HC Knole Park start pre-season with a bang with all teams in action!
In the first week of the season HC Knole Park fielded five teams across various age groups: the club’s U14, U16 & U18 Girls were all in action, as well as the Men’s and Women’s 1st teams. Whilst the U18 Girls were in action in Nottingham and the others kept things much closer to home! And the U14 Boys and U16B Girls competed for the season’s first KP Indoor Championships!
On Saturday in the Adults section the Women’s 1s/2s enjoyed a pre-season match with Bromley & Beckenham HC 3s/4s. Bromley & Beckenham 3s are in the same league as Knole Park 1s so this would be a good test for both sides and an opportunity for both to see how their summer programmes had gone. The girls played some fantastic hockey throughout the match and five goals from Anna, a debut hat-trick from Indy, plus goals from Amelie (2), Josefina, Lottie, Ruth and Robin completed the match. The Bromley & Beckenham goalkeeper was superb throughout and made a number of excellent saves!
In the Men’s section it was a much closer match as the Men went 3-4 down to Newenden Nomads. In a close match Newenden took the lead on the counter-attack. Indeed this would be a reoccurring theme throughout the match as KP dominated the ball, but struggled to find their way past the Nomads defence and goalkeeper, leaving Steve, David, Teddy and Matt outnumbered at the back. 1-0 at half-time.
The second half was very similar to the first, however with the young KP side learning and improving all the time it was the quality of the hold-up play by Louis, James, Oscar, Isaac and Noah that helped KP get a foot hold into the match. Indeed with renewed confidence it was Louis who got the teams opener with a cracking backhand strike. Two counter goals from Newenden did make it 3-1 before Steve and then Duncan slotted in from penalty corners. In the final throws of the match a wild backhand shot found its way to the unmarked Newenden striker in front of goal and he couldn’t miss. 3-4 it finished, but plenty of learnt and lots of positives moving forward. Well done to all the boys, especially those playing their first full pitch match!
On Sunday the U14 and U16 Girls travelled to Wimbledon. First up was the U14A Girls. Boadicea opened the scoring from a lovely set-piece move, before she doubled KP’s lead from another. Wimbledon scored on the break to make it 2-1 at half-time.
In the second half Celia latched onto a rebound to put us 3-1, but this seemed to result in a drop of energy and Wimbledon were suddenly 3-3! The KP spirit kicked in and two more goals secured the early season win – first Victoria smashed in a penalty corner, before Boadicea took on the whole Wimbledon team and her through ball was coolly finished by Celia as she rounded the goalkeeper to flick home!
It was then the turn of the U16 Girls. Having played an epic Semi Final a few weeks ago in the National Cup it was always going to be a great match and so it proved!
The girls made a slow start and it wasn’t until late in the quarter that Lottie flicked the ball high into the roof of the goal for the opener. 1-0. In the second period the girls started to pass the ball more and some excellent link up play resulted in some lovely hockey. The second goal came after a superb run by Lottie as she burned into space before crossing the ball to the grateful Olivia to tap in. Olivia doubled her tally with a 1v1 before Indy scored her first for KP with a close range tap in after a lovely backhand from Josefina. 4-0 at half-time.
The third quarter and the girls were back on it! First Olivia scored a screamer of a backhand, before Lottie scored a quick fire hat-trick. Summer and Anna with the assists for the first two respectively and a coolly slotted penalty corner for the third.
In the final quarter the girls added three more goals. Anna with two and debutant Amy with the third to make it 11-0. Anna’s first was after some great play by Olivia on the right hand side. The second was a delightful team goal as Summer tackled the ball in her own D, before rolling it to Olivia. Anna then received the ball brilliantly from Olivia. A lovely 1-2 with Indy put Anna in 1v1 with the GK and she flicked home superbly! Amy’s debut goal was a fantastic backhand which flew high into the netting!
Once again Pascale, Jessica and Camille were awesome in defence to help the girls to a clean sheet! The match finished 11-0.
The KP Indoor Championships kicked off with the U14 Boys against the U16B and U18 Girls. In a brilliant match it was the boys who ran out as the narrow 9-7 winners. Seven goals from Mack for the Boys and five for Bella showed their quality in front of goal. The first period was 2-1 to the Boys. The second period the boys raced into a 6-2 lead with William chipping in with a goal too. In the final period the Girls rallied and goals from Bella, Katie and Cordy brought the score back to 7-7! But Moritz was the difference as he scored one before setting up Mack to seal the win! Next week it’s the turn of the U10 & U12 Boys and Girls!