HC Knole Park’s U16 Girls won the U16 Girls National Final on Sunday 2nd April to complete an historic double championships success for the club! The Girls beat City of York HC 6-2 in the final with a brilliant team performance. Knole Park have now won both the England Hockey indoor and outdoor National Championships for two years running!
The Knole Park girls faced an exceptionally tough cup run in this season England Hockey Tier 1 Championships. In the quarter finals Knole Park beat Wimbledon HC 5-2. An outstanding performance from Evie Smith was the catalyst for the win. Two remarkable solo goals gave Knole Park the lead, before Biba Mills slotted passed the goalkeeper after an excellent aerial into the D. Mackenzie Ward made it 4-1 at half-time with a sensational strike from the top of the D.
In the semi-finals Knole Park travelled to cup favourites Repton Hockey Club. Ines Gascoyne-Day and Alessia Turner were in inspired form as they dominated the midfield battles and were instrumental in setting up the two Knole Park goals. The first was finished by Summer Knight-Thompson and the second rebounded by Bella Muñoz. The defensive unit of Amber Croll, Kammy Bussey and Boadicea Cannon were phenomenal, as were goalkeepers Sophie Bernhardsen and Zofia Starr. To keep Repton from scoring was a truly outstanding effort from all the girls.
Knole Park were fantastic in the final against City of York Hockey Club! The girls dominated the match and a double hat-trick from Biba Mills gave the girls a resounding 6-2 win! The team started at a ferocious pace which the City of York defence struggled to keep pace with giving away multiple fouls and penalty corners. Biba Mills was on hand to flick in two first half goals. City of York did pull one goal back to make the score 2-1 at half-time.
In the second half the girls continued to press, and Biba Mills continued to score! Mills scored another penalty corner to make it a hat-trick for her. She then converted a penalty stroke after an excellent turnover in midfield by Evie Smith. Smiths through pass to Mills meant she was 1v1 with the goalkeeper. The City of York goalkeeper fouled Mills and she then dusted herself down and stepped up to score the penalty: 4-2.
As the game progressed the Knole Park girls continue to play and push for more goals. Producing their best performance of the season the girl’s ambition was clear to see as they were really enjoying how well they were playing. Biba Mills scored two more penalty corners late on to complete her double hat-trick and a complete a memorable cup win for Knole Park! The best U16 Girls team in England!
Whilst rarely called upon Sophie Bernhardsen and Zofia Starr were once again very good in goal. Amber Croll, Betsy Burden, Lilly Holmes, Kammy Bussey and Boadicea Cannon were outstanding in defence, and Mackenzie Ward and Ines Gascoyne-Day were superb in midfield. Summer Knight-Thompson, Celia Foster and Bella Muñoz were always a threat going forward. Alessia Turner, Evie Smith and Biba Mills were awarded a share of the player of the match award as all three girls excelled in a brilliant team performance.
Turner’s contribution to both attack and defence through midfield was outstanding as she passed, tackled and carried with exceptional quality winning a number of early penalty corners which were crucial for the team.
Evie Smith covered every inch of the pitch as she ran, tackled, beat defenders and also won multiple penalty corners throughout the match. And Biba Mills who lived the dream of any goal-scorer converting six opportunities to score a double hat-trick! Incredible!
To win one National Final is remarkable achievement by any standard. For Knole Park to be double National Champions for the second successive season is a simply outstanding.
Many congratulations to all the girls that have played this season, as well as the amazing coaching team of Duncan Parnis and Ruth Bingham.