AKS U15s progress to the quarter finals of the Lancashire Plate
A game of two halves...
AKS played host to Birkdale school in the Lancashire plate. Birkdale took the early advantage as AKS were slow to start and allowed Birkdale to make ground with their big runners in the pack. This saw the Birkdale number 8 crash over for the first try and was followed later in the half by the winger crossing in the corner. As AKS progressed through the half Mark set the tone with some bone crunching tackles, rousing George and Theo to join the party, throwing their bodies in to contact. This spurred the AKS team on as they started to gain in momentum in the game, William E made headway in attack allowing Josh to break through the Birkdale defence, Quick ruck ball and Daniel threaded the ball through off the foot for Reece to chase. Unfortunately he was beaten by the bounce and the first half came to a close.
In the second half, AKS came to life, playing with a clear purpose and intensity. Some powerful running by William W and great rucking from Ben C, allowed Zack to find Daniel to release Reece who scampered in to the corner. Despite their dominance in the early exchanges AKS had a laps in concentration, which allow Birkdale to regain their two try advantage moments later.
Not willing to lie down, AKS sprung in to action from the kick off, with Mark chasing well to retain possession and Tommy in quick support the win the ruck. AKS camped in the Birkdale half for the next five minutes, just unable to break down the strong defensive effort from the visitors. When Birkdale kicked to clear their lines, quick thinking by Daniel with a throw in to himself and the team reacting well to crash the ball up the centre and to release Reece again down the wing to cruise around his opposite number in to the right hand corner. AKS continued to build the pressure with momentum on their side, this saw William W, crash through the Birkdale defence from a midfield scrum to score to the left of the posts. Daniel slotted the conversion to make the score 17-15 moving in to the final stages of the game.
Under pressure the Birkdale pack started to infringe allowing AKS to kick to the corner and with a well worked lineout Joe bulldozed his way over in the left corner. As the game came to a close Birkdale took the ascendancy with powerful running from the number 8 and centre, to pressure the AKS line. Outstanding tackling from Josh and Mark in the centre prevented Birkdale on a number of occasions, however the eventually the number 8 crashed through to score to the left of the AKS post.
With the score at 22-20 it was a high pressure kick for the Birkdale flyhalf, the ball was push to the right of the post as the final whistle blew and AKS for AKS to progress in the quarter finals. This was a sterling second half, which showed the true ability of the team.