U13 Hockey crowned Lancashire Champions
After a superb hockey season so far AKS U13 hockey team continue to dominate the hockey scene as they are now celebrating being crowned Lancashire U13 Champions after remaining undefeated in all their matches in the County tournament played at AKS on Monday.
The U13 team started well against Lytham High School when Katie T was on hand to put the ball in the net after a driving run from Olivia M. This settled the nerves and a Laura K brace of goals before the break saw us take a 3 – 0 lead into the second half. We continued to dominate possession and a hat-trick in the second half from Laura K and one more from Olivia M made it the perfect start winning 7 – 0 and putting our first points on the board.
The second match was against Kirkham and with a win under their belt nerves were settled and the team started to play superb passing hockey and put Kirkham under contestant pressure. We created a number of scoring opportunities but we could not find the net and at half time the scores were level at 0 – 0 despite our dominance. The second half continued as the first with us creating many chances but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping saw the scores remain at 0 – 0. We finally got reward for our dominance with 5 minutes to go when Laura K scored a superb individual goal to make it 1 – 0. Kirkham however were always dangerous on the break and with 30seconds to go poor defending gifted Kirkham a goal and at the final whistle we were rueing two points dropped rather than one gained.
Our third game of the tournament saw us up against local rivals Rossall. We again dominated possession in the first half however all too often our final pass or shot at goal was inaccurate and the scores remained level until prolific scorer Laura K again found the net to make it 1 – 0. Rossall defended resolutely but Laura K became provider for our second goal when she fed the perfect pass to Katie T free on the left post and she made no mistake in finding the net to make it 2 – 0 at the final whistle and three more points.
After a convincing win against Baines we went into our final against unbeaten St.Marys Hall knowing that only a win would see us crowned champions. We started the game in confident mood but it was St.Marys Hall who took an early lead when a well worked move down the right saw a pass across the goal find a player free who drove the ball goalwards. Mady R in goal made a superb first save but when the rebound fell to another SMH forward infront of goal she gave Mady no chance with a second shot to make it 1-0. To our girls credit we did not let heads go down but lifted our game and started to play with great determination and power with Olivia M driving down the right and Carley W and Laura K looking dangerous up front. After a period of great attacking play we deservedly got on the score sheet when superb play from Carley W saw her win the ball and then play the perfect pass to Laura K in the circle and she drilled the ball into the corner to make it 1 – 1 and we deservedly went into the break level. The second half saw us play our best hockey of the tournament. Great determined defending from Maddie B and excellent tackling from Charlotte T at the back saw us make it difficult from SMH to create many clear scoring opportunities. Lucy B in the centre started to dominate with her driving forward runs and we enjoyed more possession and started to put the St.Marys Hall defence under pressure. A piece of superb individual play from Carley W saw her steal the ball from the SMH full back and then her skills saw her evade the defenders and slip the ball past the GK to take us into the lead 2- 1. We then defended for our lives as SMH threw everything at us, as they only needed a draw to lift the trophy, but we were always dangerous going forwards and when Laura K scored a great goal, slipping the ball past the outrushing keeper to make it 3 - 1 we had one had on the trophy. The last few minutes saw us play great hockey putting SMH on the back foot winning several attacking corners but at the final whistle the score was a superb 3 – 1 victory and we were crowned worthy Lancashire U13 Champions.
A superb final game saw us raise our performance when needed and play some excellent hockey and remain undefeated to be crowned Lancashire Champions , lift the trophy and deservedly take home winners medals proving we are the best U13 side in Lancashire. We now go on to represent Lancashire in the North West Finals next month.