HC Knole Park’s U12 Girls are National Champions!

HC Knole Park’s U12 Girls were crowned champions of England in May as they beat Surbiton HC 3-0 in the final of the England Hockey U12 Girls Championships in Nottingham. In the most incredible day, the girls won all three group matches before sealing the gold in emphatic style in the final. This win crowns a wonderful season at Knole Park as the club have won National Titles at U12, U14, U16 and U18 level!

In the first match Knole Park played Clifton Robinsons HC from Bristol. In the perfect start Elisa Hippe scored after just 3 minutes after an excellent run from right winger Emily Bingham. Connie Coquelin doubled the advantage after Liliya Dale turned the ball over and carried it though the Clifton defence. Connie then slotted the ball passed the on-rushing goalkeeper. 2-0. Farrah Hilden then made it 3-0 with a coolly taken penalty corner flick on the stroke of half-time.

In the second half Clifton Robinsons came out with more attacking intent and Edie Adair in goal made some crucial saves. On the break Bea Foster linked up with Georgie Owen before Foster smashed a superb forehand into the bottom corner. 4-0 it finished.

Match two was one of the most superb U12 performances ever! An 8-0 win with five different scorers summarises what a brilliant passing performance it was. Owen opened the scoring after another good run by Bingham down the right. Elisa then scored a 1v1, before Imogen Smith made it 3-0 at half-time after a wonderful sweeping attack from Hilden and Hippe.

The second half was even better as the girls passed and moved their way to five more goals. First it was Hippe, who rolled home from Owen and Bingham’s hard work down the right-hand side. Then Coquelin scored a quick first brace. Bingham and Hippe with the assists. Foster then scored a brilliant strike from a penalty corner, before Owen capped a wonderful team performance with Knole Park’s eighth. Havant HC were very magnanimous in defeat and commented very gracefully after what was a very special performance.

With qualification to the final all but secured it was onto the final group match against North Champions Ben Rhydding. In a hugely one-sided match, Olivia Macaskill was on fire in midfield as she created several chances for the team. Two second half goals from Coquelin and Bingham gave the girls a 2-0 win and they had progressed to the final.

In what had been the perfect day so far, the girls knew that Surbiton would be a tougher proposition having played them in two finals this season already! But the girls saved their best performance of day for the final. Adair in goal was superb as opportunities came and went for both sides in the opening exchanges. It remained at 0-0 until half-time.

A few changes from the coaching team at half-time helped the girls to push on to another level and within minutes Georgie Owen had opened the scoring! An excellent win off the Surbiton defender, before placing the ball into the bottom corner. With this goal the girls grew in confidence and it wasn’t long before more goals came. Player of the Tournament Emily Bingham won and scored two incredible penalty corners. Her skills and speed down the right-hand side was undefendable! With the first penalty corner, she rounded the entire defence to slot passed the goalkeeper to make it 2-0. Her second goal was an absolute rocket of a strike as she smashed home her second and the match winner for 3-0! The girls saw out the final few minutes of the match to be crowned champions of England! Cue scenes of excitement and happiness as the girls jumped for joy and embraced one another! The best U12 team in England! Wow!

Director of Coaching, Duncan Parnis said: “This was one of the best days ever for Knole Park, as well as in my coaching career. The girls have been amazing all season, from winning two golds in the indoor season, to winning the Regional Finals, and now the National Finals! Their performances have just got better and better. Their individual and the team performances on Saturday were truly outstanding; this really was the perfect day! I am so proud of all the girls and many congratulations to Ruth Bingham for coaching the team this season.”

HC Knole Park’s Women’s 2s are playing for the club’s ninth national title of the season as Knole Park return to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at the Tier 4 National Cup Final! They face Golborne from the North-West.

Knole Park is an open club for all the community, beginners to regular players. They offer weekly hockey training, both indoors and out, throughout the year, to members and non-members. This summer they are also offering Back to Hockey for any adults who would like to return to playing, as well as summer league matches. Please contact: info@hcknolepark.com to get involved!