It was a fantastic end to what has been a truly memorable season for our junior girls’ hockey teams. After our U11 girls finished a superb second in the North of England Hockey Finals in Leeds on Tuesday 20th March, our U10s played at the Kirkham Invitational Tournament on Wednesday 21st.
The team were buoyed by their older counterparts’ achievements over the season and were determined to do well. In the first game against a strong Sedbergh side, we attacked with pace, with Lisa and Kirtika causing problems for the opposition’s defence. Layla marshalled the defence well which prevented Sedbergh from creating many chances, but neither side could find a winner so the game ended goalless. In the next match, we played Kirkham’s B team and an early goal from Zara settled our nerves. Two further strikes were clinically netted by Lisa. This resulted in a 3-0 victory. In the final group match, we stepped up a gear and dominated Westholme School. Zara scored another goal, and Lisa and Kirtika added two apiece for a 5-0 win. Esther, Connie and Ruby played solidly at the back and stopped any chances of Westholme creating anything.
After the points were added up in the group, we had finished second behind Sedbergh on goal difference. This led to a meeting with King’s Chester in the semi-final. What a game this turned out to be. End to end hockey was played, but we scored the opener with a cool finish supplied by Zara. The half time score was 1-0 to us but straight after the break King’s scored two quick goals to take the lead. Carrera made some crucial saves to keep out any further goals and as time was running out two lightning quick attacks both down the right from Kirtika and Layla, led to Lisa and Zara scoring to send us through to the final as 3-2 victors.
The final was another excellent game against Queen’s Chester. Queen’s took the lead early on but a fine strike from Lisa at a penalty corner evened things up. Queen’s had the better of the remaining time in the first half but no further goals were added. After the break, we stepped up for one final push, and the Queen’s keeper made several fine saves to ensure the game ended a draw. After what had been an energy sapping tournament both coaches decided to share the trophy so AKS were crowned as joint winners of the tournament.
The AKS B team also played well to finish as runners up of the plate competition only losing to Kirkham Grammar’s A team on a golden goal in extra time. For most of the girls, this was their first experience of tournament hockey so they will have gained much from this.
The AKS U10 team ended the season unbeaten and will be looking forward to next season to see if they can match the outstanding results the U11s have had this year. Thank you for the support from the sidelines and to Mr Hodgkinson and Mrs Dickson for their coaching on the day and over the season. Roll on next year.