Knole Park knock out the National Champions!
HC Knole Park’s U14 Girls beat reigning National Indoor Champions Sevenoaks HC U16 Girls in the girls Indoor Kent Cup on Sunday. Indoor hockey, is the smaller and warmer(!) version of the outdoor game is played as a 6 a-side format. The Kent Cup was a winner takes all competition with Canterbury U16 Girls being the third team in the competition. Sevenoaks HC were the favourites having won the national competition back in January 2019.
The first match was Sevenoaks v Knole Park. In a very high level match it was the newly formed Knole Park that took the lead through an excellent Lottie Bingham penalty corner drag-flick. Lottie then double the advantage just before half time. After a superb turnover in midfield she rounded the Sevenoaks defence and slotted the ball past the on-rushing goalkeeper.
The back two of Anna Faulstich and Jessica Lewis were outstanding in defence and kept Sevenoaks out of the Knole Park D for most of the half, however just before half-time, Sevenoaks won a penalty corner which they converted to make the score 2-1 at half time.
Sevenoaks rallied at the start of the second half and through their inspirational captain they almost scored an early second half goal, but their chance hit the post.
This opportunity seemed to help re-focus the Knole Park team and they started to create more chances through Polly Brownlow, Summer Knight-Thompson, Camille Poracchia & Josefina Hippe. It was however another superb run by Lottie that resulted in a penalty corner which Josefina Hippe coolly dispatched to make it 3-1 to Knole Park! As the second half came to a conclusion both teams had further chances to extend their score lines as the match opened up, but that’s how the score line stayed. The full time hooter sounded, and Knole Park had won!
Player of the Match Pascale Pottier was outstanding in goal throughout, keeping the last minute Sevenoaks attacks at bay. Lottie Bingham, Josefina Hippe, Anna Faulstich, Jess Lewis and Camille Poracchia were also superb in both attack and defence, putting in their best ever performances!
In the second match of the competition Sevenoaks beat Canterbury 5-1 which meant Knole Park needed to draw or win against Canterbury to qualify.
Knole Park got the perfect start. A quick turnover and they were ahead through their England star Lottie Bingham. Moments later the skilful Josefina Hippe won another penalty corner and this time Anna Faulstich flicked it superbly into the goal. In a brilliant first half Player of the Match Lottie scored her second goal. After another turnover in midfield, and she rounded the last defender before flicking past the Canterbury goal keeper to give Knole Park a 3-0 lead going into half-time.
The second half followed a similar pattern; however, Knole Park weren’t quite able to push on and extend their lead. Summer Knight-Thompson and Phoebe Gough-Cooper were excellent throughout the match. As the seconds ticked away Knole Park knew they had done enough and were able to celebrate as the final hooter sounded! Cue the celebrations for a remarkable result by an amazing group of players. The Knole Park team never stopped believing in themselves and working hard for each other. This is the first piece of silverware for Knole Park and the club are absolutely delighted and amazed that it has come so soon!
Duncan Parnis, the Director of Coaching said: “The girls were absolutely fantastic! They have worked exceptionally hard on improving their technical skill, as well as their game understanding. For our U14s to be able to play so consistently well is truly remarkable. I am very proud of them all!”
Knole Park go on to represent Kent at the East Finals on Saturday 14th December.