PUBLISHED 08 September 2019
It has been a very busy and exciting summer for AKS pupil Rebecca and ex-pupil Emily as they represented the North of England PenninePumas U18 Team in the prestigious EHB Futures Cup which also serves as an assessment platform for next year’s England U18 Squads.
After representing the Fylde Performance Centre in three Cluster Tournaments over the summer against the other Performance Centres in the North, Rebecca and Emily were selected as members of the 18 strong squad to play in the Futures Cup against teams from the other regions of England together with squads from Wales and Scotland.
The tournament proved to be an exciting and nail-biting affair with the trophy in the balance until the last seconds!
The first game against the Celtic Jaguars from Wales saw the Pumas take and early lead but a great drag flick from Rebecca in the second half and two great saves from Emily kept the Jaguars out and sealed the win and the first points on the board.
The second game against a fast Mercia Lynx side saw Pumas again go into the lead but two quick goals from Mercia Lynx soon saw them behind. It was another superb individual goal from AKS’s Rebecca that got the Pumas back on level terms as her superb drive into the circle and unstoppable shot found the net to make it 2 – 2. Two late goals sealed the win and a place in the final and a shot at top spot.
The final was a hard fought and thrilling match which saw a fast and skilful Saxon Tigers side put the Puma defence under tremendous pressure but superb team defending and goalkeeping from Emily kept the ball out of the net and it was in fact Pumas who scored first against the run of play to take a 1 – 0 lead into the second half. Pumas gradually started to play better but Saxon Tigers were always a threat and they levelled in the last quarter of the game to take the match into a penalty shoot out!
With Rebecca being one of the five brave penalty shuffle takers and Emily one of the keepers AKS pupils played a big part in deciding where the trophy would finish! Saxon Tigers went ahead after the first round but a superb save from Emily in the second round put Pumas back on level terms. With the scores level and one shuffle to take everyone held their breath and when Saxon Tigers failed to score it was all on the Pumas final penalty taker. When she went round the keeper and scored there was huge celebrations as the Pumas were crowned Future Cup Champions.
Emily and Rebecca received their gold medals and enjoyed getting their hands of the prestigious Futures Cup Trophy and things got even better when both were included in the England U18 Training Squad and invited to attend the first assessment for selection to the 2020 England U18 Squad.
Congratulations to both on this superb achievement and we wish them well in the forthcoming assessment camps and in the season ahead.