AKS 1st XV 18 Bolton School 22
In the second round of the Dailey Mail Cup AKS 1st XV took on Bolton school.
The game started very evenly as the two sides arm-wrestled to strike first in what turned out to be an intense cup encounter. Bolton School scored the first points of the game through quick handling in the backs which saw their winger touch down near the posts, to be converted, 7-0.
As AKS continued to battle hard, the forwards made hard yards into the Bolton half through strong running from Charles Laycock, Matthew Cartmell and William Thompson. The pressure resulted in a penalty converted by Andy Walkden to take the visitors to 7-3 and they were back in the game. Moments later AKS found themselves with another penalty just in the Bolton Half and again the outstanding boot of Walkden converted to draw closer to the Bolton score, 7-6.
AKS, now playing with confidence, took control of the game attacking the Bolton line with Tom Lanigan breaking through the defensive line on a number of occasions. From a midfield scrum, Andy Walkden set off through the defence, getting caught short by the full back but with speed of thought he reached out and managed to touch down on the line. He then converted for AKS to take the lead for the first time in the game. 7-13.
Bolton managed one more penalty in the half to make the score 10-13 to the visitors.
In the second half Bolton stepped up their attack through the forwards attacking close to the ruck and scored an unanswered two tries, one of which was converted to make the score 22-13.
AKS continued to fight hard and with a strong kick chase, Alex Stanier turned the ball over and with slick handling along the backline, Max Reid slid in the corner to narrow the score to 22-18.
Despite an heroic effort from AKS to attack the Bolton line, time ran out on the visitors. Final score 22-18 to Bolton.
The squad can take heart from the performance and are looking forward to playing Myerscough College in the Lancashire Cup on Saturday.
AKS U16B 40 Garstang HS U16A 12
This was a great fixture for the all of the boys who did not start in the U16A's victory over Lancaster a few weeks ago as it allowed them to get some valuable game time and show what they can do. With a completely different starting XV to the Lancaster match, the new U16B travelled to Garstang to play a committed and athletic side who had a number of outstanding players that caused the AKS boys numerous problems.
AKS started the match well, with the backs looking particularly threatening, but some good Garstang defence kept them out and then the Garstang boys showed what they could do as they broke out of defence deep in their own half. Although Jordan Makepeace made a good late try saving tackle, the ball was recycled by Garstang and they crashed over from close range for a 7-0 lead.
The AKS boys responded well with Kieron Kelly and Sam Lavelle making the breaks but more impressive Garstang tackling stopped what looked like a certain try from Kelly. From this breakdown, Garstang attacked from deep again and their impressive 10 and 12 caused havoc in the AKS ranks. A tackle on the try line was not enough to stop another Garstang try and they now led 12-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Mr Evans made a few choice observations and comments, and luckily for the AKS boys there was an immediate reply, as within seconds of the restart AKS attacked brilliantly down the left hand side. Lavelle made the break and it looked like Cameron Stubbs was about to score but yet another good Garstang tackle stopped him but he off-loaded to the supporting Sam Lavelle to crash over in the corner. Tyne Davis then hit an outstanding conversion from wide out to make it 12-7.
AKS were now looking very threatening and just before half-time another neat team move saw Davis and Kelly combine to release Lavelle and he displayed great pace to gallop in untouched to level the scores. Once again, Davis was successful with the long conversion and after trailing for much of the first half, AKS led 14-12 at half-time.
Joe Growcott and Matthew Tighe worked hard at the breakdown and Ciaron Hay and Sunil Hutchinson were making a real impact all over the pitch.
The second half could not have started any better as AKS had scored within two minutes of the kick-off. Another flowing backs move after some good inter-play by Oskar Howarth and Joe Frith-Jones in the forwards, saw Lavelle make yet another break and this time link with Davis who threw a wonderful dummy to sail through for a good try. Yet another good conversion made it 21-12 and another Sam Lavelle try, his third, from a good chip and chase gave AKS a 28-12 lead with 15 minutes to play.
Garstang continued to cause problems at the scrum and from 10 and 12, but as those players tired, the AKS backs were attacking at will, with Adam Lanigan and Tyne Davis pulling the strings at 9 and 10. Mitchell Myers and Frankie Rassello contributed well throughout and they were involved heavily as the forwards produced more good ball for the backs to strike again. This time it was Jordan Makepeace who crossed for the try for a 35-12 lead. Davis kept his perfect record going as he scored the conversion from the touchline off the post.
AKS scored one more try right at the end and it was Isaac Ackerly, who capped a fine individual match with the finishing touches to a sweeping team move to complete the scoring and a 40-12 victory.
Garstang looked dangerous throughout and Chris Cartmell and, Joe Growcott and Matthew Tighe can be pleased with their contributions. Sunil Hutchinson was a constant menace in the backrow and Sam Lavelle looked dangerous every time he touched the ball.