Success at the Repton Cup for HC Knole Park!
HC Knole Park’s U14 Girls won the Repton Cup* with some exceptional performances throughout the week long tournament! The girls won four, drew one and lost one match on their way to the victory at the Championships. Playing against club side Repton HC, as well as divisional teams from the South and West of England respectively the girls played each team twice in a round robin league format.
In the indoor tournament the girls played Repton HC in two friendlies. A single penalty corner goal from Summer gave the A-team a 1-0 win, whilst two goals from Mackenzie and one from Talya gave the B-team a 3-0 win. Both matches were very close and all the players played very well.
The Knole Park girls also won the Fancy Dress competition!! On the opening evening Repton School hosted a Welcome Party and the theme was "Festival". The girls were ready for a week at Glastonbury and the Repton judges agreed showing that Knole Park know how to have fun on and off the pitch!
Boadicea was selected as the Player of the Tournament with Charlotte collected the Top Goal-Scorer prize with six goals. Summer and Amber were also exceptional throughout the tournament and were highly commended for their performances.
In match one the girls took on the hosts Repton HC. Having played just two weeks ago at the National Finals the girls knew that it would be a tough start and so it proved. The first goal came from a penalty stroke at the mid-point of the first half which Amber slotted home. The second half was equally competitive, but it was the striking skills of Charlotte that extended the score line. First she smashed in a penalty corner before beating half the Repton defence to crash home from the top of the D from a set piece outside the D. Repton played very well throughout the match. The match finished 3-0 to KP.
In match two the girls took on one of the two divisional sides playing at the tournament. The South Saxons were made up of the best players in the South of England, minus the few that were playing for us of course! The quality of the South Saxons showed in the opening exchanges and they took the lead with a shot in open play. The second half was all KP however as the midfield took control of the match. First Charlotte made a pin point pass to Summer in the D which was deflected high into the netting, before she scored from two penalty corners. The match finished 3-1 to Knole Park.
In match three the girls were up against the West of England. In a very tough match the girls went down 0-1. Some quick thinking from Amber on a penalty corner created a great chance for Celia to equalise and she tapped-in from close range to make it 1-1. In the second quarter the West took the lead again, before Charlotte scored again from a penalty corner to make it 2-2 going into the final quarter. A very good strike from the West forward gave them a 2-3 lead which was how the match stayed until the final play of the match. The determination of the girls meant they continued to push for an equaliser and they managed to win a dead time penalty corner… A great routine was executed however the strike hit the post and bounced out and onto a foot. Game over! A great performance once again and what a thrill to play in such high level matches!
Reflective and positive the girls started the second round of matches on day three in a positive and ambitious spirit. A great strike from Summer gave the girls 1-0 half-time lead against Repton. The second half was absolutely brilliant as Evie came to life up front! Evie scored the team’s second goal, rounding the Repton GK to make it 2-0. Evie then set up Talya to make it 3-0 before Boadicea scored from a penalty corner making it 4-0. The goal of the match was the perfect way to seal a great second half. On the counter Summer put Evie in. She beat the final defender before smashing the ball passed the goalkeeper!! What a goal! The girls were superb in the second half and were absolutely delighted with how they had played!
Onto the final day of the competition:
In the first match of the day the girls played South Saxons. A tense first half that had few clear cut opportunities showed how much both teams wanted to win and were keen not to concede early on. 0-0 at half time. The second half was more open, and it was South Saxon and Knole Park star midfielder Alessia, playing for South Saxons, who drove through the pitch and into the D where her shot was deflected into the goal. 0-1. On the three-quarter time whistle Summer equalised for KP with a superb strike! In the final quarter Knole Park completely dominated but the South Saxons defence was very resolute. A chance fell to a KP forward with seconds left but we just weren’t able to score! 1-1 it finished.
The West of England had beaten Repton on the other pitch which meant that it would be “winner takes all” in the final match. The West were the heavy favourites having won every match except their first match on day one, however the Knole Park girls love a challenge and boy did they except the challenge!!
The girls were incredible from the first to the last whistle. Their ambition to be brilliant was clear to see from everyone player! They completely dominated the match, passing well, tackling fantastically, their hands were on fire and they took their chances! The first goal came from Evie. Evie won the ball from their centre back and beat the goalkeeper to give the girls the lead. Sadly the West replied immediately to make it 1-1 at quarter time which is how it stayed until just before half-time too. But a Summer penalty corner special on dead time put us back into the lead, 2-1.
In the third quarter the girls continued to dominate, and Amber scored from a well worked penalty corner, before Charlotte scored from another penalty corner to make it 4-1!
The girls won a series of penalty corners throughout the match, and the tournament, with their ball handling skills and tricks proving that all those hours practicing their skills and techniques in and out of the lockdowns paid off!
The final play of the match to seal what was an amazing performance was absolutely fantastic – Summer won the ball in midfield, rolled it to Charlotte who rolled in Evie. Some sublime skills saw her beat three players before putting Talya in who smashed the ball into the empty goal! 5-1 and the performance of the season!! Everyone was delighted!!
Thank you to Repton School and Repton HC for being such great hosts throughout the week. We look forward to playing you again over the next few years!
Duncan Parnis, HC Knole Park Head Coach, said: “We are so pleased to have been able to go away this summer. It’s obviously been a very tough year for everyone. Repton have been brilliant in being able to host these tournaments under the Covid restrictions and unknown Covid changes. To see how much the girls improved in such a short space of time was hugely rewarding for all. The final performance was simply awesome! The girls all had a great time together off the pitch too – memories and friends for life is exactly why we always try and go away each year! My thanks to the managers, parents and players for their support this week too.”
*The Repton Cup is an invitational tournament held annually in Repton School, Derbyshire. Teams are invited from across England for the two-day U12 tournament and four-day U14 tournament.