Our U11 hockey boys and girls travelled to the UCLan Sports Arena in Preston for the Lancashire hockey finals.
The girls had to play against two schools, St Mary’s Hall from Stonyhurst and Kirkham Grammar (our local rivals). Kirkham played St Mary’s Hall first and beat them 1-0. AKS then played St Mary’s Hall. The first half was largely dominated by us but were unable to find a goal. After a good half time team talk from Miss Raby the girls continued to attack their opponents goal and were able to find a cutting edge to their play. Goals from Jessie and Lucy were enough to give AKS a winning start.
This meant the next and last game against Kirkham was effectively the final. The girls were up for the challenge and started off at an explosive pace. In defence Anna D, Olivia M and Charlotte put pressure on the Kirkham forwards ensuring that Madison had nothing to do in goal. Up front Lucy, Carly and Jessie closed down the Kirkham defence at every opportunity. The superb work rate of the team enabled us to play our free flow passing game and we did it to devastating effect. Five first half goals were well deserved with Jessie scoring a hat-trick and Lucy adding two more.
The second half continued at a similar pace with Anna P and Olivia N coming on as second half replacements. The AKS girls passing was simply a joy to watch and we carved out chance after chance. Three more goals were added with two coming from Carly, and Lucy scoring the final one to complete her hat-trick. Kirkham did manage a consolation goal but we ran out winners with a final score of 8-1.
After such a brilliant performance the AKS girls were crowned as Lancashire Champions for 2017.
The AKS boys were also in action with four teams making up their Lancashire Finals. This competition proved to be a close run affair. We got off to a great start beating Bolton School 2-0. Dev was on the end of two decent moves to score with his usual predatory instincts.
In the next game we played our local rivals, Kirkham. This proved to be a fine game of hockey. Kirkham dominated the first half and although Cameron was quite simply superb in goals our opponents managed to score to lead 1-0 at the break. The second half started off with AKS pressurising the Kirkham players at every opportunity. We upped our pace and from a blistering attack Rio burst through the defence and managed to find the net. Kirkham fought back and we were unable to keep our pressing game up. This led to Kirkham finding the net again for a 2-1 victory.
Our next game was pivotal. A draw against Rossall would be enough for a rematch with Kirkham in the final. However, neither side were up for playing defensive hockey. This was simply an end to end game played at real speed. Both sides deservedly scored a goal each (Dev scoring for AKS) and the game ended a fair 1-1 draw
This set up the final against Kirkham. Looking to go one better than in the group game, it was played again with both sides determined to win. Kirkham had slightly the better of the first half with Cameron again performing heroics in goals, but the half time score was 0-0. In the second half AKS dominated play early on winning a succession of penalty corners. Unfortunately, we just could not find the opening goal and Kirkham came back at us. From one of their attacks the very lively right forward used some great skill to score the winning goal. The game ended in a 1-0 defeat but the boys did their school proud.
Our girls now move forward in to the North West round of this competition in a couple of weeks’ time. If they qualify from this, they will go to the North of England Hockey Finals on March 21st. The boys do not have a North West round so automatically qualify for the North Finals. Good luck to both teams in their next rounds.
Thank you to all the parents for their support on the day, and to the other teams for an exciting day.