Happy anniversary for AKS hockey tournament

AKS in action against Mary Erskine
AKS in action against Mary Erskine

AKS staged a real festival of hockey as visitors from as far afield as London and Edinburgh took part in the annual Jean Torrance U12 invitation tournament – which this year celebrated its 20th anniversary.

With 30 junior and Year 7 hockey players representing three AKS teams, it was a great day enjoyed by pupils and parents alike.

The opening match in the A team competition, as it always has been, was AKS facing the Chase School from Malvern.

A tentative start saw the first half end 0-0 and neither side have many goalscoring opportunities.

Eleanor Lumsden’s early goal for AKS in the second half brought the game to life as Chase quickly responded with an equaliser two minutes later.

AKS retook the lead with an unstoppable shot from Ziv Wilson, who clinched a 3-1 victory on the final whistle with her second goal.

AKS’ second game against Lytham High School was a closely contested one as AKS had to work hard for a 2-0 victory.

Gabriella Fowler scored the first goal from a Prisha Rajan pass, while Wilson beat the Lytham keeper with an unstoppable penalty corner strike for the second.

The final group game against Edinburgh-based Mary Erskine School saw the Scottish team take the lead just before half-time.

AKS took the game to their opponents in the second half, creating a number of opportuinities as Wilson had a shot saved by the keeper and Fowler swept an effort narrowly wide.

It meant AKS qualified from their group as runners-up to meet Altrincham Girls, who had won the other group, in the semi-final.

Both teams played some outstanding hockey but Altrincham snatched a 1-0 victory with a late goal.

The final between Altrincham and Mary Erskine ended 0-0 which meant the two schools shared the trophy, while the third-placed play-off ended 1-1.

Rossall and Lytham played in the A tournament, finishing third and fourth in their respective groups, which meant both progressed into the Plate semi-finals where they met each other.

A close match ended with Rossall winning and reaching the Plate final, where they lost by the only goal to City of London School.

Lytham came up against Chase High School in the third-placed play-off but were beaten.

The B team competition consisted of three schools and six teams with AKS, Chase and Mary Erskine entering both B and C sides.

It began with all three schools playing matches against their own school with AKS B defeating the C team 2-0 thanks to Phoebe Marchbank-Caunce and Milli Barrett.

However, they lost 2-0 to Mary Erskine C before defeating Chase B by the same score with Alicia Iredale and Marchbank-Caunce, on target.

Their next game was a 3-0 win against Chase C as Marchbank-Caunce, Freya Williams and Milli Barrett all scored.

AKS B’s final game was against Mary Erskine B team as they went behind to an early goal.

Despite creating a number of chances, last-ditch defending and good goalkeeping from Chase kept the ball out of the net.

A very young C team, with some junior school players in the squad, saved the best until last.

After losing their first three games, they drew 0-0 against Mary Erskine C before winning their last match 3-0 with Rachel Walker (2) and Katy Thompson netting for AKS.