PUBLISHED 02 December 2021
AKS U16 Hockey team followed their indoor exploits with an even greater achievement when they won a thrilling penalty shoot out against The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) to join the U13 team in the quarter finals of the National Schools Competition.
We started on the front foot taking the game to GSAL and created chances for Patsy C and Katie T in the first few minutes. This set the tone for the half and excellent play on the right by Olivia M and Carly W set up a shooting opportunity for Lucy B that bought a good save from the GSAL keeper. We continued to enjoy a lot of the ball and Laura K started a superb move with a fantastic cross field pass to Beth R which saw us again driving down the right but it came to nothing and the scores remained level. The skilful, fast GSAL players were always a threat and only a fantastic save from keeper Anya J kept the scores level. GSAL lifted by this put us under pressure which required great defending from Charlotte T , Sophie F, Jessica A , Olivia M and Beth R as well as some more superb saves from Anya J and at the break the scores were level despite us having shaded the half.
The second half saw GSAL raise their game and put us under huge pressure. Good defending at two corners kept the scores level but GSAL got reward for their good start to the half when they took the lead from their third well worked corner in the 5th minute. The next few minutes saw us on the back foot and only our fantastic team work and work rate from all the players kept the score to just one and we slowly regained confidence and started to enjoy possession of our own. Superb play in midfield from Charlotte T, Lucy B and Laura K, both in and out of possession, set the tone for the rest of the game and we won several attacking corners and were rewarded when a great strike from Lucy B was superbly deflected into the goal by Olivia M to draw us level at 1 – 1 with 5 minutes to go. With both teams well matched the final whistle blew with the scores level and the tie was to be decided by the dreaded penalty shoot out!
Both sides had won their previous tie on penalties so the result was definitely still in the balance! AKS took the first stroke and Lucy B coolly found the net to get us off to s great start. GSAL scored their first stroke but when Carly W ’s effort hit the post it was back on level terms. Laura K and Charlotte T converted their strokes but at the end of the mandatory 5 strokes the scores were still level so the result was down to sudden death strokes. GSAL went first and a great save by Anya J saw the door open and when Charlotte T stepped up with nerves of steel and drilled the ball in to the top corner to score and win the tie everyone was celebrating a superb win and a place in the quarter finals!!
The game was a superb advert for hockey at both schools with all the players demonstrating excellent individual skills and the teams playing some fantastic fast, flowing hockey. Well done to all!