U14/U16B Girls v U14A Girls
In the first of the Knole Park Summer League it was the U14 & U16B Girls against the U14A Girls. A brace from Talya, as well as goals from Elsa, Summer & Evie were the difference as the U14A ran out 5-3 winners.
At the start of the first half the U14A Girls were very dominant. The girls created some excellent opportunities and it was the skills of midfielder Charlotte Watkins that allowed her to put the ball through to Talya Harvey for her first goal of the day. 1-0. Betsy Burden then made one of her trademark runs before rolling the ball through to Elsa Taylor to score to make it 2-0. The U14/U16B Girls managed to grab a breakaway goal just before half time to make it 2-1, but the U14A were definitely dominant in the first half.
The second half the U14/U16B Girls came out with renewed energy and purpose and made a much more positive start. In a more even half it was still the quality of the U14A Girls that allowed them to extend their lead. First Summer Knight-Thompson scored an excellent solo effort. Rounding the last defender she beat Tabitha in goal to flick home. Evie Smith then emulated this to get the U14A Girl’s fourth of the game. An excellent solo effort to make the score 4-1. The U14A then scored their fifth through another very positive run by Summer on the right hand side before squaring the ball to Talya for her second and the team’s fifth. 5-1.
The U14/U16B did create a number of chances too and but for the excellent defence of Kammy Bussey, Betty Cannon and Carlotta Kern the score could have been more even. Lauren Foster did take one of her chances however, before laying in Cara Gould to score too. 5-3 the match finished and what an opening game of the KP Summer League it was! Well done to everyone that played - that was superb! The GPS scores will no doubt be through the roof!!
The U14/U16B Girls will face the U14 Boys in search of their first points of the Championships. Meanwhile the U14A Girls have two 'rest weeks' as a number of the team play at the England Hockey Performance Centre this weekend, participating in their Indoor Championships next weekend, before returning on Friday evening to play the U18 Girls & Adults! What a great schedule!!
U18 Girls & Adults v U14 Boys
On to match two of the day and it was the U18 Girls & Adults against the U14 Boys. With both teams inspired by an excellent return to play programme this game was met with much excitement. Sadly for the U14 Boys it would be a very tough afternoon as the U18s/Adults put eight unanswered goals passed them to take the opening day win.
The U14 Boys did play very well throughout the match, often dominating the “TV stats” of territory, possession and D-entries. However the resolute defence of Ruth Bingham, Lucie Jones, Steve Innes and Charlotte Smith meant that very little got through to David Gough-Cooper in goal. It also meant that the Boys were susceptible to being hit on the break and this is where three of the first half goals came from. First Sarah Eversfield finished off a good through ball with her trusty backhand tomahawk! 1-0. An excellent aerial from Steve then put Adam Ward in for a 1v1 which he took with calmness and quality to make it 2-0. Sarah pounced on some sloppy outletting to make it 3-0, before Robin Zijdenbos finished off a beautiful sweeping move. First Adam burst over the half-way line, before slipping the ball to Sarah whose selfless pass to Robin was slammed home! 4-0 at half time.
The second half followed a similar pattern. Louis van den Rijse, Isaac Dale & Moritz Hippe being the pick of the team for the U14 Boys in midfield without quite being able to get through the stubborn defence of the U18s & Adults. Indeed it was the U18s & Adults that scored the goal of the game. A move starting in defence which swept through the team was finished off by roaming right half Ruth Bingham. 5-0. Adam scored his second of the match after another good piece of skill from Sarah. Getting through a gap in defence that only Sarah could find she beat two defenders before passing to Adam to finish. 6-0. Grace Reeve scored two goals on the counter-attack to take the score line beyond doubt to 8-0. Matt Hebden starred in midfield, linking the lines and helping the Adults to retain the possession once they had it.
The U18 Girls & Adults should be very pleased this evening as they sit top of the league after Round 1 of matches. Next they face the U14/U16B Girls on Sunday 9th May. The U14 Boys meanwhile will be looking to bounce back and also face the U14/U16B in their next match on Sunday 2nd May.
U18 Girls & Adults
Finally a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our fantastic Head Coach, Duncan, who has set-up the Knole Park Summer League and spent most of his birthday on the side of a court or pitch to allow us to return to hockey safely, easily and with a big smile on our faces! We hope you had a great day!