PUBLISHED 24 January 2022
AKS U16 Hockey team started the second half of the season with a National Schools quarter final clash against one of the top hockey schools in the Country, Repton School, and did themselves proud with a superb team performance to dominate periods of the game , create many scoring opportunities and prove why they had deservedly progressed into the latter stages of the National competition.
The talented Repton side, that included a host of England and Regional players, started strongly and put us under a lot of early pressure with fast, dynamic passing hockey. Great defending and a superb work rate by all the team thwarted Repton’s best efforts and kept the scores level. Every Repton player was comfortable in possession but superb tracking by Charlotte T, Lucy B and Laura K in midfield restricted their effectiveness and superb tackling by Jessica A, Olivia M, Beth R and Maddie B limited their shooting opportunities. Repton did get reward for their good start however in the 14th minute when they converted one of their corners to take a 1 – 0 lead.
Undeterred we continued to work hard for each other and started to enjoy some possession of our own to put the Repton defence under pressure and earn corners of our own but Repton defended well and we could not get on terms. Great play on the right saw Olivia M and Lucy B link well with Carly W who used her pace to out run the Repton defence only to see her cross intercepted by a Repton defender. A great save by AKS England GK Anya J diving to her left prevented Repton increasing their lead but before the break they did make it 0 – 2 with another well worked drag flick corner routine.
We started the second half with renewed confidence and really took the game to Repton. We dominated possession and created a number of chances through superb driving play from midfield from Charlotte T, Laura K and Lucy B and Carly W had the beating of her defender on the wing and was a constant threat. A superb strike at a corner by Laura K flew just inches wide and we came even closer to scoring from another corner minutes later when the ball went agonising along the goal line and only a last ditch clearance prevented us from finding the net. We continued to put Repton under pressure and were the better team winning several more attacking corners and creating numerous chances but we just could not find the net and against the run of play it was Repton who found the net with a superb reverse stick shot to make it 0 – 3. Despite our best efforts Repton raised their game in the last 10 minutes and by the final whistle had extended their lead to 5 , with two more well taken goals.
Overall the score does not reflect the game and both coaches agreed a 1 -3 score line would have been more accurate. Overall Repton were deserved winners and were rewarded for their superb passing hockey, clinical finishing and excellent penalty corner routine. The AKS team, although bowing out at this quarter final stage, can take great pride in being the only school in the North of England to reach the last eight of this national competition and playing so well to match their illustrious opponents for large periods of the game. All the team will no doubt have learnt from and enjoyed the experience of this successful cup run this season and should be proud of this superb achievement.