5 December 2016
On Friday 2 December, Kirkham Grammar Junior School hosted the Association of Junior Independent Schools U11 Boys Hockey Tournament. Ten teams took part; Kirkham A and B, AKS, Rossall, Manchester GS, Cheadle Hulme, Grange School, Redcourt, St Bedes Manchester and Newcastle under Lyme. The tournament was divided into two sections each with five teams. After the group stages, Kirkham and AKS topped each group to reach the semi-finals, along with second placed Cheadle Hulme and St Bedes. Kirkham played Cheadle Hulme and at full time the scores were level and a period of extra time could not separate the teams. A series of penalty rushes would eventually decide who progressed to the final and Kirkham kept their nerve and won 2-0. Their opponents also had to endure the pressure of a penalty rush eliminator and it was local rivals AKS who also progressed to the AJIS Hockey Final. To have two local teams in the final was a magnificent achievement especially when you consider many of the opposition teams have much larger numbers of pupils to select from. It was also an added bonus to have local side Rossall School reach the final of the Plate competition, which they eventually shared with Manchester Grammar School after no result in extra time. In the final of the main tournament, Kirkham started strongly and scored an early goal. Both teams played really well and were a credit to their schools. Kirkham eventually won 1-0 in what was a fantastic final between two very evenly matched teams.