U16 UCLAN North of England Floodlit Cup
AKS U16A 30 Bradford GS 22
After beating Lancaster RGS in the last round, our U16s had the formidable task of facing one of Yorkshire's finest rugby schools, Bradford GS, in the next round of the Floodlit Cup which is usually played at the excellent Preston Grasshoppers facilities. Sadly, with the pitches under water after all of the recent bad weather, the match was transfered at the last minute to the AKS pitches which were perfectly playable.
AKS started in superb fashion. After two minutes they led through a Myles Dunlop try which ended wonderful team play moving the ball from one side of the pitch to the other. Excellent forward play, plus great hands in the backs, gave Dunlop space on the left and he sprinted in from 10 metres despite the attentions of the last defender.
Unfortunately, this try resulted in Bradford enjoying their best period of the match as they dominated the next 15 minutes. Their impressive pack of forwards made life very hard for the AKS boys and they punished two bad AKS errors, plus an interception, to race into a 15-5 lead.
AKS hit back immediately, and again it was the interplay between the backs and the forwards, which finished with centre, Elliot Fackey, breaking the defensive line to sprint in untouched.
Once again Bradford hit back and a converted try saw them move into a 22-12 lead. Tyne Davis hit a quite stunning 45 metre penalty against the wind to reduce this to 22-15 at half-time.
Bradford started the better of the two teams in the second half but fine forward defence kept them out and then some impressive clearances by Davis and Ellis Whorlton-Jones, pinned Bradford back and AKS now enjoyed a good 20 minute spell in the Bradford half. Another Davis penalty made it 22-18 and then a brave quick tap penalty saw two passes put winger, Jordan Makepeace, into space down the left and he stepped once, twice and more to beat the cover for an opportunist try. AKS now led 23-22 with twenty minutes to go.
The impressive Bradford pack were now tiring and the AKS forwards now seized the advantage to control more of the possession and after a move involving five phases of play, Bradford were out numbered on the left and Keiran Kelly crashed over to finish off another flowing team move. Davis added the extras and AKS now led 30-22.
Bradford fought back and they were camped on the AKS line for the last few minutes but brave and committed AKS defence meant there was no further scoring.
For AKS, year 10, Ellis Whorlton-Jones looked assured and unfulstered at 10, and Alex Vowles-Bradley and Fackey are a strong centre pairing. At 15, Dunlop played really well once again in the cup, and Jordan Makepeace had a fine match on the left wing. The forwards were, at times, immense and Alex Stainer has great potential on the flank. Tom Lanigan and Matthew Garrod worked tirelessly in the second row and Will Nickson and John Cowell made some aggressive hits in the tackle throughout the match.
The U16s will now play St Ambrose on 12th December.