After a great start to the tournament season our U11 girls were looking to make it a hat-trick of victories in the big AJIS hockey tournament held at Preston Sports Arena. With 16 schools competing from all over the North West of England this was going to be a tough challenge for the AKS team.
We were drawn in a tough group with all three of our games being closely fought. In the first match we played Westholme School. We had to work hard to gain the upper hand but the quality of our midfield play eventually paid off and chances were then created down the right. From one of these Carly played a superb cross for Jessie to finish with aplomb. This enabled us to win the game 1-0. In the second match against Cheadle Hulme Jessica came in to the team and defended solidly alongside Olivia. Although this was a close game Madison had little to do in goal and our forwards once again created chances. Carly scored the winning goal to give AKS another 1-0 victory. The final group match was very similar to the first two, close but with AKS doing most of the attacking. Our opponents Withington had some good players but this time a goal, from Charlotte, was enough for a third 1-0 win. These results meant we topped our group.
In the quarter finals we were drawn against King’s Macclesfield School. We expected another tough game but our attacking play in this match was back to its usual best. The majority of the play was with AKS and two first half goals from Jessie, the second being a fine finish by just beating the keeper to the ball, meant we led 2-0 at the break. The second half was dominated by us again and Katie scored the third and clinching goal. Final score 3-0.
Our semi-final opponents were King’s Chester. This proved to be a fairly close game but our girls once again showed their grit and determination to get a result. Anna and Olivia defended well and AKS created most of the chances with Lucy, Charlotte and Carly working hard to set up the winning goal, scored yet again by Jessie.
With legs beginning to tire we had one final game against our biggest rivals this season in Queen’s Chester. This game did not start well with Anna having to limp off with an injury and Olivia being hit on the shoulder by the ball. However we battled hard and Madison showed her quality in goals making a couple of crucial saves. At half time there was no score.
Determined to win the trophy we started off having to keep up our work rate. However, Queen’s won a penalty corner and managed to score what proved to be the winning goal.
Runners up in such a big tournament against several schools which are much bigger than AKS is a superb achievement for our girls. On the day we showed great skill and played some delightful free flowing hockey. In particular Lucy showed great touch and vision in the midfield and our captain Olivia led by example with her effort and determination.
Thanks to the parents for their support and for the AKS staff who ran the tournament on the day. Thank you also to our four year 6 helpers (Beth, Georgina, Eloise and Patsy) as they did a great job with the scoring! Next stop is Doncaster for the North West Round of the Mini Hockey Championships. Good luck girls!