U14A Girls secure Finals Day spot!
HC Knole Park’s U14 Girls A team travelled to Canterbury on Sunday to play a Home Counties league fixture. Canterbury started with a very defensive set up which meant that a lot of positive Knole Park attacks were thwarted initially, however Phoebe Gough-Cooper broke the deadlock following an attacking run and pass by Summer Knight-Thompson. Summer then scored a fine individual goal to take the score to 2-0. Belle Kramer scored her first A team goal following some good work in the circle by Phoebe Gough-Cooper.
A flurry of penalty corners were won by Knole park and Polly Brownlow showed composure to slot the ball away. Shortly before half time Polly made a strong run down the right hand side of the pitch and crossed the ball for Phoebe to score the fifth goal for Knole Park just before half-time.
The second half continued in a similar fashion with Knole Park attacking relentlessly but being held at bay by some tenacious Canterbury defending and some excellent goalkeeping. However, numerous penalty corners were won by a variety of strong attacking runs from defence by Charlotte Watkins and Jess Lewis, and from the attacking midfield play of Olivia Breed. Three of these resulted in goals as Polly Brownlow and Summer Knight-Thompson (2) netted to take the game beyond Canterbury. Player of the Match, Phoebe Gough-Cooper scored her third goal of the match to secure a fine 9-0 victory for the away team.
The technical prowess of the Knole Park team, the speed of play and their ability to score goals freely whilst dealing efficiently with some counter attacks by Canterbury impressed the travelling spectators and opposition coaches.
The win sees Knole Park qualify for the Home Counties Finals Day in April with two matches still to play! A phenomenal effort!
Next week the team go to Woking to play in the next round of the Cup.
The U12 Boys are back at Old Georgians tournament
After what has felt like too long, the Knole Park U12 boys finally got their chance to play some competitive matches again! Travelling to Weybridge in Surrey they would play Old Georgians (last year’s National runners-up) and Epsom HC.
In the first game against Old Georgians the boys got off to a flying start. The team welcomed back Ed Karsak from his pre-Christmas injury and he slotted the first goal in after a great run by Mack Copp. Captain Isaac Dale then added a second after a super individual run. Final score 2-0.
In the second match the team played Epsom. A superb hat-trick from Isaac was enough to win the match 3-0.
Back to playing Old Georgians and the opposition were much improved. Despite knocking on the door of the OGs defence, this time the Knole Park team were unable to get through. An early chance by Ed, after an excellent run by Iggy Muñoz wasn’t taken and OGs scored on the resultant break. Isaac got the team back to 1-1 from a penalty corner, however two more goals and some great saves by OGs were enough to give them the win and Knole Park’s only loss of the day. Some valuable lessons learnt in what was great quality match!
In the final match of the day, the team re-played Epsom. Despite several chances, the team never quite reached the heady heights of their earlier performances. The goal was however the goal of the day as Ed and Isaac combined to roll Mack in, who rounded the goalkeeper and slotted the ball away for a 1-0 win.
James Parker and Harry Lewis were very composed at the back and Louis Wislang is looking increasingly like the superb goalkeeper the team need as their last line of defence!
A fantastic day and just so wonderful to be playing some 7 a-side again! Roll on the next few weeks as the boys look to get their teamwork and tactics on point ahead of the Kent Cup in March!
Next week the boys head inside at the Canterbury U12 Indoor tournament, before heading back to Surrey to play in the Guildford tournament on the 9thFebruary.
U14B Girls outdone by classy Surbiton team
The U14B Girls travelled to Surrey to play the Surbiton U12A team. In an even first half there wasn’t too much to choose between the two sides. Chances came and went for both teams and a lot of good hockey was played by both. Bella Muñoz was the difference for Knole Park as she scored two very well taken goals to make the score 2-2 at half-time.
In the second half, an injury to captain Mackenzie Ward left the midfield exposed and Surbiton capitalised running in four unanswered goals. Whilst the forwards and midfield pressed for parity throughout the half, the passing of the young Surbiton team was too good on this occasion. Knole Park’s U12s were also well represented in the match and Player of the Match Betsy Burden was particularly good in both attack and defence.
This result brings four teams into the hunt for the one spot at the top of the league that would qualify them for the knock out stages. One of those teams is Burgess Hill, who beat Knole Park back in October. This Sunday promises to be an absolute classic of a game as they seek to keep their season alive with a reversal of that loss! Come down to Tonbridge to support the girls – 3pm start!
U14A Boys produce their finest performance of the season in defeat!
HC Knole Park’s U14A boys have had a tough season, but they produced an outstanding performance in the third part of the Guildford trilogy and despite defeat, were very buoyant at the end of the match with how well they had played.
The team took on second placed Guildford who are one of the best teams in England. They moved the ball around very quickly and precisely, as well as having some lovely skills.
The first period was relatively even as most of the match was played in the middle two quarters of the pitch. However a couple of telling through balls by Guildford created confusion in the Knole Park defence and the Guildford forward was able to roll the ball into the empty net. Just before the break a super run from Player of the Match Charlie Harrison put the ball on a plate for the Knole Park striker however he miss-timed his forward drive and the open goal went begging!
The second and third quarters were similar to the first. Lots of midfield play, with both teams looking to probe and exploit any weaknesses in the opposition. George Glen was outstanding throughout and is looking like a really classy and confident player now. Towards the end of the third quarter a cheap turnover on the top of the D was well converted by Guildford to make the score 3-0.
In the final quarter Guildford were very dominant, however the defence of Riley Webster, Ben Dawkins and Jago Ongley-Dellar, as well as the superb goalkeeping from James Humphries meant Guildford could only convert one more of their chances. The final score was 4-0 to Guildford.
The team go marching on. The improvements in each quarter were clear to see by all and next season this U14 team will be something special! The boys travel to Wimbledon in a few weeks’ time, before facing top of the table Surbiton in late March to conclude the league season.