PUBLISHED 19 September 2019
It was a festival of netball at AKS last week with 8 teams and over 60 girls taking to the court to play in both National and local competitions.
On the local scene it was the perfect start to AKS’s league campaigns with winning starts for the Year 8, 9, 10 & 11 teams against Carr Hill.
The Year 11 team embarked on the defence of their Fylde & Wyre South league crown and make it a third titles in successive years against Carr Hill. Despite being rusty at the start of the season the girls soon got into their rhythm and went into an early lead with good shooting from Ellie and Charlotte . Great marking from all the team made it difficult for Carr Hill to keep possession and at the break we were 8 – 0 ahead.
The second half went the way of the first with us playing some excellent controlled netball. Amelia and Tara defended superbly to limit Carr Hill’s shooting opportunities and with excellent dodging in centre court from Hannah to link our attacking and defending thirds we continued to keep the score moving and at the final whistle we were celebrating our first win 17 – 2. Charlotte was voted as player of the match for her excellent movement and shooting.
The Year 10 team also got off to a winning start with a win against Carr Hill. The game started at a fast pace and accurate passing and movement of the team saw them work the ball easily down the court and into their attacking circle and there, shooters Abigail and Prisha duly converted to take us into an early lead. Great dodging by Poppy saw her always available to receive a pass and link play between our attacking and defending thirds. Good defending from Ziv and Eleanor made it difficult for Carr Hill to get free and at the final whistle the score was 18 – 6 to AKS with Prisha voted Player of the Match.
With a large Yr 9 squad 20 girls represented two teams against Carr Hill and both continued our winning run with good victories. The A team proved too strong for their opposition forging to a 11 – 0 lead at half time. In the second half efficient passing and movement by all the team saw us move the ball down the court well to create many scoring opportunities that shooters Lucy and Amelie duly converted. Great defening from Olivia and Beth limited Carr Hill’s shooting chances and at the final whistle we had taken the score to 22 – 1 with Lucy voted player of the match. The B team also enjoyed a good first half going into the break 9 – 0 ahead thanks to good defending from Anna and Leila at one end and shooting at the other. Kate worked hard to get free in the centre of the court and link with Zara to move the ball down the court. The second half saw the introduction of three new players but we continued to enjoy a lot of possession and at the final whistle we were celebrating a good 14 – 2 win with Kate voted player of the match.
The Yr 8 A & B team also played Carr Hill. The A team dominated the game and made it five wins out of five with a comprehensive victory 16 – 0 after some great defending and shooting . The B team enjoyed a closely fought game but lost 4 – 7.
With the aim to continue to develop netball at AKS and give all our teams the challenge of playing some of the top netball schools in the North we entered the English Schools Netball Cup for the first time.
Despite being early in the year and with very little preparation the Year 9 team were first to play in the cup and they were matched against one of the top sides who had reached the finals of the competition last year, Oldham Hulme Grammar School. From the first whistle we knew it would be a tough challenge and so it proved to be. The quick, accurate movement , dodging and passing of our opponents saw them work the ball down the court with ease and with excellent shooting they eased into a lead at the break. We worked hard to win back the ball but under constant pressure often failed to keep possession and create scoring opportunities. Oldham Hulme however proved to be well organised and clinical dominating the game to come out as well deserved winners. Despite our loss we can take great credit from the fact that all the girls never gave up and worked hard to the final whistle and no doubt we will have learnt a lot in defeat and now have plenty to work on and improve in order to compete in the next game as we now go into the Plate competition.
The U15 side were also in Cup action and they too came up against tough opposition in the form of Birkenhead School. The first half saw us shocked by the fast, accurate play of our opponents and they went into an early lead. We were often forced into rushed inaccurate passes which saw us lose possession and at half time Birkenhaed had extended their lead. The second half, however, saw us raise our standard of play considerably and we started to match both Birkenhead’s accuracy and physicality and score more consistently. A great second half saw us lose it 3 – 12 but it showed that with hard work and confidence we can improve our standard on the netball court and match some of the best netball schools in the North.