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Junior Match report 17th Nov 2019

The Girls U14s are magnificent in their top of the table clash with Wimbledon! HC Knole Park’s U14 Girls produced a magnificent display on Sunday against one of the top sides in Surrey, Wimbledon HC. Both unbeaten in the Home Counties Premier League so far, they faced a Wimbledon side who they knew were going to be very strong and talented. Wimbledon made an excellent start to the match. They moved the ball around very well and but for the superb goalkeeping from Pascale Pottier in goal they would have taken the lead.

As the half progressed Knole Park started to get to grips with the match and it was the wonder skills of Lottie Bingham who was able to beat half the Wimbledon team and the goalkeeper to score quite a remarkable individual goal! This goal was just what the team needed to settle the nerves and the girls were now able to compose themselves and started to move the ball around with more pace and accuracy. The second goal came just before half-time as a silky run from Josefina Hippe found Olivia Breed on the penalty spot and she coolly rounded the GK to score.

The second half followed a similar pattern. Wimbledon came flying out of the blocks and were superb again for the first 10 minutes of the half and scored a very good goal. However, the Knole Park girls weren’t to be undone. They rallied, lifted their tempo and converted three very well taken penalty corners through Summer Knight-Thompson, Lottie Bingham and Olivia Breed.

As Knole Park searched for more goals they were hit on the break, but Player of the Match Camille Poracchia made a number of excellent tackles to keep the Wimbledon attack at bay. Her distribution was on point throughout the match too. Birthday girl Polly Brownlow, who was making her debut for the club, was also excellent.

This win moves the girls up to top of the Home Counties Premier (South-East) League at Christmas. The next match is against Guildford in the EH Cup in December.

Boys U14s shake off the disappointment of last week and produce their performance of the season! After the disappointment of the defeat to Bromley last week, the HC Knole Park U14 Boys were focused and motivated to produce an improved performance. In a relatively even match, it was Guildford’s experience and quality and their use of the aerial ball did eventually prove too much for the boys. Two long balls over the defence left James Humphries isolated in goal and despite his best performance of the season so far, Guildford were able to capitalise on the 1v1s and penalty corners.

With the score at only 2-0 at half-time there was always a slim chance of a comeback, however two mad moments in defence in the space of a minute meant the score was suddenly 4-0 and it was game over. Player of the Match Jago Ongley-Dellar was superb throughout and it was great to see how much he has learnt in the Saturday matches coming into his junior hockey!

In a good natured match, the boys didn’t give up and they played at a tempo and quality level that they hadn’t produced before which was commented on by all that watched. In the final ten minutes they created a few chances and had a couple of penalty corners but couldn’t beat the Guildford defence. Having lost heavily to Guildford in pre-season, this was a hugely encouraging improvement in both work rate and performance levels.

The team move on to face Winchester on the 1st December in the next round of the Cup. Winchester beat Trojans 4-3 on Sunday. If the boys can improve once more on this performance I am sure this will be a competitive match. Get your tickets now!

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