Rewind to three games into 2014-15 season and the Men’s 2s had zero points, had scored two fortunate goals and conceded 16. Fast forward twelve months and the picture couldn’t be more different with three wins from three games, 10 goals scored and just five conceded. The secret is actually no secret but simply getting a settled side and a forward-thinking, but passing-style hockey being ingrained in the team that’s been building since mid-way through last season.
After taking 7 defenders to Abbeydale last week, this week we lined up with 6 forwards and a make-shift defence consisting of 3 defenders to take on the students of Leeds University in the first game of the season. Perhaps because of the new formation and another shift in personnel, but the game started off very scrappily, with Leeds Uni perhaps having the better of the initial phase of the game.
After about 15minutes, something clicked and Adel stepped up their game with Giles Primmer showing the students the benefits of experience with some dangerous attacks down the right and chances starting to come and capped off with a flowing move down the right with the ball finding Paul Horsey at the top of the D who then found Andy Boag on the penalty spot for him to neatly tuck the ball away.
The game was now very different with Adel dominating much of the play through Rich Partner and Gwyn Evans in midfield, and Leeds Uni being forced into attacks on the break and through mistakes only. Unfortunately one of these came from a harsh decision as the Ruiari Ellison looked to clear the
ball, striking the attacker on the ankle and it being blown for a raised ball. A quickly taken free-hit and it was in the back of the net.
Not deterred, Adel went back on the offensive, quickly winning a short corner and the shot could only be parried upwards off the keepers pads into the path of Paul Horsey who neatly tucked away the ball, making good use of being able to use the stick over head-height under the new rules.
After the break, Adel stepped up a gear and chances were coming thick and fast from the Adel attacks with both Giles on the right and Miles Buller on the left using the width to good advantage, and a third goal was added by another flowing attack, with more great work down the right by Gwyn, with the ball across the D being tucked away high into the net by Sam Jackson on his reverse stick.
The Adel pressure continued with some heavy stick tackles from the Uni midfield and defence coming out and two green cards being brandished, but legs started to tire and Leeds Uni’s 4 subs started to become noticeable, and the defence of Ellison, Foster and Ransley and Darling in goal came under pressure, and eventually the Uni managed a scrappy goal to pull them back into the game with 9mins to go.
However, Adel battled back to see the game out relatively comfortably and take the game 3-2. Man of the Match was shared between Gwyn Evans for his hard work and attacking play from high centre and Sam Jackson for his tireless work-rate in the centre of midfield and the winning goal. Dick of the day was the irrepressible Sam Ransley for his hat, although to be fair he avoided a card this week!