AKS U14 hockey team are celebrating qualifying for the North West Regional round of the National Schools Competition after finishing runners-up in the Lancashire U14 tournament.
The AKS squad consisting of players from Year 9,8 &7 played superbly winning three of their four matches to claim runners-up spot. The first game saw us take on Rossall and from the first whistle we dominated play and created a number of scoring opportunities. Olivia M and Prisha R dominated on the right and when Olviia M put a great cross into the circle Ziv W was on hand to find the net to make it 1 – 0 before the break. The second half went the way of the first with us dominating possession and early on Prisha R went close. We had several corners and from one of these Jessie A found the net to make it 2 – 0 and secure a well deserved win.
The second game was against Lytham High and was a close, hard fought one. In the first half we started well and again enjoyed a lot of possession and won a corner in the second minute but failed to convert. Lytham were always dangerous up front and only good marking and tackling at the back limited their scoring opportunities. Despite creating most of the chances Lytham defended well and we went into the break level at 0 – 0. The second half saw us dominate play and we won several corners in the first few minutes but once again we failed to convert and the scores remained level. With time running out the deadlock was eventually broken by Prisha R who found the net with two minutes remaining to earn our second win and two more points on the board.
After two wins we knew the next game against Stonyhurst would be a big challenge as their team were very big and strong and so it proved to be. Stonyhurst started quickly and immediately put us under pressure but calm defending from Beth R , Eleanor L, Alicia I and Charlotte T thwarted their attacks and the scores remained level. Having weathered the storm we enjoyed some possession of our own and with Olivia M in midfield linking well with Prisha R up front on the right we started to dominate and won several corners only to see them well saved by the Stonyhurst keeper and at half time the scores were level at 0-0. After the break we continued to attack with pace and in the 5th minute we deservedly took the lead when Ziv W converted a well worked penalty corner routine to make it 1-0. Lifted by the goal we gained in confidence and Prisha R shot just wide after another good passing move and at the final whistle we had won 1-0 and secured at least the runners-up spot with only one game to play.
The final game was to be the title decider and it was against Kirkham. Kirkham started the quicker and their fast passing hockey put us under pressure immediately and we went behind in only the 3rd minute. Still rather shell shocked we lost confidence and stopped marking and tackling which allowed Kirkham to dominate and they went two up with a superb corner strike minutes later. A third goal soon followed and had Eva E in goal not made a superb save out wide just before half time the score would have been more. After a disappointing first half which saw Kirkham enjoy the lion’s share of possession and us not play as we knew we could we went into the second half determined to raise our levels of play and from the start we were quicker to the ball and more determined in our tackling. With everyone working half in both attack and defence we made it a lot more difficult to create any clear scoring opportunities and with Ziv W always a threat up front we started to enjoy some possession of the ball and put Kirkham under pressure. After a much improved second half which remained scoreless at 0-0 we knew we had raised our game to match Kirkham but Kirkham were deserved 3-0 winners.
After a superb afternoon of hockey and being crowned Lancashire U14 runners -up we now look forward to the regional semi- finals after half term.