On Saturday 16th November AKS played host to St Mary's Crosby, hosting five games because of persistently wet weather and St Mary's pitches being waterlogged.
AKS U12s played host to St Mary's Crosby and who have been unbeaten this season. The U12s gave their best performance to date with some fantastic rugby and showing great improvements in the contact area. Despite their greatly improved performance, it was not enough to secure a victory as the went down 5-10 in the final stages of the game.
The team set out to play to our strengths and build skills in communication, problem solving and resilience. By the end of the game, regardless of the scoreboard, the team had achieved their aims and took pride in the level of improvement shown in the players. The team is invested in continuous improvement and were cheered and supported by proud parents who showed their appreciation for a developing group who strive to achieve their personal and team best every week.
Some excellent play included lots of line breaks, much improved tackling and intensity at the rucks. The AKS players worked cooperatively and got better and better as the game went on. Several players had their best games of the year and because of injuries we were able to give more game time opportunities for players to ‘step up’. Final score 6-0 to St Mary’s Crosby.
Honourable mentions: Max C, Sam Lo, Toby
U14 played St Mary's Crosby; it was a very well contested match from both teams. St.Marys had some strong ball carriers which caused some defensive problems and AKS, as usual, had some fast and strong ball carriers to cause St.Mary's to be on the back foot at times. It was a brilliant morning for the boys experiencing a different type of opposition without some of the key players, hopefully making the boys realise they all need to step up for their cup match next week.
MoM: George G
St Mary's proved the stronger team due to their domination of the first half as the hosts struggled to deal with the powerful St Mary's Centre. AKS could be allowed to claim that they edged the second half battle, after making life difficult for themselves having left a mountain to climb after shipping too many points early on. The second half saw AKS impose themselves, with the backs receiving more ball, which led to some wonderful open play with well-deserved scores to restore some kind of parity. Errors due to fatigue and size difference let the visitors make further scores. This took the game away from AKS but, as always, the AKS spirit saw the team keep going to the end. With a little more luck AKS could have seen them close the gap even further towards the close. Final Score 17-34.
Man of the Match: Rhys S-R
Honourable mentions: Zack L, Dan S, Joe W, Josh E, Iestyn F
In the first round of the Lancashire Cup, AKS made a great start, pinning St.Mary's back in their half and looking the dominant side in the early exchanges. Midway through the first half St.Mary's showed their class as they started to take a grip of the game. AKS lost Tristan to injury and this added the the St.Mary's momentum and they started to dominate the exchanges. AKS continued to put their best foot forward with Harry and Toby leading the way in defence, but St.Mary's finished as deserved winners and we wish them luck in the next round.
Tuesday 19th November
AKS U14s played in the first round of the Lancashire cup against Liverpool College. AKS kicked off first to Liverpool and it was obvious from then on this was going to be a tough match for both teams. Early in the first half we managed to unleash Jeremy who ran a try in from the half way, but not long after had to come off with a shoulder injury. AKS kept pressuring the opposition and soon got over the line with a try from Reece. Liverpool defended well and managed to turn over a few AKS rucks. They unleashed some brilliant attacks at AKS and got over the line just before half time to make the score 10-5.
Second half AKS got into full swing and managed to make full use of all the space available on such a wide pitch which enabled Lestyn and Reece to get a try of their own both from really well worked team efforts, especially Lestyn’s change of pace and direction to enable him to get under the posts. Tom also managed to bag two tries himself from his resilience both in attack and defense. Final score 36 - 10 to AKS as they go on to the next round of the cup. Well done boys MoM: Lestyn
Saturday 23rd November
AKS played Bolton School in what showcased as a great day of rugby.
AKS Lytham started the game very strongly and soon capitalised on gaps in the defense with Sam running in a splendid opening try. The team worked hard throughout the first half and further tries followed from will and Alfie. In the second half Bolton came back at AKS with determination and scored an early try. AKS dug deep and after some excellent defensive work managed to gain the upper hand. Tries in rapid succession from Archie and Charlie put the game out of Bolton’s reach. final score 25-5
U12B team had another strong performance and a hat trick of tries from Harry allowed the b team to end the morning victorious. All in all a very positive morning’s rugby with a great deal of involvement from the U12 squad.
Bolton came into this clash a formidable opponent, having beaten all before them and on their way to county cup finals. AKS remained undeterred and had an excellent preparation leading into the match.
AKS came within a whisker of scoring first when a try was called, however everyone quickly noticed that it was called over a line a few meters short. We stuck true to our value of sportsmanship and insisted that the play be replayed.
Some strong runs by Harvey A. and Jasper S. pushed Bolton back and gave AKS some excellent chances for scoring, however just couldn’t complete our opportunities.
AKS went into the break 2-0 and looked keen and motivated to score quickly and fight their way into the match. Some excellent all-round work by Max C, Toby C and Stan M continued to keep AKS in with a chance, but Bolton managed to penetrate the defence for their third despite some courageous efforts. Bolton were also able to crossover for 3 more late in the game.
Finn R. never gave up and was a courageous force throughout the match.
The score line was a tough pill to swallow for our team, who battled hard and represented the school with grit and pride. It is wonderful to see the team improving week on week, showing resilience through adversity and playing the game in the right spirit.
Bolton started the game very strong and were clearly on control of the first half. AKS started by making too many mistakes and Bolton took full advantage of this and managed to get on the score sheet first. Bolton linked some really good attacking plays and managed to score for the second time (0-10). The AKS boys then decided to switch on and defend hard to make Bolton make mistakes. AKS got a penalty on the half way and kicked to touch, then Noah with some brilliant footwork got over the line to score. (5-10) AKS now had control of the game and were making some exceptional runs, turned over two scrums and a handful of rucks to create an opportunity for Tom to score in the corner (10-10). AKS has total control of the game and utilised on this by attacking space, Reece made a brilliant run down the wing but gain an injury.
The game finished 10-10, a brilliant effort by all, every single player turned up and played their role.
MoM: Aki - fantastic work around the rucks and in defence
Our intrepid band, already depleted in number and not for the first time fielding less than a complete side, travelled to Bolton and arrived on time - despite the late, late arrival of one of their troop who was warmly applauded aboard the coach to his confused embarrassment.
Conditions are often challenging at Bolton and this fixture would be no different it becoming crystal clear, as AKS took the field, just why Bolton play such a forward orientated brand of rugby.
AKS were under pressure from early on in the match the Bolton forwards gaining ground at will aided by weak defence from their opposition at the breakdown and around the fringes where Bolton were particularly effective and largely unopposed. Tries came fairly quickly with Bolton surging into a healthy lead by the half. Although half of the 4 unanswered scores went unconverted the tally stood at 24 - 0 at the turnaround. A disappointing first 30 display from an AKS side who had not been put under any serious pressure when in attack but simply couldn't complete some promising moves through inability to keep a hold of the ball at the breakdown or in open play.
The second half was a much different affair. AKS, having received a fairly stern and rousing team talk from Mr Walmsley, resolved to "win" the second half and went about their task kicking long into the corners using the wind and the pitch to aid their cause. Bolton found it difficult to get out of their own half and the majority of the second 30, for them, was spent defending their lines. AKS created numerous chances to score but in fact only managed to breach the Bolton defences on one occasion with George M-M going over in the corner after a period of sustained pressure where Bolton gave away a bucket-load of penalties. The AKS score went unconverted and the tally stood at 24 - 5 with much of the half completed.
Bolton were determined to finish the half with a score under their belt and following a breakdown in play and AKS turning the ball over in centre field the Bolton pack set up a rolling maul (not for the first time) which gained an impressive amount of ground and set up an attack from which they ran in their final and converted score of the game.
The final score of 31-5 for the hosts was perhaps slightly flattering for the hosts, who dominated up front but by no means in the backs, and did not reflect at least the potential AKS showed to score in the second half. The game was won and lost in the first half which has been a familiar trend through AKS's entire season if we are honest.
All in all a hard and ultimately disappointing day at the office. We are grateful to our hosts for their hospitality and to adjusting their team to play 14-a-side. We wish them well for the remainder of the season.
MOM - George M-M (for his try and tackling)
Honourable Mentions: Dan S, Ellis G, Tommy F, Toby H
A depleted AKS side were hit again by injury, took on Bolton for the second time this year. AKS started well in the early exchanges with good line speed, making it hard for Bolton to establish an attacking threat. Bolton started to find some dominance up front and at the ruck area which allowed them to build some momentum in to the game. It was AKS mistake however that gave Bolton the best opportunities as they scored from an AKS handling errors and two interceptions, giving Bolton the win.