HC Knole Park’s U10 Girls team travelled to Canterbury for the U10 ‘in2hockey’ Kent Cup Championships on Sunday filled with great excitement and anticipation after an excellent season!
In the first group match the girls were clearly quite nervous as things didn’t quite go according to plan. Some resolute defending from Marden prevented the Knole Park girls scoring despite endless attempts and the majority of possession. A 0-0 draw did not reflect the dominance of the performance but obviously motivated the Knole Park girls to be more clinical as they then went on to beat Ashford 3-0, Holcombe 7-0 and a dominant 5-0 victory against Tunbridge Wells B team.
The final group game was against a strong Canterbury team who had won all their other matches. The winner would top the group and would potentially have a marginally easier draw in the semi-finals. In an exciting game Charlotte Parker, playing as goalkeeper for only the second time, made some important saves before Farrah Hilden scored the only goal of the game to give Knole Park the victory and a place in the semi-finals.
As group winners Knole Park then faced the runners up of the other pool, Sevenoaks. The Knole Park girls continued to display their excellent attacking ability with fast, dynamic and skillful dribbling and excellent linking passes which resulted in a convincing 3-0 victory with goals from Lila Hughes, Emily Bingham and Bea Foster to seal a place in the final. The girls were absolutely fantastic for every minute of the match and you could see how much they wanted to play well and support each other!
In the final Knole Park faced Tunbridge Wells. The girls produced some superb hockey in the most even match of the day. In an end to end match Knole Park won several penalty corners and forced the opposition goalkeeper into action on several occasions. Top scorer Lila Hughes scored the only goal of the game and Knole Park were crowned as the Kent Cup champions for the first time!
The progress of the team since the start of the season and their commitment to training has been a pleasure to see and they fully deserve their first Kent trophy and will now represent Kent at the regional finals in April.
The team scored 20 goals in their seven matches divided between several players: Lila Hughes was top scorer with 7 goals, Emily Bingham, Elisa Hippe and Farrah Hilden all scored 4 goals apiece and Bea Foster also scored one. Great credit should also be given to the defensive unit of Charlotte Parker, Emily Newton, Liliya Dale and Tash Stinson who did not concede a single goal all day!
They are now also through to the Regional Finals taking place at Harleston Magpies Hockey Club on Saturday 25th April. Many congratulations to everyone that played!
Coach Ruth Bingham said: “They have been a pleasure to coach this season as they are such fun and so keen to learn and improve. Their commitment to attending training, both outdoors and indoors have really helped their development. Everyone at the club is so proud of all them all!”
Director of Coaching Duncan Parnis said: “This is an amazing achievement for Knole Park! We have worked exceptionally hard to provide all our members with the best hockey opportunities that we can. To be one of the only clubs to medal in all the different competitions we entered is fantastic!
Our U10 Girls have been superb all season at training. They had a lot of tournaments frozen off this season, so it’s been hard to give them the match practice they wanted. Thankfully we were able to work with Tonbridge School to provide the girls with an internal tournament on Saturday and perhaps this was just the boost they needed ahead of their competition. Their technical quality on the ball clearly gave the girls so much confidence to play and enjoy their hockey which was lovely to see! Well done to all the girls in the U10 group - I am very proud of them all!"