Knole Park U16 Girls started their U16 Girls Cup campaign on Sunday against Holcombe. Five goals from Olivia, four from Annabel, Lottie and Polly, a hat-trick from Anna and singles from Betrys & Josefina gave the girls a resounding 22-0 win.
With an excellent group of girls in the Knole Park U16s, the hope was to avoid the first round banana skin, and to give the girls the chance to have a EH Cup run this summer. Having only played two matches back in September/October a good Cup run could be a really enjoyable way to end the 2020/21 season. Being a knockout competition there are always surprises and today’s opposition were very confident pre-game to offer just that upset.
The game started well for both sides, but it was Lottie who opened the scoring after a couple of minutes. A sublime piece of skill saw her cut through the Holcombe defence and round the GK. A last ditch save popped the ball into the air, but Lottie calmly tucked away the rebound. 1-0. This was just the start the girls needed as the second goal from Anna was the product of the relaxed flowing hockey KP is known for. A wonderful team move saw Annabel square the ball to Anna to flick home. 2-0. Annabel then became the scorer as she profited from the good work of Lottie to flick the ball high into the net. Top scorer for the day, Olivia scored the team’s fourth and fifth goals; one from a penalty corner and the other after more good work from Lottie to give her the easiest of tap ins. 5-0. Polly, back from injury scored the team’s sixth. Annabel rounded the goalkeeper before passing to Polly to tap-in. 6-0. The seventh goal was once again a sweeping move. Cara & Betrys were involved at the start from defence before Annabel was able to finish. Olivia completed her hat-trick turning the defender over, before scoring the team’s ninth with an “Olivia Special”! Anna then scored an excellent individual goal before rolling Polly in for her second of the match. The first half scoring finished with Annabel scoring from a penalty corner to make it 12-0 at the break.
A conversation was had with the umpires as to whether to continue to play and Holcombe remained keen to play so we played on.
The second half was a similar game. Lottie opened the scoring again with a lovely backhand strike after a 1-2 with Annabel. Anna then finished the move of the match for the team’s fourteenth. A series of 1-2s between Lottie, Anna and Olivia saw Anna slot home much to the joy of those girls who have worked exceptionally hard on their passing hockey and link up play over the years. Lottie added two more individual efforts to make it 16-0, before then Amelie then made a great run through, to pass to Polly who gave Olivia an easy tap-in. Josefina scored the team’s eighteenth. A lovely pass from Olivia put Josefina in on the 23m line and her individual skills did the rest from there! In the final moments of the match, the team changed their tactics. Polly scored twice more with assists from Anna and Josefina, before Betrys scored her first of the season. Olivia and Josefina were once again the providers for Annabel as she slotted her fourth of the match and the team’s final goal.
The Holcombe defence and goalkeeper must be commended on their resilience, positivity and quality throughout. The Girls move into the Cup competition and will face Blackheath in the next round on the 6th June.