HC Knole Park’s U16 Girls and U18 Girls were both crowned National Champions on Sunday at the England Hockey National Finals. In two epic tournaments, Knole Park won the U16 Girls final 6-1 and the U18 Girls final 2-0 to seal both titles and retain the titles they won last season!
Elsewhere, the Women’s 1st team finished fourth in the National League Division 1 competition after two wins and two loses. The U16 Girls beat Sevenoaks, whilst the U14 Girls lost narrowly to Guildford in their opening Supra League matches.
On Saturday Knole Park’s U16 Girls headed to Nottingham University to compete in the Indoor National Finals. The team made a slow start against Lansdown (West Champions) going a goal down in the first minute, however goals from Bella Muñoz, Summer Knight-Thompson, and Biba Mills (2) gave the girls an opening 4-1 win. In match two against the North-West Champions, Alderley Edge, the girls won 3-0. Mills opened the scoring, before a Knight-Thompson brace of penalty corners.
The girls were now guaranteed a semi-final and you could see them relax. In the final group match against Wakefield (North-East Champions), the girls were outstanding. Evie Smith opened the scoring inside 12 seconds and from there they never looked back. Tournament top-scorer Biba Mills scored a double hat-trick, Smith added another, Knight-Thompson and Alessia Turner both also scored. Amber Croll scored a wonder goal for the icing on an 11-0 win!
In the semi-final the girls faced Cambridge City (East Champions). There was no stopping the girls now as they had found their top gear. An amazing performance saw them win 9-1. Mills was on fire again as she netted five goals, Knight-Thompson scored a hat-trick and Muñoz also scored. Into the final and a match up against Repton (Midlands Champions).
The girls were brilliant once again and a 6-1 win saw them crowned National Champions for 2022/23. Goals in the final from Mills (2), Smith (2), Charlotte Watkins and Amber Croll capped an amazing performance on an amazing day! Many congratulations to all the squad who were all superb throughout the day.
On Sunday it was the turn of Knole Park’s U18 Girls to defend the National title. The girls were outstanding in the first match against the West Champions, Cheltenham. Lottie Bingham scored five goals, Jess Lewis (2), with Annabel Cheveley and Camille Poracchia also scoring for a 9-1 win. In match two against Ipswich (East Champions), the girls were fantastic again as they won 8-2. Cheveley scored a hat-trick, Amelie Allen (2), Bingham (2) and Josefina Hippe.
The final group match was against favourites Repton HC (Midlands Champions). In an incredible indoor hockey match that was watched by over 300 people the final score was 3-3. Allen opened the scoring in the first minute, before Repton equalised. Cheveley scored just before half-time for a 2-1 lead. Repton scored twice in the second half to take a 3-2 lead, however a last-minute equaliser from Hippe meant it finished 3-3 and Knole Park had won the group.
In the semi-finals the girls faced Marlow (South Champions). In a tough, but dominant game the girls were excellent. A goal each from strike partnership Allen and Cheveley saw the girls take a 2-1 lead into half-time. Cheveley completed her hat-trick for a 4-1 win and a place in the National Final! In the other semi-final Repton and Surbiton (London Champions) had played out a 1-1 draw before Surbiton won on penalties.
In the final the girls were magnificent! Both sides were cagey to start with and it was 0-0 at half-time, however in the second half the Knole Park girls rose to the occasion, and it was the undefendable partnership of Bingham, Allen and Cheveley who combined for the opening goal as Cheveley rolled in from close range. Bingham seal the match and the tournament with a brilliant penalty corner flick for a 2-0 win! The girls were crowned National Champions once again after an incredible day!
Cheveley was awarded the Top Scorer and Bingham the Player of the Tournament award. Many congratulations to all the squad who were all superb throughout the day. Many congratulations also to Duncan Parnis, the Knole Park head coach who oversaw both the U16 and U18 girls’ successes too.
In the Indoor National League, the team selection was clearly impacted by the junior National Finals, but Knole Park put in four excellent performances over the weekend and finished an amazing fourth place. Knole Park were still top after Day 3 after a 7-4 win against Clifton Robinsons (Bristol). Goals from Cheveley (4), Bingham, Allen and Poracchia. And a narrow 3-2 loss to Stourport. Goals from Cheveley and Bingham. A 6-2 defeat to Harleston Magpies in match three however ended all hopes of promotion. Goals from Georgie Wakeham-Dawson and Knight-Thompson.
Despite this, the girls picked themselves up and beat Wimbledon, one of the top teams in England, 4-3! Evie Smith opened the scoring, before Knight-Thompson scored a hat-trick of penalty corners for a memorable win! Fourth overall, by one goal to third placed, Reading. Harleston and Guildford were promoted. An amazing first season in the indoor National League that saw Knole Park field 16 different players and have a coaching team of five staff over the two weekends. A quite simply remarkable club effort!
Elsewhere the U16A Girls ran out comfortable 1-0 winners over Sevenoaks in the Supra League. Evie Smith with the only goal. The U14A Girls lost narrowly to Guildford 3-2. Evie Whitehead with both goals from Knole Park. Whitehead was also in fine goal-scoring form in the Women’s 2s as she scored four goals.
Sarah Eversfield made a wonderful return from long-term injury with a hat-trick, Aurelia Nadal also scored three goals, Amie Gould and debutant Connie Coquelin also scored in the 12-0 win against Burnt Ash 5s. The Men’s 1s relinquished their place at the top of the league with a disappointing 5-0 loss to Tunbridge Wells 3s. The U10 Boys and Girls were both in action, as were the U8 Mixed in an exceptionally busy weekend for Knole Park!
With the indoor season now over it’s time for Knole Park to focus on the outdoor campaigns again. The Adult sides are all in action this weekend as the Men look to bounce back against Sittingbourne 3s, the Women’s 1s face New Beccehamians and the Women’s 2s travel to Cliftonville 2s. The U14A Girls face Surbiton, U16A Girls play St. Albans, the U18A Girls play Epsom, and the U16B Girls play Havant.