It seems like a long time since we last had a day where all of our senior sides ventured on to the playing surface but Saturday finally saw 10 mighty teams from Adel go into battle against a variety of opposition with mixed success (5 wins and 5 defeats), some shocks and some scorelines that were more akin to Roger Federer playing in the Australian open. Lots of individual plaudits too with several hat tricks to celebrate.
The Yorkshire Premier League tables see Leeds Adel sides on top in both. The Mens 1s continued their 100% record with a comfortable 6-0 (six love?) win over Boston Spa with Boston old boy Sam Harris enjoying the day most by scoring a hat trick against his former team. Gaz Maver bagged two goals and the man of the match award and Pete Sym bagged the goal of the day with an absolute screamer from the edge of the circle. Whilst the goals scored continue to impress, just as important was the clean sheet from keeper Josh Berry so the goal difference gap relative to Bradford has narrowed significantly and there is a good chance goal difference may have a role to play still in deciding who ends up on top. Bradford narrowly won once again to keep their 100% record but have a game in hand away to Hull which is never an easy fixture as we well know. The top of the table showdown on 11th February will be a great game to come along to watch so reserve your favourite touchline spot as soon as you can. As James Corden might say, Adel and Bradford are in “A League of their Own” as the gap between these 2 and Hull in 3rd spot is a staggering 19 points and only one other team in the division having a positive goal difference!
The Ladies 2s followed on where the mens 1s had left off from the game before but not before a first half scare that saw Ben Rhydding take an early lead from a well worked penalty corner. Some slow sluggish first half play was put right at the half time interval and Man of the Match Robyn Lindsay scored the equaliser within minutes of the second half starting and then Tina Parson scored a well finished goal to take the lead before Katie Wood gave some comfort to the scoreline with a 3rd goal from a penalty corner. The second half display saw Adel play the sort of hockey that has justified their top of the table position and after 2 seasons of finishing in the runners up slot, the current five point gap (with the luxury of a game in hand too) gives the 2s some breathing space ahead of a busy schedule that might include games on Sunday evenings and even midweek in order to complete rearranged games on time.
The Mens 3s managed to achieve something special by scoring 5 goals but still losing as Mirfield bagged 6. An early lead for the 3s was turned over by the interval by Mirfield who then went 3-1 up early in the second half. Then in a mad 5 minutes Adel scored 3 times to go 4-3 up but Mirfield were not giving up easily as them came back to level mid way through the second half. Adel then scored again from a slip move at a corner with Horsey scoring his 2nd goal after skipper Tom Beale had completed his hat trick. Surely the 3s could now hold on for victory…. err no, sadly not, Mirfield came back strongly once again and not only equalised but nicked a winner late on to take the points from a game the Adel team must be wondering how they lost.
The mens 5s game was late to start as the Dragons from Huddersfield were late in arriving and their usual top notch report is already available elsewhere. But it was good to see the 5s finally rewarded with a victory after some improving performances and the evergreen Hedge continuing his scoring run, as well as taking over the mantle of Geoff Smith by wearing a bobble hat for the duration of the game. The 5s also seemed to attract a bigger crowd than either of our two table topping teams who had played earlier!
The final game at home saw the ladies 3s narrowly defeated by Thirsk by 2 goals to 1 in a relatively low scoring game compared to the earlier games.
The ladies 1s faced a long trek up the A1 to Morpeth (head for Newcastle and keep going for about the same distance again) and sadly came back without anything for their efforts, although several players had stepped up to the 1s to make up our team and they will surely have benefitted from the experience of playing a higher level.
The ladies 5s headed in the opposite direction to the most southerly ground in Yorkshire at Abbeydale and despite putting up a determined effort they went down 3-1 to Sheffield Hallam 4s. A great effort when you remember Hallam 1s are a national league team and this was our 5ths versus their 4ths showing the strength in numbers and quality we have down the club.
The ladies 4s were victorious on their travels with a shorter trip to Harrogate and a 2-0 win with the second clean sheet of the day sees them start to climb the table and away from the relegation zone.
The mens 2s ended Saturday in top spot with a resounding 6-1 win away at Tadcaster but lost top spot when Hallam 3s won their game in hand on Sunday. The big clash takes place on 24th February away at Abbeydale when the 2s go head to head with Hallam 3s in what could effectively decide the title. On Saturday, Miles Buller continued his scoring run with another hat trick, Sam Jackson justified his recall with yet another goal and man of the match Bish (without any passport worries) scored the other goal and apparently gave the opposition left back the sort of day he wants to forget after chasing shadows for most of the game. The gap between 2nd and 3rd place in the table is 9 points but the 2s still face a couple of tricky encounters with Ramgarhia and Harrogate who will both be keen to have a say in deciding the final league standings.
Which just leaves the Mighty Phwoars who started the day top of the table and unbeaten for 34 games with their last defeat in March 2016. An away trip to Wakefield on the water based astro was always going to be a tougher challenge than many of the previous 34 games and like all good things, the4s were thwarted as their winning streak came to an end with a narrow 2-1 defeat that leaves the game on 17th February away at Worksop looking increasingly like a winner takes all for promotion game although the 5s do play Worksop the week before and could do the 4s a huge favour with a victory!