Cup woe for University of Chichester students - but league teams battle away

Action from the University of Chichester's first XI's tussle with East London uni / Picture: Jordan ColborneAction from the University of Chichester's first XI's tussle with East London uni / Picture: Jordan Colborne
Action from the University of Chichester's first XI's tussle with East London uni / Picture: Jordan Colborne | freelance
A number of University of Chichester teams slipped out of the South Eastern Conference Cup at the quarter-final stage.

The men’s tennis, women’s lacrosse and men’s volleyball teams all lost in the last eight of their respective competitions.

The volleyballers suffered a straight-sets defeat away to East London, while Essex progressed to the semis at the expense of Chichester at the Racquets & Fitness Club.

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Chi’s women’s lacrosse team, who were runners-up in 2019, losing the final against Sussex in extra-time, fell 15-7 to Brighton this year in the quarters.

Action from the University of Chichester's first XI's tussle with East London uni / Picture: Jordan ColborneAction from the University of Chichester's first XI's tussle with East London uni / Picture: Jordan Colborne
Action from the University of Chichester's first XI's tussle with East London uni / Picture: Jordan Colborne | freelance

Elsewhere, in league action, the men’s football first team had to settle for a goalless draw at home to clear leaders East London. Chichester beat the visitors in the last game of the season last year in dramatic circumstances, scoring an injury time winner to pip East London to the South Eastern IA title.

It’s been a different story this campaign for Chichester, who are in a real battle for second spot.

Ash Downs was called into action after 20 minutes to deal with a powerful driving shot. At the other end, Kelvin Robinson turned East London’s right-back inside out before crossing for Emmett Dunn. The midfielder’s header however, lacked the power to truly test the away keeper.

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The hosts lost Modou Sarr to injury and substitute Brendan Dyer almost marked his appearance spectacularly when he fired a long-range bullet destined for the top corner but the East London No1 was equal to it.

Chichester had the best chance of the half when a deflected cross looped towards Iffy Onwuachu whose flicked header looked to have given his side the lead only for the keeper to pull off a jaw-dropping fingertip save, clawing the ball off the line.

Downs was called on after the break to tip away a ball from a corner before Callum Chase cleared a header back in the danger area with an overhead kick. There was drama in the 63rd minute with East London left scratching heads after a combination of two Liam Griffin goal-saving blocks and a quadruple save from Downs somehow kept the ball out of the Chichester net.

The East London keeper then pulled off a superb stop to deny Chase but only to the feet of Onwuachu who hit the post from an acute angle.

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Two other chances came and went for Chichester when Alfie Lis passed up a good opportunity to cut back to teammates and instead blazed his shot over, and impact sub Jacob Mills beat a defender and played a splitting pass to Dunn whose ball to Jez Conway was too heavy and ran out to the sound of the full-time whistle.

Surrey grabbed a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Chi’s men’s football threes.

And it finished 0-0 in the match between the fifth team and league leaders Imperial.

The Chi women’s football ones, set to face Nottingham in the quarter-finals of the trophy, lost ground on table-toppers St Mary’s following their 1-1 draw at home to East London.

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The women’s volleyball team were beaten by Brunel in five sets, netball ones and twos lost to Hertfordshire twos and Reading twos respectively. And netball threes beat Brunel fours 42-22 to move up into third spot.

Chi’s women’s futsal side are second in Premier South following a 7-7 draw with Brunel.

Rugby: Uni College London 45 Uni of Chichester 32

The University of Chichester men’s rugby first XV lost a dramatic contest at UCL having had the momentum for much of the first half.

The hosts went ahead early when their left winger skipped past Harry Bennett and full-back Charlie Spencer to dive over. Stunned Chichester sought to respond quickly and a sweet kick-off from Matt Hunt resulted in a UCL lineout 20 metres from their line.

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Despite the well-executed lineout flying into the UCL middle jumper’s hands, Chichester’s open-side flanker Matt Dimbleby pounced on a lacklustre pass only to fumble just before the line.

Chichester shipped the ball out to centre Paddy Burnett, who barrelled through the middle to win a penalty, but it was pushed wide.

The away side were awarded another penalty in a similar position and fly-half Hunt cut the deficit.

Chichester looked more settled and second row Zac Conley, prop Jay Manley and back row Ethan Carpenter made strong carries.

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Swift offloads between captain Callum Hepner-Logan and Manley set up hooker Ollie Flack to thunder over the gain line to win a penalty at the breakdown. Hunt converted – 7-6.

A brilliantly chased-down clearance kick from Joe Tullett forced a knock-on from the UCL centre.

After a strong platform set at the scrum and fluid passing, winger Bennett eluded a tackle to find himself with just the UCL full-back to beat. Bennett played it to Spencer who somersaulted over the try line, with Hunt’s conversion making it 13-7.

A clearance box kick from scrum-half Owen Morris sent Hunt away before Heppner-Logan prodded a ball through for Bennett to dot down Chichester’s second try. Hunt converted and the hosts were 20-7 down.

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After a fumble led to a scrum on the ten-metre line in the Chichester half, UCL’s full-back ran in unopposed under the posts to narrow the lead. Another UCL try sent the teams into the break with the score 20-19 to Chichester.

The second half started with UCL grabbing another try. Soon a missed tackle on the UCL scrum-half allowed him to release his fly-half who, after lovely footwork, broke free to dot down. Another dominant UCL scrum resulted in their centre going over.

Chichester piled on the pressure and earned another penalty. Quick thinking with a quick tap sent the away side thundering down the field and strong carries from replacement prop Tom Greene and second row Conley led to a great offload which sent Flack flying through only to be caught.

Eventually Heppner-Logan powered his way over and Spencer calmly converted.

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The comeback might have been on but a coughed-up ball was swooped upon by the UCL fly-half who executed a dummy pass in a try-scoring move that made it 45-27.

Hounsell, Flack and Conley pushed UCL’s defensive line back and Heppner-Logan fired a pass to Carpenter who powered past four to score.

Chichester: Woodger, Flack, Manley, Heppner-Logan, Conley, Bosley, Dimbleby, Carpenter, Morris, Hunt, Bennett, Hounsell, Burnett, Tullett, Spencer. Reps: Baldwin, Dudley,Green, van Uden.