Good Friday hockey & what a good Friday it was!
In the first week of the England Hockey ‘Return to Play’ over 120 members of the club got a chance to play hockey again on Good Friday. For some this was their first time since the lockdown stopped everything in January. For others this was their 3rd or 4th session of the week!
In the morning, our U10s and U12s got their first chance to play some hockey. In two fully booked sessions the U12s and then the U10s, helped by a number of Young Leaders, enjoyed playing some mini matches with their hockey friends again and can’t wait for next time!
We then hosted three internal matches with over 60 members signing up and keen to get playing matches as soon as possible. The three matches were the U18 Academy and Women’s 1st team, U14 Girls and finally the U14 Boys and Men’s 1st team. All three matches were exceptionally competitive as everyone enjoyed getting back to playing again.
All matches were HC Knole Park members playing in Navy or White kit.
Match 1: U18 Girls Academy & Women’s 1st Team
In the U18 & Women’s 1st team match it was the Whites that took the lead in the first quarter through a close range finish from Polly Brownlow. The second quarter was a very close encounter, but the score remained 1-0 to the Whites.
Some effective chats at half time were obviously just the tonic for some more clinical hockey in the second half. It was the Navy team that drew level through Sasha Kelbrick. A silky run by Josefina Hippe set Sasha up and she couldn’t miss from just three metres out. 1-1. Moments later the dynamic duo combined again. Josefina again beating multiple defenders before laying the ball on for a grateful Sasha who scored her second of the match. 2-1 to Whites. Not to be outdone. The Whites then replied with another close range finish by Polly after a defensive mix-up. 2-2.
So all to play for in the final quarter. The Navy’s took the lead again through the same partnership. More silky skills from Josefina before Sasha scored her third of the match! A hat-trick of assists for Josefina and a hat-trick of goals for Sasha! 3-2. But once again the White team looked to come back and did so through Lauren Foster. A good shot from Sarah Eversfield was partially saved before Lauren tucked away the loose ball. 3-3. With moments left it was once again the skills of Josefina who unlocked the White defence. Josefina engineered some space for herself in the D and unleashed a fearsome shot. The ball could only be parried so 1st Team Captain Ruth Bingham slotted home the winner! 4-3.
A special mention to Jessica Lewis who was excellent throughout for the White team: good leadership, effective tackling and lots of bringing the ball out of defence with confidence and quality.
A great game - well done to all that played!
Match 2: U14 Girls
In another very competitively enjoyable match the U14 Girls were split into two equal teams and played out a fantastic match. With so much talent in the U14s at Knole Park it was a joy to see the girls take each other on with so much positivity and skill.
The match started evenly, however some very good play from Ines Gascoyne-Day down the right hand side released Summer Knight-Thompson who took the ball on, ghosting past the Navy defence before slotting the ball home on her backhand. 1-0. The Whites doubled their lead after some superb link up play between Summer and Betty Cannon which meant Bella Muñoz could push the ball into the empty net. To see Bella playing again was a joy to behold - Welcome back! 2-0.
The Whites started the second quarter in a similar positive manner. Some fantastic individual skills from Betty meant Bella could score her second of the match to make the score 3-0. The Navys were creating numerous chances, but just lacked the finishing quality to beat the goalkeepers. However their breakthrough finally came through Talya Harvey. A delightful spin on the stranded goalkeeper to make the score 3-1.
The third quarter was played with a similar level of high technical quality, which is remarkable when you consider the girls haven’t played a match for over 3 months! It was the Navys who dominated the quarter and Mackenzie Ward scored an excellent 1v1, after some excellent link up play between Talya and Charlotte Watkins. 3-2.
In the final quarter it was Summer whose individual goal early on in the quarter perhaps made the mountain for the Whites too high to climb. A fantastic run before rounding the goalkeeper to score. Both teams continued to create chances and both goalkeepers played very well. In the final throws of the match it was the Navys that had the final say. Some excellent quick thinking from Evie Smith put Charlotte in, whose quality and composure meant she could beat the final defender before rounding the GK to score. 4-3 to the Whites.
A special mention to defenders Carlotta Kern and Kammy Bussey who both played very well in outletting effectively, tackling well and they helped to maintain the composure of their teams at the back.
A great game - well done to all that played!
Match 3: U14 Boys & Men’s 1st Team
The final match of the day was the U14 Boys & Men’s 1st team. This was another very good match with plenty of goals, as well as some great defence and some silky skills!
The first period was 1-1. The Whites took the lead through Louis van den Rijse. A brilliant run from Isaac Dale, showing his full repertoire of online hockey skills, before providing Louis with the tap-in. Not to be outdone, Iggy Muñoz showed everyone his own magic as he danced past the White defenders before smashing the ball into the bottom corner! Not a bad way to start your first 11v11 match!
In the second quarter the White team started to pull away with the score line. A rebound was taken by Ted Paice to make it 2-1. Before another silky run from Isaac from midfield which he smashed into the bottom corner to make it 3-1. With plenty to consider at half-time, would this be the only one sided match of the day….
If the start of the third quarter was anything to go by, you could have assumed so! A beautiful passing move from the White team, from defence to the D, was rolled home by Maarten de Widt. The goal of the day! 4-1. However this goal seemed to spark the Navy team into life as they remembered they could play just as well too! A full pitch counter attack led by Jago Ongley-Dellar was then skillfully and bravely finished by Jago. 4-2. An individual run from Indy Morris then made it 4-3, before remarkably it was 4-4! Jago was once again at the centre of the attack, getting the ball to Rollo Amin in the D to tap home! 4-4.
To the final quarter & the match was finely poised at 4-4. With both teams keen to continue to play it was another high quality 15 minutes of hockey. The Whites dominating the ball and the Navy team looking to play on the counter. It was however the Whites that retook the lead as midfield dynamo Moritz Hippe was upended in the D and a penalty stroke was awarded. Maarten scored his second goal of the day into the top corner! In a very open final 5 minutes both teams could have added to their score lines, but for the outstanding defence of Steve Innes and the goalkeeping of David Gough-Cooper and Maxim Ongley-Dellar. So 5-4 it finished. What a match!
Well done to everyone that played throughout the day.
Roll on Easter Monday!