HC Knole Park juniors qualify for National Finals

In an incredible weekend the U12 Girls, U14 Girls and U14 Boys have all qualified for the National Finals, joining the U16 Girls who had already qualified in February! The U12 Girls won the Regional Final 1-0 against Sevenoaks HC, whilst the U14 Girls beat Bristol side, Clifton Robinsons HC 6-2, and the U14 Boys beat Manchester-based Bowdon HC 6-0. The Women’s 1s team had two huge wins over second and third in the league to win the Invicta Division Two title and promotion!

HC Knole Park’s U12 Girls won gold at the South East Regional Finals on Sunday defeating local Kent side Sevenoaks HC 1-0 in the Final. In the round robin section of the tournament the girls made a slow start drawing and losing the first two matches (1-1 & 0-1). This left the girls with three matches to save their tournament, and three wins later (4-0, 3-1 & 2-0) they had just done that and were into the final!

In the final a wonderful goal, set up by Emily Bingham, and scored by Connie Coquelin, secured the girls the 1-0 win and a place in May’s National Finals!

Throughout the tournament Georgie Owen was once again the team’s top scorer with three goals. Farrah Hilden and Emily Bingham both scored twice, Elisa Hippe and Imogen Smith completed the scoring for Knole Park.

Head Coach, Ruth Bingham, said: “I am so proud of all the girls and the club! Their dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to training and improving has been amazing. They even improved so much throughout the day! They were so happy at full time in the final; it was wonderful to see!”

Knole Park’s U14A Girls have also qualified for the National Final in April! The girl’s semi-final, against Clifton Robinsons, from Bristol, was rearranged from February. The extra time was ideal as it gave the girls more time for some training and matches before this tough encounter. Indeed it was Clifton who opened the scoring in the seventh minute after some sustained pressure on the Knole Park defence. However, from this moment on it was one way traffic as the girls sprang into action and Captain Evie Smith netted from close range to make it 1-1. Celia Foster then scored the first of her two goals into the bottom corner and Smith added her second just before half time to make it a 3-1 lead. In the second half the girls were outstanding, creating chance after chance. Two goals from Biba Mills, and one from Foster saw the girls win 6-2. In the final minute the girls scored the goal of the match as the team made 10+ passes before captain Smith netted with a stunning backhand. Whilst the goal was sadly chalked off it showed the quality of the girls and the great hockey they played throughout the match. At full time there were scenes of jubilation as the U14A Girls had qualified for the National Final! The now return to the National Finals in a bid to retain the trophy they won last season.

On this super Sunday, the U14A Boys also won their England Hockey Plate Semi-Final with a fantastic 6-0 win against Bowdon HC. Travelling down from Manchester the northern side were 2-0 down in the first few minutes as Isaac Dale and Benedict Cannon scored within minutes of the start. The boys from Knole Park never looked back from there as Dale completed his hat-trick in the first half. Cannon also scored a hat-trick to make it a 6-0 win and the boys go on to Lee Valley to play their final, in a bid to also retain the trophy they won last season, on the 3rd April too.

With the U16A Girls already through to the National Finals, Knole Park now have four sides through to the England Hockey showpiece event at Lee Valley which is an unprecedented level of success in the South-East of England.

Director of Coaching, Duncan Parnis, said: “This has been an incredible season. The indoor success in January was phenomenal, but to have now qualified for the National Finals in four different age groups is just simply amazing! For our young members to be able to enjoy playing at Lee Valley Hockey Stadium, in a final, is a dream come true. All the coaches put in an exceptional amount of hard work to help support all the players at Knole Park and we wish everyone the very best as they prepare for these matches. Knole Park is a very special hockey club!”

Also on Sunday he U16A Girls won their final England Hockey Supra-League (South) league match of the season 17-0 against Alton HC. Olivia Breed scored five times, Anna Faulstich (4), Phoebe Gough-Cooper (3), Summer Knight-Thompson (2), Jessica Lewis, Charlotte Watkins & Lottie Bingham in the one-sided match up. Unfortunately, with only one team going through to the Final Day, Knole Park need a miracle result next weekend as Trojans HC host top of the league Surbiton HC. Should Trojans win, Knole Park’s superior goal difference will see them qualify for the League finals.

In the adults’ section the Women’s 1s team beat Tunbridge Wells 2s 9-0 and New Beccehamians 12-0. Against Tunbridge Wells, Anna Faulstich (3), Olivia Breed (2) and Lottie Bingham (2) were all amongst the goals, with Amelie Allen and Josefina Hippe scoring one each. Against New Beccehamians it was once again Bingham and Faulstich who were the stars of the scoring charts as they scored four and three goals respectively. Boadicea Cannon scored twice. These wins against second and third in the league have secured Knole Park the Invicta Division Two title and promotion! The Men’s team survived a bruising encounter to win 5-2. Four goals from Duncan Parnis and one from Dave Smith securing all three points. The team remain in second with two matches to play.

This weekend the U14A Girls compete for a chance to qualify for the Supra League Finals as they host Cambridge City at home. The U18 Girls are playing the English Universities team in an invitational match at Sevenoaks School. The U16B Girls have received a walkover from Marden Russets, meanwhile the U8s, U10s and U12s all head to Canterbury for the Canterbury HC Festival. The Men’s 1s are playing the in-form side in the league, Old Williamsonians, and the Women’s 1s travel to Blackheath & Elthamians. The Women’s 2s host Dartford.