Men’s 1st Team restart with a win!
HC Knole Park’s Men’s 1st team travelled into London for their first match after the winter break against London Royals. On a chilly morning the team arrived in Bermondsey where they were greeted with a surface rather hostile to knees and a car park that served as target practice for any wayward warm up shots! Needless to say, choice of parking bay was up there with the most important decisions to be made before the warm-up!
David Gough-Cooper made his debut in goal after a few enjoyable training sessions. “I like goalkeeping. You get less attention from the coach back here”, he commented to the away fans, as he padded up.
The match started at a brisk pace. Royals moved the ball around well and had some real pace up front. Knole Park knew they would have to play their best fluid, attacking hockey in order to get in the match. Many of these good moves started from the calm work of Dale Carman, Jago Ongley-Dellar and Rob Harrison at the back, whose strength on the ball and ability to find connections have all improved a lot this season. Matt Hebden had an excellent game in midfield, as did Mike Legon, who often carried the ball out of trouble and made effective give and go passes.
After Knole Park settled into the game, Duncan Parnis and Adam Ward started to get their link ups going and after some excellent pass and move play from both players, they won two penalty corners which were both converted by the Knole Park player-coach. Knole Park’s third came shortly after from another skillful run by Duncan as he flicked the ball past the on-rushing goalkeeper into the corner of the goal.
Royals rallied and worked the ball through their whole team to create several excellent attempts on goal, however David Gough-Cooper was equal to the task. Just before the break, a training ground long corner move was played into Duncan on the top of the D from Matt Hebden, and Duncan coolly dispatched a backhand into the corner of the goal to take the score to 4-0 at half-time.
In a second half, the fitness of the Royals started to tell, and they created more opportunities on the Knole Park goal. They played some fantastic hockey and converted three well taken goals. Knole Park were reduced to playing more on the break and through Duncan, Matt, Indy, Nik and Adam continued to try and push the score line. Two superb individual runs from Duncan, rounding the Royal’s defence in their numbers were calmly slotted away, first by Duncan for his fifth of the match and then by Adam for a tremendous 6-3 win!
Overall, this was a great performance by an inexperienced team, who ran their hearts out and played with intensity and enthusiasm and developing calmness and accuracy. The umpires voted Indy Morris as the Player of the Match for some excellent runs down the right wing.
Next, the Men’s 1st team host Clapham Common in what was probably their hardest match of the first half of the season. With full availability it should be a cracker! Come down and support the Men – 2.30pm start at Lingfield School!
Ladies 1st Team score big in first Match after Christmas
HC Knole Park Ladies 1st team picked up where they left off before Christmas with a superb performance and another three points! The team travelled into London to play against King’s Alleyns who were currently bottom of the table. However, with both team fielding many 13 year old’s, including three for Knole Park who were making their Ladies debut, the older players, those aged 14 years old! knew that they had to show their experience to help the girls settle into ladies hockey for the first time.
It didn’t take debutant Summer Knight-Thompson too long to get her Ladies career going as she scored her first of a debut hat-trick! Anna Faulstich then converted a penalty corner strike, before a wonder goal from Phoebe Gough-Cooper took the game to 3-0 inside the first 5 minutes. This was the first goal of an outstanding 7 minute hat-trick by Phoebe, who is playing the best hockey of her life at the moment! The sixth goal came from a typically slick Knole Park move down the right hand side as Anna rolled the ball into the path of the flying right winger, Ruth Bingham, who put the ball across to Belle Kramer for a tap-in. Josefina then scored after a lovely passing move that saw Phoebe selflessly pass to Josefina who accurately flicked the ball past the goalkeeper into the bottom corner. The scorer then became provider, as Josefina squared the ball to Summer, who unleashed a rocket of a forehand into the bottom corner.
Another trademark run from captain Ruth down the right resulted in a penalty corner for Knole Park and this time Anna Faulstich made no mistake as she drag-flicked the ball past the King’s defence. Josefina then made it ten at half-time with goal of the game. A slick passing move saw Josefina at the top of the D. She rolled the ball onto her backhand and smashed it in off the post! Even the opposition applauded her!
The second half was very similar, although a congested D is never the easiest to score in as Knole Park looked to extend the score line. King’s did have a few breaks however the defence of debutants Amber Croll and Ellie Powell, as well as Charlotte Watkins, Jess Lewis and Lucie Jones were never troubled.
Phoebe was the first to score in the second half after another positive run by Ruth. With her improved ball carry technique she really is proving what a valuable player she is to the team. Phoebe then beat several players before returning the favour and passing the ball to Ruth who scored from an acute angle for 12-0.
Player of the Match Josefina Hippe then scored her second of the game after LJ beat several players and rolled the ball to Josefina to flick the ball into the corner. The 14th goal was a lovely solo effort from Ruth, proving that she is still the most skillful Bingham. Sally Paler had two wonderful attempts well saved by the opposition goalkeeper, and to round off the match Summer flung a remarkable backhand flick into the top corner to make it 15 and out!
King’s were very gracious in defeat and the game was played in a very positive spirit. Knole Park face second in the league Tunbridge Wells next, on the 8th February, where a win would see them on the brink of capturing the Kent Division Six league title!