PUBLISHED 06 September 2021
It has been a very busy and exciting summer for AKS pupils Olivia M and Charlotte T as they represented the North of England Pennine Pumas U16 Team in the prestigious EHB Futures Cup which also serves as an assessment platform for next year’s England U16 Squads.
After playing at the Fylde Performance Centre throughout the year the girls were selected as members of the 18 strong squad from the North of England to play in the Futures Cup in St.Albans 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 bronze medal in the balance until the last quarter of the last game!
The first game against the Celtic Jaguars from Wales saw the Pumas make a slow start but after the half time break three goals. Great defending from Charlotte & Olivia helped the team keep the opposition out and secure their first win and points on the board.
The second game, against a fast and skilful Saxon Tigers side, saw Pumas again start slowly and they were immediately on the back foot when Saxon Tigers scored two quick goals in the first 10 minutes. The Pumas side slowly gained in confidence and started to pass the ball more effectively and got one goal back before the break. After half time however Saxon Tigers continued to dominate and Pumas could not get onto level terms and at the final whistle the Pumas had to settle for a place in the bronze medal match.
The final match against Mercia Lynx was a hard fought and thrilling game which saw the lead change hands three times. With Pumas playing more confidently and Olivia switching the ball around the back effectively they enjoyed a lot of early possession and deservedly went ahead in the first half with Charlotte on hand on the far post to ensure the ball crossed the line. Lynx however were not out of the game and two well taken goals saw them take the lead which they held until the final quarter of the game. With bronze medals at stake all the Pumas girls raised their game and drew level with a well taken goal at a corner and a minute later were on target again to go into the lead. A nervy last 10 minutes saw Mercia Lynx throw everything at the pumas defence but they stood firm and at the final whistle were celebrating being bronze medallists!
Olivia and Charlotte received their bronze medals which were a superb reward for a season of both tremendous effort and progress for both girls.