UCLAN Floodlit North of England Cup
AKS U16 27 Hutton GS 10
AKS U16s took on Hutton GS in the UCLAN Floodlit Cup on Wednesday evening at Preston Grasshoppers RUFC. This was the semi-final of this North of England competition.
AKS started well pinning the Hutton team back into their 22 with strong tackling from William Nickson, Elliott Fackey and Matthew Garrod. The pressure eventually told as Hutton kicked to relieve pressure and fullback, Myles Dunlop, secured the ball and set off on a strong run breaking through the defensive line. The break resulted in quick ruck ball for the outstanding Oscar Howarth to power forward reaching the Hutton 5m line. Solid rucking from the AKS pack allowed Blake Wilkinson to pick from the base and power over the line for his first try. 5-0 AKS.
The game continued in the same vein as AKS continued to attack with pace and keeping Hutton back in their own half. A strong barreling run from Alex Vowles-Bradley set AKS on route to their second try and with great link play from flanker Alex Stanier, AKS were attacking the Hutton line once again. The AKS forwards attempted to crash over the line from short range only to be denied by the tenacious tackling of the Hutton pack. After several attempts the backs took control and the ball went left for Jordan Makepeace to pick up a difficult pass and speed in at the corner. 10-0 to AKS.
Hutton started to take some control of the game though strong counter rucking and AKS giving away penalties at the ruck. This eventually gifted Hutton a kickable penalty. 10-3.
More penalties allowed Hutton to apply pressure to AKS, but superb lineout jumping by Tom Lanigan stopped Hutton taking full advantage of the penalties kicked into the corners. The half time score was 10-3 to AKS.
AKS regrouped at half time and started the second half attacking the wider channels which paid dividends as Elliot Fackey went through a gap on the half way line to score under the posts untouched. Converted by Tyne Davies it was now 17-3 to AKS.
A rare penalty for AKS saw Tyne Davies kick to touch 5m out from the Hutton line. From the resulting lineout Tom Lanigan caught the ball and when he landed found a gap to spin in and stretch out to touch down for AKS's fourth try of the game. 22-3.
Hutton were not down and out, as they started to attack through the backs and this allowed the Hutton centre to break the line and score a converted try in the corner to bring the score to 22-10.
Strong running from Sam Lavelle and Sam Royle almost resulted in further tries, but the scramble defense for the Hutton backs denied further points. Then a break from David Maddox started the ball rolling for the final try of the game by Blake Wilkinson to make the final score 27-10 and secure a place in the North of England Final.
When asked after the game Mr Holmes said "This was a good performance from the squad and we are delighted to have reached the final. We made some mistakes and have areas to work on, but the exciting thing about this group of players is that they can win in this manner and there is still more to come."
Mr Jones's and Mr Holmes's Man of the Match was Oscar Howarth.