Updated: Jan 17
On a frozen weekend in Kent, it was only the South-East Indoor Championships that survived the weather conditions. Both HC Knole Park’s U16 Boys and Girls did exceptionally well as they both finished in the top two in the South-East Finals. The U16 Girls won the tournament and have qualified for the National Finals in January!
In the Girl’s tournament, it was played three, won three! 27 goals for and only two conceded!
In match one the girls played Epsom. Player of the Tournament and Top Scorer, Biba was on fire from the first minute as she opened the scoring within 20 seconds! Fellow strike partner Summer was also in goal-scoring mood as she scored a first half hat-trick. Knole Park’s second top scorer for the day, Bella, also scored for a 5-0 half-time lead and the perfect start to the tournament. The second half was even better as Biba set-up Alessia for Knole Park’s sixth. Biba then scored a three-minute hat-trick, before Charlotte W netted a penalty corner, and Bella, Amber, and Biba all scored once again to make the final score 13-0.
In match two it was a re-match against Sevenoaks HC. The girls were superb throughout, led by Biba, Bella, and Summer. Biba set-up Summer for 1-0, before Biba scored twice either side of Bella scoring. Summer and Bella scored again before half-time for a remarkable 6-0 lead at the break! The second half was equally positive as the girls played brilliantly. Biba scored another two goals to make it 8-0 before Bella completed her hat-trick and the 9-1 win! A much-improved performance from two weeks ago at the Kent Cup!
In match three, the girls knew that a draw or win would put them through to the National Finals. It wasn’t too long before Summer, Bella, and Biba were combining once again and a goal each gave the team a 3-1 lead at half-time. The second half was equally comprehensive as Bella and Biba both scored one more to make it 5-1.
The girls had won the South-East Championships and will now compete at the National Finals in January for a chance to be crowned National Champions! It was an excellent squad performance as all the girls were fantastic throughout the three matches. The defensive team of Amber, Charlotte, Boadicea, Lilly were brilliant. Alessia, Ines, and Mackenzie in midfield were dynamic, and the forwards of Summer, Biba, Bella were exceptionally brave, motivated, and clinical. Goalkeepers Sophie and Zofia only conceded once each over the three matches which is amazing in indoor hockey! Many congratulations to all those involved.
In the Boy’s competition it was unfortunately almost over before it started. The team played favourites Epsom in the first match and despite going a goal up through Isaac, Epsom proved too strong and ran out 4-1 winners. Despite this defeat the boys dusted themselves off and proved what a quality team they are in the remaining matches.
Next up they played Old Georgians. Isaac, Moritz and William got the team off to perfect start. William’s wonder goal was particularly special. 3-0 at the break. Despite Old Georgians getting a couple of goals back, three more goals from Isaac, Moritz and William respectively gave the boys a resounding 6-2 win and they were back in the competition.
In match three it was Sussex Champions, East Grinstead. In a tense first half only a Isaac goal separated the two teams for a 1-0 lead to Knole Park. East Grinstead equalised early in the second half, before William netted and Isaac scored twice more to complete his hat-trick for a 4-1 win. It was at this point that the team learned that Epsom had won their remaining three matches, and the tournament, and therefore National Finals qualification was beyond the team.
However, with one match to play, and against Kent rivals Canterbury the boys wanted to make sure they went out on a high. Canterbury had also beaten Knole Park twice this season already, so pride was also at stake! The boys were fantastic from start to finish. Isaac opened the scoring with an excellent individual goal. William then scored from a penalty corner. The second half was comprehensive as the boys ran in five unanswered goals for a 7-0 win. Isaac completed his hat-trick, and Noah, Benedict, and Reggie all scored their first goals of the tournament.
In tournament of many highs, sometimes it is the small margins that make a big difference. Well done to goalkeeper Angus who was excellent throughout too. A silver medal that the boys can be proud of.
This performance from the Boys, as well as both the U16 Girls and U18 Girls winning their tournaments means Knole Park are the most successful indoor club in the South-East for the second year running! A fantastic achievement for all involved, including coaches Duncan and Ruth. Next stop, the Copper Box Championships in late December!