PUBLISHED 29 November 2022
AKS U15 hockey team narrowly missed out on a place in the quarter finals of the National Independent Schools Cup Competition for the second year running after a superb team performance against a strong Solihull School side.
We started the game nervously and Solihull dominated the opening exchanges and won an early corner but great corner defence saw the scores remain level. More Solihull pressure required determined defending and everyone stepped up to thwart the opposition efforts and keep us in the game. We slowly gained in confidence and enjoyed more possession with Laura A, Kirtika S and Charlotte L linking well on the right to be a constant threat. Excellent marking by Ellie S, Esther T, Sophia M and Laura A made it difficult for the Solihull forwards to find space in the circle and Lisa P covered superbly infront of them to stop passes into the circle. The Solihull fast midfield continued to pose problems but Amelia H, Lola H and Kirtika S matched them for pace and effort and the scores were still level as the 20 minute mark passed. It was however an opportunist goal in the 22nd minute that broke the deadlock when a reverse stick cross in the air was deflected on the right post and found the net to give Solihull the lead. This knocked our confidence and a drop in our levels of defending saw Solihull score again two minutes later and go in to the break two ahead.
The half time break came at the perfect point as we had an opportunity to lift the team and they started the second half with renewed confidence and took the game to Solihull. Great passing hockey and superb team play saw us dominate both possession and scoring opportunities and Eleanor J picked up a pass from Kirtika S and bought a save from the keeper. With us growing in confidence all the time Lisa P was dominating midfield and we were unlucky not to score when a well worked corner saw Amelia H’s strike fly just wide. Our domination was rewarded minutes later, however, when we deservedly got on the scoresheet when another Kirktka cross was met in the circle by Eve C and her shot flew into the roof of the net giving the keeper no chance and getting us back in the game. Lifted by the goal we continued to dominate the play and search for an equalizer but Solihull were always dangerous and only a great save from Sophie S in goal kept us in touch. We continued to work as a team and play great hockey but could not find the equalizer and at the final whistle the score was 2 – 1 to Solihull.
Although not in the quarter finals all the team can take great pride from their superb team performance, the standard of hockey they displayed and the tremendous work effort and team spirit shown.
Player of the match was Captain Lisa P who led by example both in her work rate and her superb performance in both defence and midfield.