AKS are county rugby champions

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AKS School have been crowned under-16 champions of Lancashire rugby union for 2016.

And they did it in the most dramatic style, Charles Shaw slotting over the winning conversion at the death.

AKS beat Manchester Grammar School 19-18 at Southport rugby club to scramble a memorable win.

Despite early pressure from a strong Manchester side, outstanding defence and a superb 50-metre clearance by James Cowburn gained AKS a good attacking platform.

Following neat inter-play by Ryan Evans and Charlie Cadley, Spenser Barker strolled over after eight minutes, and Shaw added the goal points as AKS went into an early lead.

Although AKS appeared comfortable, it was the Manchester side that came back with a score of their own to reduce the deficit to 7-5.

Shortly after the restart, Josh Taylor fielded a loose kick and fed Fraser 
Stanier down the left wing only to be stopped in his tracks by a well timed tackle 
which brought him to the ground.

However, clever support by Taylor not only secured possession but also created the necessary space for James Cowburn to race down the touchline to score a well-taken try in the corner.

With the conversion narrowly missed, it was the Manchester side that completed the first half scoring with a penalty to bring the half-time score to 12-8 to AKS.

The following 25 minutes saw the score unchanged as both sides missed opportunities to break the strong defensive alignments, none more so than the tackling of Adam Iredale, Robert Mill and Matty Clayton.

However, it was in the last 10 minutes that the excitement began to unfold.

Firstly MGS drove over from close range to take the lead for the first time, successfully adding the conversion to go three points ahead.

AKS were then punished further as a well taken penalty extended the MGS lead to 18-12.

This was now a case of throwing caution to the wind for AKS to try and salvage a result.

With the bench emptied and all replacements on, AKS began to take the ball on at speed and penetrated deep into Manchester territory as forwards Barker and Zander Douglas drove hard, ably supported by Jake Moore, 
 Nathan Gallagher and Jack Clayton.

With both sides scrapping desperately for possession, MGS were penalised at the breakdown as AKS needed to keep the ball alive.

From a penalty right on full-time, Fraser Stanier mustered the energy and guile to take the ball at full pace to bounce off three tired tackles to dot the ball down between the posts.

Shaw carried the weight of expectation as he calmly slotted the kick successfully.

AKS under-15s lost to Merchant Taylors in the plate final.

Having overcome West Hill side in the semi-final, AKS were up against it from the start.

They lost 43-3, their sole points coming from a penalty by Alex Clayton.