Friday, June 14, 2024
HomeHOCKEYHC Knole Park under-14 girls are European Champions!

HC Knole Park under-14 girls are European Champions!

Knole Park U14 Girls are European Champions after they took part in the MOP Invitational U14 Championships in Vught, Netherlands in June. The girls from Kent won their qualifying group, before winning the semi-finals 3-0 and then winning the final on penalties!

On day one, the girls played the hosts MOP. In an outstanding performance the girls won 5-0! Evie Whitehead opened the scoring after some excellent play by Emily Bingham. Annie Ellis then doubled the advantage from close range for a 2-0 lead after excellent play from Georgia Benns. Daisy Edwards hit a penalty corner for 3-0 before Bingham and Whitehead combined again, and Whitehead slotted home for 4-0. Imogen Smith completed the scoring with a superb penalty corner strike.

Next up were HC Schaerweijde, from Utrecht. In a much closer contest, it was a single strike from Ellis that gave the girls a 1-0 win.

On day two, the girls faced HC Upward from Arnhem. In a very tight match, the girls pushed and pushed, but couldn’t find the breakthrough and it finished 0-0.

Onto the final group match against the hosts once again. In a dominant performance the girls took the lead scoring “the perfect goal”. From a 16, the girls passed the ball through Liliya Dale, to Lauren James.

James played the ball into the midfield where Charlotte Bloodworth connected with Smith. Her through pass to Bingham meant the girls were in the attacking D. Bingham passed the ball to Mali Nicholls who hit home! What a goal! The girls were on their way to the semi-finals, despite MOP scoring a late equaliser to tie the game up at 1-1.

On the final day of competition, the girls faced Group B runners-up, Hockey Namur from Belgium in the semi-final. In the performance of the weekend so far the girls were outstanding! First Georgie Owen tapped home after a skilful run by Bingham.

Next Bingham scored her first goal of the tournament after Dale skilfully ran through the Belgium defence. The final goal of the match was an “Evie Whitehead special” as she took a long corner, eliminated three players at the top of the D before smashing a backhand into the bottom corner! On to the final!

In the final the girls faced undefeated HC Rood-Wit. The Dutch opposition, who are currently sitting third in their national competition were a very tough opponent. The Dutch side were brilliant! But the girls from Knole Park had come too far to just roll over! As the match ebbed, and flowed chances came and went for both teams. This was a proper match of hockey!

Rood-Wit took the lead on a counter-attack after Knole Park conceded a penalty corner. In the second half the girls stepped it up another gear and they were now playing the best they have all season! As the half wore on Knole Park were creating more and more chances and quick thinking from Dale won the team a penalty corner. Smith duly dispatched the chance, and it was 1-1.

The girls continue to push and some outstanding play from Daisy Edwards almost resulted in a winning goal. Sadly, it wasn’t to be, so onto penalties. Connie Fenwick in goal was incredible as she saved all but one of the Dutch penalties. Dale and Nicholls both scored their penalties and Knole Park were European champions!

Ruth Bingham, Team Coach, said: “This was a brilliant victory in the final! It was the culmination of lots of hard work throughout the season and the pinnacle of a great weekend of fun and team bonding!”



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