Men’s 1st Team are Champions!
HC Knole Park Men’s 1st Team are champions of London League Division Six! In a remarkable season the team have played 15 matches and won 14 of them, including a fantastic 3-1 win over second placed London Edwardians on Saturday. A hat-trick from Duncan Parnis was enough to secure all three points and open up an unassailable four point lead at the top of the league with only one match left to play.
HC Knole Park men’s 1st team travelled to Honor Oak Park in south-east London to play second in the league London Edwardians on Saturday. In a strange turn of events this season, with all the other matches played, the top two teams in the league hadn’t met yet due to a postponement of our first fixture because of a frozen pitch back in late November. A win for Knole Park would secure them the title. A win for London Eds would take the league to the final date next weekend.
The game started at a superb pace. Both teams playing some great hockey. Indeed it was London Eds who carved out the best of the opening exchanges but the defensive block of David Gough-Cooper in goal, Dale Carman, Stuart Medlen, Rob Harrison and Steve Innes in defence kept the Knole Park goal safe from any real chances. 20 minutes into the game, after some sustained pressure, Knole Park won a penalty corner which Duncan flicked into the goal to take a 1-0 lead. A few more chances came and went, but this was how it stayed until half-time.
London Edwardian’s came flying out of the blocks in the second half and within minutes had won a penalty corner themselves. After a goalmouth scramble the London Ed’s striker latched onto a rebound and fired the ball into the goal. This woke the Knole Park team up from their half-time slumber and soon enough youngsters Charlie Harrison and Indy Morris started pulling the strings in midfield alongside Duncan. A few penalty corners later and Duncan scored his second of the game after a very smart move with Indy. This gave Knole Park the lead again, and the confidence to push on and go for a game winning third goal. A superb move involving Adam Ward, Jamie Bingham, Matt Hebden and Billy Hughes then resulted in another penalty corner which player of the match Duncan coolly dispatched for his hat-trick and to win the game.
London Ed’s were superb all game and are fully deserved of their promotion this season too. Their umpires and hospitality were also superb - it was a proper Saturday afternoon of hockey! Well done to them on their promotion and for a great season.
Captain Duncan Parnis said: “I am delighted for the team and the club to have won the league! For all the players that are either new to the game, juniors that are new to adult hockey or for those that are more experienced: Thank you! You’ve all been awesome! Putting together a great run of results over a sustained period of time is exceptionally difficult, but we did it! League champions in our first season! Remarkable!”