AKS U15 hockey team are celebrating being crowned Lancashire U15 Plate Champions after playing superbly and scoring 13 goals whilst conceding only two throughout the Lancashire U15 Hockey tournament.
The tournament got off to the perfect start against Heysham High when Sally S found the net in only the second minute after a great run by Sophie B. We went further ahead two minutes later when a great attacking press won back the ball and Sophie B found the net to make it 2 – 0. With confidence high we continued to put Heysham under pressure and won several corners all of which bought saves from the keeper. Great attacking play down the right, with Georgia C and Millie D linking well again put Heysham on the back foot and from our next corner Georgia C found the net to make it 3 – 0. Another well worked corner just before the break saw Farrah D find Mille D free on the right post and she made it an impressive 4 – 0 score-line at half time. The second half saw us continue to dominate with all the team working hard up and down the pitch but despite winning several more corners we did not add to our first half goals and at the final whistle the score was 4 – 0.
The second game saw us against Kirkham and we went into the game in a positive mood. We started well and matched Kirkham in all areas of the pitch. Good play down the right with Alex C, Georgia C and Mille D put the Kirkham defence under pressure but Kirkham defended well and prevented us creating any real goals coring opportunities. Grace W and Farrah D worked hard in midfield to stifle the Kirkham attacks and at the half time whistle the scores were level at 0 – 0. The second half saw Kirkham start the quicker but great defending from Hannah B, Georgina B and Elle C thwarted their attacks. We continued to play some good hockey but a with two minutes to go a quickly taken Kirkham free hit just outside the circle found a player on the far post and her first time shot gave keeper Emily P no chance and Kirkham won 1 – 0.
Game 3 was against Stonyhurst and we knew only a win would take us into the main competition so we started really well and took the game to Stonyhurst bringing a couple of good saves from their keeper. Good team play and a superb workrate saw us create several more chances before the break but we could not find the net and at half time the scores were level at 0- 0. After the break it was Stonyhurst that started the brighter and only a good save from Emily P in the second minute kept us level. We were then put under tremendous pressure by Stonyhurst and only great corner defence kept the ball out of the net. Emily P made several more great saves but in the last minute we won a corner of our own and frustratingly Hannah B’s great shot flew just wide and the final score was 0 – 0.
We progressed into the Plate Competition and our next game was against Baines. We again started well and when a great pass from Sophie B found Millie D free on the post she made no mistake in opening the scoring in only the 3rd minute. Sophie got onto the scorsheet herself minutes later and we got a third when Sally S finished off a great passing move involving Alex C, Georgia C and Mille D on the right. After the break more goals from Sophie and Mille made the final score 5 – 0.
The final game was against Rossall and with both teams undefeated the destination of the trophy was to be decided by this result. After a heavy defeat at the start of the season the girls had something to prove and they started superbly and went ahead in the first minute when a lifted pass from Farrah D found Sally S on the far post and she forced the ball over the line. Lifted by this everyone lifted their game and continued to work hard in both attack and defence. Rossall created chances but again solid defending at the back from Elle C and Hannah B won possession back. In the 8th minute a superbly executed corner routine saw Farrah D find the net to make it 2 – 0 and when excellently pressing from the front saw us put the Rossall defence under great pressure and goals in the 9th and 10th minute saw us go into the break deservedly 4 – 0 ahead. After the break Rossall lifted their game and started to run at us with more pace and they did get a goal back in the 5th minute. With one hand on the trophy we were determined to stop Rossall from getting back into the game and some resolute defending from all the team kept them out and at the final whistle we were celebrating a 4 – 1 win .
With three victories we were crowned Lancashire Plate Champions which was a superb way to close the season for the U15 Hockey Squad. The last victory against Rossall was also an indication of how much the girls have improved both individually and as a team, having been well defeated by Rossall in the first game of the season and now winning convincingly in the last. Throughout the tournament all the girls worked hard both in attack and defence with everyone playing to their full potential and contributing to the team and tournament performance. Well done girls!