The future looks bright on the hockey scene for AKS - a review of the season
The hockey season may have been cut short by the Covid 19 outbreak but AKS can still look back on another superb year with the school’s junior sides leading the way both with the number of trophies won and their impressive season playing records.
The U11 girls take pride of place with four trophies and an unbeaten playing record. They retained their AIJS with an impressive 4 – 0 win in the final against Kings School, Macclesfield and the Lancs U11 tournament titles in impressive style by winning all of their matches. The team were joint champions of the Rossall Invitational tournament and were also crowned North West U11 champions with a superb display of passing hockey which saw them remain undefeated all day and so qualify for the North of England Finals.
The team played a superb standard of hockey throughout the year and were unstoppable as is reflected by their playing record of played 9 , won 9 goals scored 45 goals against just 3. Their season included superb wins against Sedbergh 9-1 and Cheadle Hulme 7-0 as well as a double over arch rivals Kirkham.
The U13 Girls team also had a superb season bringing home two titles. In the first round of the U13 National Schools IN2 Hockey Tournament 2020 the girls proved a force to be reckoned with being crowned Lancashire A and B team Champions with both teams remaining undefeated and scoring a total of 26 goals without conceding one!!
Victory in the Lancs U13 tournament saw the A team progress to the North West semi-final and in a close contest, with the final places being decided in the final rounds of the tournament, AKS went from strength to strength playing superb hockey and showing great team work, resilience and determination scoring 26 goals whilst conceding only 3! With wins against Liverpool College (7-0) Cheadle Hulme (4 – 1) Hill House (5 – 1) King William IOM ( 6 – 0) and a draw against Queens Chester we went into the last game having qualified for the North finals but the final game saw us rise to the challenge of remaining undefeated against a Kirkby Stephen School who boasted a number of very talented players. Determined to come out as winners we raised our game and played our best hockey of the day Great team play, passing and working hard for each other both in attack and defence saw us win 3 - 0. With 5 wins and a draw AKS were crowned North West Champions and we joined the U11 team in the North of England Finals.
The U13’s also had a great friendly season winning 10 and drawing 2 of their 15 games scoring an impressive 61 goals. Impressive 9-0 wins against Rossall and Kings, Chester were the highlights for the A team but the B team also had a great season remaining undefeated in their 8 games winning 6 and drawing two completing the treble over Altrincham and a 6-0 win against Wilmslow.
The U12 Girls also added silverware to the cabinet as the A team played superbly to be crowned Jean Torrance Tournament Winners while the B team were crowned Plate winners and both teams added medals to their ever increasing collections. The A team improved as the tournament progressed and lifted the trophy with superb performances in the semi-finals against Mary Erskine, Edinburgh winning 2 – 0 and an even better performance in the final to defeat Ashford School, Kent 4 – 0. The B team secured top spot with a hard fought victor over AKS C team in the semi-final and a nail biting 2 – 0 win against St.Marys Hall in the final.The U12’s also had impressive season playing records as the A team won all of the 10 games scoring 68 goals and including a great 11 – 1 win against Wakefield High whilst the B team won 5 and drew 2 of their 8 games.
The U14 team were also crowned Lancashire Champions as a superb display in the County round of the National Schools competition saw them undefeated and taking top spot. Good wins against Kirkham ( 1 – 0), Lytham ( 4- 0) and Stonyhurst ( 2 – 0) saw us clinch the title and so qualify for the North West Finals. The team also enjoyed considerable success in friendly matches winning all but one of their 14 outings scoring 43 goals whilst conceding only 8.
A small band of U15 and senior players have trained regularly and enjoyed friendly fixtures over the season. The U15 side have worked hard to improve their team play over the season and enjoyed good wins against Ripley (6 - 0 ) Rossall (8 - 0) and Wilmslow ( 3 - 1). With commitment, always giving 100% and support of teamates as three of the agreed team values they certainly have embraced the true spirit of sport despite not always being on the end of winning score-lines. The senior side have also enjoyed wins against Wilmslow ( 5 - 0) and Kings Chester ( 3 - 0) in their outings and again the girls who have played deserve credit for thier continued commitment to their hockey especially 1st XI Captains Alex and Sally.
As well as enjoying their team success 22 AKS girls and 3 boys were selected to represent Lancashire from U13 to U 17 with a further three Laura, Olivia and Charlotte being selected to attend two Fylde Performance Centre Play Days. Special mention to Beth and Lucy who were selected to be part of the England Hockey Fylde Performance Centre. Having trained all year with the best young players from the North West they will now play in the Fylde PC squad against Durham, Manchester and Yorks with selection for the Pennine Pumas U15 squad their ultimate target. Mention also to Year 13 pupil Rebecca who at the start of the year was selected to to part of the England U18 training Squad following her superb performances in the summer for the Pennine Pumas in the Futures Cup.
Boys hockey continues to grow at AKS with more boys training regularly and more matches and tournaments being played. The U14 team played in the North West Semi-Finals and learning game by game put in a superb performance in their final game against Birkenhead to win 1 -0 and secure a superb 3rd place.
The AKS U11 Boys Hockey squad is also proving a force to be reckoned with on the Boys hockey scene after a superb performance saw them finish runners up at the U11 Lancashire Hockey Championships and so join the U13 and U11 girls in the North of England Finals. They also added a trophy to the cabinet after a successful day’s hockey at the AJIS U11 Boys Hockey Festival saw them crowned joint Plate Winners alongside Bridgewater.
After another fantastic season which not only saw many victories, trophies and medals won but also saw large numbers of girls and boys represent the school in A , B and C teams the future certainly looks bright for the hockey loving pupils at AKS!