It was a festival of hockey at AKS as schools from as far afield as Edinburgh, Kent and the Midlands joined North West schools for the Annual Jean Torrance Memorial Tournament and once again AKS came out victorious picking up two more trophies to add to the bulging trophy cabinet.
A total of 18 schools and 180 girls played 48 matches during the day with all the players demonstrating a fantastic standard of both hockey and sportsmanship .The tournament which catered for both A , B & C teams and for many of the girls it was their first experience of playing in a hockey tournament. AKS were well represented with three teams and twenty eight girls playing with one team in the A competition and two in the B competition.
AKS A team got off to a great start in the tournament with Kirtika running through to score the very first goal of the tournament and give AKS the lead against Lytham St Annes HS. Laura scored two more for AKS and Lytham grabbed one back to make the half time score 3-1. Second half goals from Kirtika, Layla and Lucy made the final score 6-1. In their next game AKS struggled to score against a strong Fylde Hockey Club side but goals from Laura on the left post and a superb reverse stick strike from Layla made it 2-0 at half time . A well taken penalty corner strike from Layla put the game beyond doubt in the second half to give AKS a 3-0 win. Completely in their stride now, AKS won their next two games against Merchant Taylor’s, Crosby and Chase School, Malvern 7-0 and 5-0 respectively to win the group. Against Merchant Taylor’s the goalscoreers were:- Kirtika (2) Layla (2) Ruby, Laura and Lucy. Against Chase the goalscorers were:- Lisa (2) Layla, Laura and Lucy.
As group winners AKS played old rivals Mary Erskine School from Edinburgh in the semi final. A close game saw the AKS defence tested for the first time in the tournament but sweeper Esther remained unflappable while Sophia tackled well and keeper Niamh made two fine saves. Strong play from AKS on the right led to a left post goal for Laura and an unstoppable penalty corner strike from Layla took the pressure off and earned the jubilant AKS players a place in the final.
With a large numbers of AKS supporters, which now included our B and C team players on the touch line, being at home, definitely proved an advantage in the final. In an end to end first half saw the composed defence play well with Lucy marking their strongest player out of the game and Lisa covering nearly every inch of the field to close the opposition down. Surging runs from Layla combined with Ruby’s skill in getting behind the defence led to numerous goal scoring opportunities with Laura breaking the deadlock to give AKS the lead with a first time sweep shot lifted into the roof of the net. The second half saw AKS begin to dominate with two further goals from Laura and a well deserved goal for Lisa making the final score 4-0. In a game that was much more closely contested than the score suggests; AKS played superb passing hockey and produced what must be one of the best performances in a final to win a game against strong opposition in such a convincing way and claim the winner’s trophy and medals.
The AKS U12B team played in the B tournament and faced a very strong Mary Erskine team all the way from Edinburgh in the first match of the tournament. They were put under pressure very early as Mary Erskine took the lead. AKS battled hard but were unable to stop them scoring, losing 3-0. As they moved through the tournament we next faced The Chase School, Malvern. AKS started well passing the ball well and creating a number of goal scoring opportunities with Lucy a constant threat in the middle. Great passing play and accurate shooting saw us come away with a strong 8-0 win. In their final match of the group, we played Ashford School, Kent. We battled and kept working hard to mark their players. After quite a few passages of attacking play, Ashford were able to breakthrough and won the final match.
This took AKS B through to the Plate Semi-final to play our own C team. This was a very good game with both teams fighting hard to gain the win. AKS B took the lead 1-0, but a lapse in marking saw the C team sneak a goal to take put them back on level terms just before half time. The B team were determined to come away with a win and continued to put the pressure on, the final score was 3-1. This took AKS B through to the Plate final against St Mary's Hall. AKS maintained their work rate and were able to put themselves in the lead with a good 2-0 scoreline by half time. AKS were determined to be crowned winners and were successful in their competition. They finished U12B winners of the Plate competition.
The B Competition started for the AKS C team at LSA and after an enthusiastic warm up they faced Chase B team in their first game of the day. The attacking players started well with many pacey runs from Anya giving the team confidence. Chase broke with pace and after many convincing saves from Shelby Chases B took the lead. A quick half time talk and fresh legs from Scarlett in defence helped keep the barrage of Chase attacks away until a quick succession of short corners allowed Chase to find the back of the net. AKS 0 Chase 2. Not disheartened by the first result AKS C took on St Marys Hall B team. They played some lovely passing hockey with Captain Lara leading the way in defence and Rosie matching Anya for pace on the forward line. Isla and Chloe also helped keep the defence solid with some great clearances wide and at the end the match we had our first points on the board with a very respectable 0-0. AKS C then faced Mary Erskine C. In a fast paced game the skillful Mary Eskine made attack after attack. Again Shelby did well to keep the ball out until faced with a strong penalty corner which found the back of the net from a rebound strike at goal. Isla, Chloe, Scarlett, Sasha and Lara did not let Mary Erskine have it easy and continued the great work rate with tackle after tackle. Linking with Rosie, Anya, Emily and Ella tried to break the Mary Erskine defence but with no luck. Final score 4-0 to Mary Erskine.
AKS C found themselves drawn against AKS B in the Plate semi final and with the familiarity of the opposition AKS C played their best hockey all morning. Sasha stepped into goal and kept the C team in the running and despite AKS B taking an early lead Anya and Rosie continued attack runs and were unlucky not to score. Eventually the AKS B team were caught off guard with the pace of the AKS C team and Anya leveled the score. AKS B team came back hard in the second half and again Sasha and the defence worked tirelessly to deflect the barrage of attack from the B team who eventually scored. Final score 3-1 AKS B. In the afternoon we met The Chase C team in the plate 3rd/4th position play off. Determined to finish on a high and with a win we played our best hockey of the day and finally got a well deserved victory thanks to a runaway goal from Rosie to claim 3rd spot.
The presentations were made by AKS Headmaster Mr David Harrow and the delighted AKS A team captain Layla collected the Jean Torrance Memorial Trophy and the team received winners medals while the B team Captain Lola received the B Plate Trophy and medals. Overall a fantastic festival of hockey enjoyed by players and spectators alike and another very successful day for the U12 Hockey squad.
The AKS results were as follows:-
A team results
v Lytham High won 6-1
v Fylde Hockey Club won 3-0
v Merchant Taylors won 7-0
Chase School won 5 - 0
Semi-final v Mary Erskine School won 2-0
Final v Ashford School won 4-0
B team results
v Mary Erskine B Lost 0 - 3
v Chase C team won 8-0
v Ashford lost 2-0
Semi- final v AKS C won 3-1
Plate Final v StMarys Hall won 2-0
C team results
v Chase B lost 2-0
v St Marys Hall B Drew 0-0
v Mary Erskine C lost 4 - 0
Semi-final v AKS B lost 3-1
3r/4th Play-Off vs Chase C Won 1 - 0