PUBLISHED 11 March 2022
Saturday saw AKS host their annual Jean Torrance Hockey Tournament with schools from Ashford, Kent, Mary Erskine, Edinburgh making the long journey to take on AKS, Altrincham Girls’ GS and two junior sides from local hockey clubs Garstang and Preston.
On a sunny but cold day it was fantastic to see lots of young hockey players enjoying their sport and AKS was buzzing with activity all day. After an action packed day that ended with a plate competition as well as the main competition in both the A and B tournaments, honours were shared and there were lots of medals to present at the end.
The AKS U12A team started the tournament well with Camilla C scoring twice to give her team a 2-0 win over Garstang HC in their opening game. Their next game against Mary Erskine School from Edinburgh proved to be much closer. Both teams had chances but good team play from AKS on the right led to a well taken goal from lively forward Maisie W. Mary Erskine came back strongly in the second half but an AKS penalty corner forced the opposition keeper to make a good save only for Anna V to fire the rebound into the back of the net. With two wins under their belt a confident performance against Altrincham Girls GS saw them to a 3-0 win with Anna V setting up first half goals for Camilla C and Maisie W and Olivia W scoring the third after the break. The next match between AKS and Ashford saw both teams go into the game unbeaten. An end to end game saw Ashford take an early lead with AKS coming back strongly to equalise through Maisie W. Constant pressure saw Ashford attack strongly from the back to overload their attack and take a 2-1 lead at half time. The second half saw AKS change their tactics to close down the opposition and Anna V used her skill and speed to equalise with an individual goal on the counter attack. The game ended 2-2 putting both teams in the semi-final with a game to play to decide the final group positions. AKS’s final game saw them beat Preston HC 3-0 with two goals from Camilla C and one from Anna V. This win meant they finished as group winners as Ashford drew their final game with Mary Erskine.
In the semi final AKS met Preston HC again. With the outcome never in doubt from the start a slick team performance saw AKS win 4-0 with two goals from Yr 6 pupil Olivia W and one each for Anna V and Camilla C. This meant AKS met Ashford School in what was always going to be a closely contested final after the group matches. AKS started the game well and came close when a good cross from Penelope D on the right rolled tantalisingly in front of the Ashford goal line but AKS unable to just reach the ball to tap in. With both teams keen to score an Ashford shot narrowly missed the target and AKS had to survive a goalmouth scramble before sweeper Lauren M managed to get the ball clear. Ashford were on top in the second half and despite some valiant defending from AKS they took the lead with four minutes to go. Down but not out AKS pushed forward for the equaliser and were awarded with a penalty corner. An on target shot forced a foul from an Ashford defender and resulted in another penalty corner being awarded. This time AKS made no mistake. A jubilant Anna V scored with an unstoppable shot much to the jubilation of the crowd and her team-mates. The game finished 1-1 which meant both teams shared the trophy.
AKS U12 B & C teams took part in the B team tournament and both played some superb hockey in the pool stages to progress into the B team Cup and Plate semi-finals.
The B team started slowly and despite having all the pressure and numerous shots could not find a way past the Mary Erskine keeper and drew 0 – 0. Wins against AKS C team, Altrincham B and Mary Erskine B team plus a draw against Ashford B saw us progress into the semi-finals as group runners-up where we met Mary Erskine C team.
In the semi final, they played Mary Erskine “B” for the second time and we raised our game to win 3-0 and progress into the final to play Ashford School “B”. Just as in the pool match it was a tight affair with both teams coming close to scoring but neither being able to get their noses infront and at the final whistle the scores were level .The game was a thrilling end to end match and AKS “B” team deservedly were joint winners. Special mention to novice GK Amelia C who did not concede a goal all tournament. The squad performed incredibly well and were lead by joint captains, Olivia D and Gracie G who lead the squad up to collect their medals and trophy.
AKS U13C made a good start to the tournament against Altrincham B team. The game was very even, with end to end hockey, however neither team were able to convert their play into a goal on this occasion. Zia A and Lianna G were assertive in their attacking roles. The game finished 0-0 with some excellent saves by Sienna M. Tough opposition were next with Ashford B team. AKS battled and worked hard in defence to keep them out of the circle for the first part of the game. However Ashford made a break in attack and scored their first goal of the game. AKS had chances where they were able to move the ball forward, playing it out wide to and down the line. Kathryn S kept driving down the line as right forward, eager to cross the ball into the D. The end result was a very respectable 3-0 loss against a strong Ashford side. Head to head against their own AKS B team the girls kept driving forward in attack, determined to score. With chances in their attacking circle the C team played some excellent passing hockey. A good battle was had on the right side of the pitch between Claudia K and Camilla W, with Georgina W playing a new position as CF, she made some great drives through. Against another strong B team side from Mary Erskine School Edinburgh, the C team continued with their positive approach to the game. They worked tirelessly to keep chasing back and use the width on the pitch, Holly C worked hard in attack. Esme M was again strong in defence making some outstanding tackles, moving the ball wide to Isabelle C and Casey M. Managing to keep the game to 1-0 was a great reflection of their play during the tournament so far. Onto their final match of the pool, was Mary Erskine C team. Issy H made some excellent drives forward and put the pressure on in attack. With Charlotte J still controlling the middle the girls were able to score and finish with a fantastic 1-0 win. This took them into the plate final, facing AGGS again. AKS had all the pressure and worked hard to keep going. They were unlucky not the score with a few near misses. A good day was had as the match finished 0-0 with both teams able to share the trophy.
Overall a fantastic day of hockey enjoyed by players and spectators alike! See our video here.
U12A Cup Competition
1st= AKS and Ashford
3rd Mary Erskine
4th Preston HC
1st Garstang HC
2nd Altrincham Girls GS
U12B Cup Competition
1st= AKS and Ashford B
1st = AKS C and Altrincham B