Warwicks ran out 3-1 winners through Ed Waters, Tom Mallett and Martin Ebbage.
In the other matches, Bristol University stunned Cardiff Met 3-1, while Birmingham Uni and Team Bath fought out a goalless stalemate.
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