Great morning of hockey against Rossall after 12 months away!
Saturday morning saw a festival of hockey with 200 pupils from AKS and Rossall enjoying their first competitive hockey fixture of the year and both schools giving every squad member an opportunity to represent their respective schools on the hockey pitch.
For all the Yr 7 girls the excitement was even greater as for everyone it was their first opportunity to play in a senior school hockey fixture. Twenty one excited girls arrived at Rossall School to play in two 8 aside games in what was for many their first competitive hockey game. After a year of training and not being able to play fixtures there were different starts for both AKS U12 teams with the B team taking the lead with the first move of the game while the A team took a little longer to settle before they went into the lead. As the games progressed it was pleasing to see both teams grow in confidence and begin to utilise the skills they have worked on throughout the year. Although the games were competitive, both teams played with tremendous spirit and they got better and better as the game progressed as they got used to playing together as a team. AKS won both the A and B games but the players from both schools learnt a lot and enjoyed the experience of representing their schools. The U12A team player of the match was Esther T who was confident in defence and distributed the ball well in attack. The U12B team player of the match was Emily T who used her skills to maintain possession successfully as well as being top goal scorer on the day.
A large squad of U13’s also took to the field in A & B matches. The A team worked extremely well together passing the ball around to play some attractive hockey and put the Rossall goal under constant pressure. Excellent tackles in defence from Lisa P and covering work from Lucy W and Layla W restricted the Rossall attack and great support play moving forward created lots of opportunities in the attacking D which the forwards duly converted to seal the victory. Layla W was voted the Player of the Match for her superb dominant play.
The B team also displayed excellent team work with everyone playing their part in a good win. The team used the width to their advantage and kept Rossall under pressure for whole match with good passing hockey creating numerous scoring opportunities which the forwards duly converted. There were superb AKS debut performances from Maddie A and Eve C both settling in well and Maddie was voted the Player of the Match for her display.
The U14 squad experienced a competitive 11 a side hockey for the first time and certainly enjoyed the space it afforded with lots of superb, fast passing hockey played. A strong start in the first period saw Libby C making her debut for school and proving to be a very effective and dynamic midfield player. We enjoyed a lot of possession and went ahead but good defending by Rossall limited our scoring opportunities and at the break we had a slender lead. In the second period Rossall raised their game and enjoyed more possession however a great diving save by Daniella H kept us infront. Outstanding performances from Zoe B with her chasing back, Lara and Jessica C with some great tackles frequently stopped the Rossall attackers from breaking through but eventually Rossall’s good pressure was rewarded with a goal before the break to level the scores at 1 - 1. The final period saw us play our best hockey of the match with Charlotte T, Carley W and Jessica A dominating midfield. Jessie A’s driving runs down the right created scoring opportunities which were duly convert infront of goal. Charlotte T organised the attacking penalties corner routines and finished the morning’s hockey with a great straight strike hitting the backboard.
The very large U15 squad took to the field against Rossall U15 and proved all the practice over the past 12 months has been worth it as everyone contributed to a superb display of passing hockey. Great driving play down the right from Olivia M and Beth R created a number of scoring opportunities and Katie T was always on hand to convert a hat-trick of goals. Zara B played well in goal making several key saves to maintain a clean sheet for the team while Captain Lucy B capped a superb performance in midfield with three goals of her own. Some other highlights of the game were an impressive school debut by Ella P who was playing her first ever hockey match and showed great promise in both midfield and on the forward line, a great defensive display from Maisie M, Rachel W scoring her first goal for AKS and overall a superb display of team hockey. There were a lot of impressive performances during the game but Players of the Match were Captain Lucy B for leading by example with her superb work rate in both attack and defence along with her hat-trick of goals and other hat-trick hero Katie T.
Overall a great mornings hockey enjoyed by AKS and Rossall players, staff and parents alike, everyone just glad to be back playing competitive sport again after a year away!