Six juniors from HC Knole Park played for England U16 and U18 Girls sides over February Half-Term. Anna Faulstich, Charlotte Watkins, Evie Smith, Josefina Hippe, Lottie Bingham, and Olivia Breed all played in successful 3-0 series wins against Ulster at Lilleshall National Sports Centre.
In the U16 matches the England team got off to a flying start and it was Knole Park’s Hippe who scored the first goal of the match with a superb backhand strike after two minutes. Moments later Breed netted twice – once with a fantastic deflection, and secondly with a very composed 1v1 against the goalkeeper. Not satisfied with three of the opening four goals, Smith smashed home England’s fifth goal with a thunderbolt from the top of the D! The match finished 9-0 to England.
In match two it was once again the Knole Park girls who featured in the goal scoring as Smith and Breed both scored again as England won 5-0, and in match three the England girls secured a 2-0 win to take the series 3-0.
In the U18 matches Bingham starred in all three matches. In match one they won 4-1 with Bingham deflecting home from close range, as well as picking up an assist. In match two it was more of the same as Bingham robbed the Northern Irish midfielder before playing an excellent one-two with her team mate, before smashing the ball past the on rushing goalkeeper! Into the second half and some sublime skill down the right-hand side from Bingham saw her return the favour as she put her team mate in for the easiest of finishes.
Hippe and Faulstich, who had both starred the day before for the U16s were moved up to the U18s for this match too and the link up between the three Knole Park play-makers was fantastic! The match finished 4-2. In the final match Bingham was again on the score sheet as she finished from close range in a comfortable 4-1 win, to give England a 3-0 series win, and Bingham was the second top scorer in the squad.
Duncan Parnis, HC Knole Park’s Director of Coaching, said: “The girls were superb throughout the three days. I was so proud to see them all play so well at the highest level. At times there were five Knole Park players on the pitch at the same time which is just remarkable! All the girls are so committed to their hockey and play so well every week; it was great to be able to stand back and just enjoy watching them play.”