AKS v Runshaw College - U18s DM Vase
To see pictures from the matches please visit AKS TV.
U18 Daily Mail Vase - AKS 1st XV 40 Runshaw College 20
On a sunny afternoon AKS started well with strong rucking from the pack and powerful running from Matthew Cartmell and Charles Laycock. With Alex Vowles-Bradley back from injury, the home side had new options in the backline. This was evident when Alex played a hand in both of the first two tries, the best of which Alex attacked the line and, with a well timed pass, released Elliott Fackey running from fullback through a gap. He stepped the fullback to power under the posts to make the score 14-0.
Runshaw capitalised on a kick chase to get on the scoreboard to 14-5. However, AKS were soon back on top dominating set piece and territory with the second row duo of Thomas Lanigan and Matthew Garrod taking lineouts against the head with ease and the impressive boot of Andy Walkden pinning the opposition in their own half.
Just before the break Andy Walkden slipped through the defence and crossed the line then converting the try to make the half time score 21-5.
In the second half AKS continued to attack with force and scored three unanswered tries. The first through support play from Alastair Harper, which saw him speed over the line from 22 meters out. The second from Alex Stanier who flopped over the line from close range after a powerful drive from the pack. The final of the three was by Andy Walkden who slid through the defensive line again to score his second of the game and take the score to 40-5.
Runshaw were not going to lie down and a change of strategy saw them pull back in to the game, scoring three well worked tries and make the final score 40-20.
AKS will now play against Rossall School in the next round next Wednesday at Rossall.
U15 Daily Mail Vase - AKS 3 Kirkham GS 10
Kirkham just edged this exciting and nail-biting encounter, after the score had been 5-3 from the 10th minute until the 56th minute. Despite the awful conditions, both teams should be praised for producing a lively and impressive spectacle.
AKS took the lead after just three minutes as Callum Hendry stroked over a penalty from 25 metres. However, Kirkham took the lead when some good team play produced an overlap on the right and the KGS right winger finished off some good handling. 5-3 to KGS.
The score remained the same until four minutes from time and in those came close to breaking the opposition lines but the defence by both sides was tremendous.
KGS, after a number of forward drives, scored at the end and this proved to be the decisive score as they held on for a 10-3 victory.
George Rowley and Jamie Broadbent were fantastic in the AKS pack and Zach Evans and Bill Gavin enjoyed their best matches of the season. Matthew Barrett, once again, played well and this despite the dreadful conditions and Ellis Whorlton-Jones had an intelligent match at fly-half. Shea O'Hanlon also made some bone-crunching tackles in midfield.
For KGS, their no.8 and no.9 always looked dangerous and the lively and fast outside centre was a constant threat.
The weekend matches were against Merchant Taylors', Crosby.
1st XV 14 MTS 37
On Saturday AKS played host to a strong Merchant Taylors' side.
Merchants took the lead and dominated the first 20 minutes of the game scoring four tries. Although AKS stemmed the flow of tries and slowly started to dominate periods of the game later in the first half, the Merchant Taylors' defence held strong.
In the second half AKS continued to build on the pressure produced in the latter stages of the first half, and were rewarded with a try in the corner by Alex Casey who spotted a gap powered over from 10 meters. This brought the score to 7-22.
As the two sides continued to exchange pressure and territory, Merchants were able to capitalise on opportunities and convert a further three tries. The final word however went to AKS who continued to battle right to the end, and Alex Casey bulldozed over the whitewash to make the final score 14-37.
2nd XV 5 MTS 67
The Spartans were well beaten by a team who had the ability to pass out of the tackle to support runners. Although beaten soundly on points, the Spartans scored the try of the match. Adam Lanigan fed some big runners from the forwards with Rajaan Hutchinson to the fore. The ball was moved wide with deft handling from the backs before Oliver Mills sprinted in. This was a great score, which was a credit to team that never gave up against the best team faced this season.
U15A 10 MTS 40
The U15A came up against a well-drilled home side. Both teams created many opportunities but the Liverpool boys were far more clinical as they led 14-0, despite AKS creating numerous chances. Tom Riley then hit back after good work by Charlie Kenyon and Sam Royle but a dreadful error behind the posts gifted Merchants a try to make it 21-5. The second half was again very even but once again Merchants put away the chances they created and the final score was 40-10. Shea O'Hanlon scored the second AKS try and Matthew Barrett, George Rowley, Ben Pearson and Tom Riley had good matches.
U15B 22 MTS 24
The U15B match was an epic battle, with some brilliant play from Sam Proctor and Joe Barrow. Merchants took an early lead but tries from Roshan Mohindra and Jake Sharratt put them ahead. Christian Mills was the man of the match and his try, plus one from Karthik Kinagi, gave AKS the lead again but a late Merchants try snatched a 24-22 win.
U14A 0 MTS 50
Despite the scoreline, AKS had one of their best games of the season and showed glimpses of real promise and progression. An improved attitude before kick-off helped AKS get straight into the game, but minor errors allowed hard work to be undone by athletic and skillful play from the Merchant's forwards in particular. Several times the AKS team found themselves underneath their own posts having only seconds earlier been looking for a score of their own.
The second half saw AKS struggle to deal with booming kicks downfield each time Merchants received a kick-off. Despite brave defence, Merchants scored at regular intervals. At times AKS did have some success with the counter attack but small errors cost them each time.
If the team continues to play with the same attitude in the following weeks they will undoubtedly improve and have more success in their play.
U13A 26 MTS 7
The U13A team maintained their very good record over the season so far with a comfortable 26-7 victory against a fast and talented Merchants' team. Early success up front in the scrum and breakdown areas saw the backs able to make consistent forward progress, but the scores came from long range breaks as Charlie Cadley intercepted a midfield pass to race the length of the field and a judicious boot from the ground up field allowed Charles Shaw to outrun the Merchants' defence to reach the ball first after controlling the ball with good football skills. Further excellent work by the forwards, in particular Michael Storton and Jake Moore, allowed the backs to make more inroads before half time with Charles Shaw again finishing a splendid move to give AKS a 19-0 half time lead.
Another skilful finish by Shaw, showing pace and balance, added to by James Cowburn's conversion put AKS further ahead but from then until the end of the game Merchants came back into the game and the AKS defence was sorely tested on a number of occasions as the pack tired. However the team was encouragingly defiant with excellent tackling throughout the team preventing a Merchants' score until injury time when the visitors put together an outstanding set of rucks and drives to deny the home side a clean sheet. This was very much a team effort and a deserved victory.
U13B 31 MTS 14
The U13B team played host to a strong Merchant Taylors' side, who started the game very well. The AKS side started slowly and gifted the visitors an early lead. Once the home side settled down, structure they started to play some great rugby. Captain Matthew Clayton lead by example by being dynamic at the breakdown. George Dale performed extremely well and always looked dangerous with his powerful running, especially with the ball in his hand. George was rewarded for his hard work with two fantastic individual tries.
Tom Wyatt played well at scrum half and provided quality ball for Ben Holmes at fly half to set the AKS back line alight. Powerful running from Isaac Eastham, George Wyatt, George Powesland and Jake Pyrah always created problems for the Merchant Taylors' side.
The forward power of the AKS pack dominated at the set piece with Jack Worsley ensuring the opposition knew he was breathing down their neck.
U12A 0 MTS 29
After finishing last half-term with an impressive victory over Lytham HS, the question was whether the U12A team could maintain that form away against Merchant Taylors'. This is always a stern test and this game was no exception. AKS started brightly but it soon became clear that the aggressive and determined Merchant's pack were turning over AKS' possession with relative ease.
The AKS forwards made hard yards, but were too often too upright and lost the ball in contact. Meanwhile the backs struggled to react to their opponents' positioning, leaving overlaps and gaps, which the home team were good enough to exploit.
Despite early tries going against them, the 12s continued to battle hard and they certainly cannot be criticised for a lack of effort. However, too often they failed to play the quick rucking game that is their forte; instead, long laboured mauls led to a loss of possession and space for their backs to run into.
The 29-0 scoreline certainly did not flatter their opponents who were well deserving of the victory, but it did reflect a disappointing performance rather than the team's potential. We must work hard over the next week to learn the lessons about ball retention before an equally demanding visit to Manchester Grammar School.