Cardinals

WOKING moved back to the top of Vanarama League South on Tuesday – but they didn’t have it all their own way against mid-table Oxford City at Court Place Farm.

Armani Little celebrates after scoring

The Cards’ last-gasp 2-1 victory was enough to lift them three points clear of Torquay United at the summit, although the Devonians now have a game in hand and still boast a much superior goal difference.

The home team secured just a single corner in the first half, and failed to win another until 10 minutes from full-time, but certainly frustrated Alan Dowson’s outfit and were deserving of a draw.

Oxford went into the match on the back of a 5-3 home defeat to Hampton & Richmond Borough, and with a dismal record of only one win from their previous 10 league matches in 2019. But after seeing Woking’s Max Kretzschmar fire a free-kick narrowly over the bar, City went ahead in the 15th minute. 

What followed was a tense back and forth that saw the hosts come a hairsbreadth from equalising more than once as they harried the Woking visitors at every turn.

However, with the clock showing five minutes of injury-time played, City were unable to clear and Harvey Bradbury – on loan from Oxford United – volleyed past King, via the underside of the bar, to break the hearts of home players and supporters.

For the full match report get the 14 March edition of the News & Mail

In 2011, Cardinals Netball was nothing more than an idea shared between two former Sheerwater school friends. Nine years later, it’s one of the most successful and fastest growing clubs in Woking and Surrey at large.

Young cardinals with Surrey Storm and South Africa International player Shadine Van Der Merwe

Co-founders and level 2 head coaches Kate Carthy and Hilary ‘Hils’ Hooper have been instrumental in the meteoric rise in popularity of netball, with Cardinals now becoming a beacon for other clubs to aspire to.

“It was actually my husband who suggested that we should start a netball team. My daughter wanted to play netball in year three at school, but there wasn’t really anything that she could get involved with until she was in year five, so there was a gap to fill,” Carthy said.

In the early days, the club comprised a small group of friends, which included Carthy and Hooper’s sons, to help make up the numbers.

Since then, the club has grown year-on-year through word of mouth. It now has in-excess of 250 girls playing netball each week.

Kate Carthy and Hillary “Hils” Hooper

Speaking of Cardinals increasing popularity, Hopper added: “Netball is one of the biggest growing sports in the UK.

“Girls’ sport in particular has experienced high levels of growth over the past decade or so, not just through the likes of football and cricket, but netball too.

“The fact that they’re now showing netball on television has really helped to raise awareness of the sport; so much so, it’s actually becoming increasing more difficult to get tickets to watch Surrey Storm compete in the Netball Superleague.

“We now manage the best part of 20 teams, who train at Sythwood Primary School and SJB (St John the Baptist School).

“We promote the fact that we are inclusive, not exclusive and that we will always do our utmost to accommodate every player we can between the ages of six and 18,” added Hopper.

Carthy and Hooper are now looking into the possibilities of running a summer league this year to demonstrate the club’s ongoing commitment to provide a pathway for progression and soon to be unrivalled sporting achievements.

For the full interview get the 28 February edition of the News & Mail