Early September normally means one thing for hockey players, rain! As Adel Ladies 1s headed to Halifax for the annual North Challenger Cup, the sky was overcast, the rain bounced from the windscreens and the trees rustled in the wind. 2014 Challenger Cup had been somewhat of a double edged sword for Adel. Having remained unbeaten through the group stages, they were unable to progress to the final following a costly last match draw with local rivals Leeds. This year with the format changed, straight league between seven teams, Adel were confident that the team would more than represent there respective league positioning.
First up in a 17 minute frantic game were Ben Rhydding. Having been victorious a week previously, Adel’s confidence were given somewhat of a hard blow, as McCall caught a ball in the warmup on the forearm. The game start delayed, as McCall strapped an ice pack to her arm and game on! Fast and furious hockey, however no team managed to break the deadlock, Adel’s back line of Gibson, Byers, Henry and Straughan holding strong.
Next up Halifax, a much more fluid Adel performance, saw the forwards K.Blyth, Wood, Bickley and Smith find much more space. A very convincing 2-0 victory.
Quickly onto Driffield, notoriously strong in the centre of the park. Goacher, A.Blyth, Hesslewood and C.Goacher, wining the battle there. The game secured with some very slick passing and movement 2-0.
Riding high, Adel next faced Sheffield Bankers, new to the North League, somewhat of an unknown. Adel failed to make the early breakthrough, some good chances but no final finish. As Sheffield Bankers daringly pushed forward, H.Goacher sent a 60 yard pass through the middle to Wood, unmarked on the opposition 23m line, calmly rounded the keeper, and walked the ball into the un-opposed goal.
With two games to go, Adel refreshed the ranks. Henry with other commitments elsewhere (pah!) replaced by Jeavons in the back line. Straight into action against Hudersfield, not only defended resolutely but offered an option on the left going forward. A very slick 2-0 win, and the trophy was won with a game to spare!
Last and by no means least, the final game finished goalless with Wakefield, from the league above. a new look inside forward line of C.Goacher and Bickley, creative and quick on the move. Finally Straughan managed to get a little rest having played six consecutive games for Adel after a full game for GSAL in the morning.
A proud team saw A.Blyth lift her first silverware as Adel captain. Player of the tournament presented to Helen Goacher. Another year unbeaten, six clean sheets and seven goals scored in 102 minutes of hockey.
Preseason stats P8 W6 D2 L0 GF14 GA2.
Many thanks to Halifax, the umpires and Yorkshire Hockey for a great day out and as always we appreciate the growing support from the sidelines