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National Indoor Finals beckon for HC Knole Park!

HC Knole Park’s success in the South-East of England competitions continued this weekend as their U16 Girls and U18 Girls competed in their indoor championships. The girls won both the U16 & U18 Girls Championships; a remarkable achievement for HC Knole Park!

In the U16 Competition, the girls were brilliant from start to finish. First, they beat Sevenoaks 6-1 before enjoying convincing wins against East Grinstead HC, 13-0, and Canterbury, 12-1. Goals from Lottie (13), Josefina (8), Olivia (5), Anna (3), Bella and Jessica sealed the championships for Knole Park, and they have now qualified for the National Indoor Finals in January 2022!

Against Sevenoaks Josefina opened the scoring from close range with an excellent elimination of the goalkeeper. Jess then scored after a flowing move, before Lottie scored from a penalty corner. Lottie and Olivia made it 5-1 at the break with two good solo efforts. The SHC goalkeeper played very well in the second half and this kept the KP scoring down to just one goal; a penalty corner from Anna. The final score was 6-1.

Against East Grinstead Anna opened the scoring from a penalty corner, before a quick fire double from Josefina made it 3-0. Lottie then scored her first of three penalty strokes in the match. Bella was on hand to make it 5-0 at the break. The second half was a magical display as Lottie opened the scoring from the penalty spot, before setting up Josefina twice. Lottie scored three more in the second half with assists from Josefina, Mackenzie, and Olivia. Finally, Anna assisted Olivia for the final goal of the match as she slid the ball past the goalkeeper to make it a brilliant 13-0 win!

The girls knew a win against Canterbury would confirm their place in the National Finals in January. Lottie was definitely on a mission having missed the school's Indoor Championships due to Covid. She scored four goals in the first half; 2x PCs, 1x PS and the most ridiculously skilful goal you would ever have the pleasure of seeing just before half time!! Olivia also scored in the first half to make it 5-0 at half-time.

A green card for Canterbury meant we took our GK off for most of the second half and this helped the girls to learn how to play with 6 outfield. Canterbury were very competitive throughout the match, however the extra player made it difficult for them to create the chances they might have otherwise. Charlotte and Amber were excellent in this match in particular as they outletted the ball effectively and tackled very well.

Olivia scored twice more for a hat-trick (assists from Anna & Lottie), Josefina scored a highly technical hat-trick which was lovely to see (assists from Anna & Lottie), and Lottie and Anna both scored superb individual efforts to make the final score 12-1.

Having not had a club indoor match since the infamous National Semi-Final against Harleston Magpies in January 2020 (23 months!), today was one of joy and happiness as the girls finally had a chance to play together again! With a similar squad to the team that went two years ago the girls cannot wait for the National Finals in January 2022!

In the U18 Competition, the girls won all three matches and didn’t concede a goal in the process! Three incredible wins against Sevenoaks HC (2-0), Canterbury HC (8-0) and Folkestone HC (5-0) secured the girls place at the National Indoor Finals in January. Goals from Annabel (6), Amelie (4), Elloise (3), and Cordy & Sasha with one each. Betrys and Alice G in defence were superb throughout the tournament and Alice R was brilliant in goal - clean sheets are rare in indoor hockey, but to achieve three in three matches at this level was amazing! Many congratulations!

The girls first match was against Sevenoaks HC which was an amazing match. Both sides played exceptional well throughout however it was the team work, technical ability and game understanding of the KP girls just edged things.

In the first half Annabel scored from a well worked penalty corner. Despite the brave running out of the defender, Annabel latched onto the rebound and put the ball past the post players. In the second half KP dominated possession as Betrys, Elloise and Sasha made phenomenal decisions as to when to transfer or play forward. This truly was a masterclass in outletting principles! In one of those forward moments it was Annabel who beat the SHC left defender before squaring the ball to Amelie to give Knole Park a 2-0 lead. KP continue to dominate the ball until the final whistle and the girls claimed the crucial 2-0 win.

In match two against Canterbury, Amelie opened the scoring from a penalty corner, before Elloise scored a wonderful solo effort! The third goal was one of the finest indoor goals ever scored, ever! There must have been close to 40 unopposed passes, involving going up and down the pitch, as well as left and right! Cordy finished into the open goal from an acute angle and cue a round of applause from everyone watching. That was special! In the second half an excellent intercept from Annabel put Sasha in and she lifted the ball high into the netting. Annabel then scored a hat-trick of goals herself. Two penalty corners and one from a great pass from Sasha. Elloise finished the scoring to make it 8-0 and put the girls in a great position to qualify.

In the final match against Folkestone HC Elloise opened the scoring and from here you could see the girls grow in confidence. Amelie doubled KP's advantage before another excellent penalty corner from Annabel made it 3-0 at the break. Two expertly taken penalty corners in the second half, from Annabel and Amelie, gave the girls a 5-0 win and the U18 girls had won the South-East Championships! They now progress to the National Indoor Finals in January where they will play for the National Indoor Championships! We were all still smiling hours later - what a day!!

HC Knole Park’s U12 Girls travelled to Surbiton HC on Sunday. Four loses and two draws showed the quality of the Surrey side, however the girls had a great morning, learnt a lot, and drew the final match showing their development throughout the matches. Emily B (2) and Farrah (2) were once again amongst the goals. Georgie O also scored twice, and Annie picked up one goal. The U10 Girls were closer to home as they played Tunbridge Wells HC and Marden Russets HC. Goals from Flo (2), Elizabeth (2), Charlotte, Anna and Grace were enjoyed as the girls had a fantastic morning of hockey!

The Women’s 1st team made it a 100%-win rate at the Christmas break in Invicta Division 2. A hat-trick from captain Amelie, as well as goals from Cordy, LJ, Sasha and Amy gave the girls a convincing 7-3 win against Edenbridge HC. This gives HC Knole Park Women’s 1st team a 7-point lead going into the mid-point of the season. The Women’s 2s received a walkover from Blackheath and Elthamians to keep them top at the break too. The Women’s 2s are six points clear at the top of Invicta Division 6. The Men’s 1st team also received a walkover, from Canterbury HC. This keeps the Men’s 1st team third, and they face Herne Bay on Saturday.

In the Mixed Plate Competition, Knole Park travelled to Gillingham Anchorians. Despite twice taking the lead through Anna and Adam, the Mixed XI were pegged back both times. In the second half a wonderful solo effort from Anna wasn’t enough as the team succumbed to the Gillingham goal-scoring threats. The final score was 3 – 8.

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