Over the last few years we have usually had to wait until the business end of the season to see Adel crowned with silverware, as 6 promotions in 3 seasons will testify.  This year, the trophies have started to arrive before the league season has even begun with success for both the mens and ladies first teams on Saturday.  I am sure there will be more in depth and detailed write ups in due course covering the goals, the injuries and the celebrations but a short summary is below.

The ladies pre-league final preparation usually means a long day of hockey in the North Challenger, this time over at Halifax with 12 teams from Yorkshire represented.  Adel have of course had previous success at this tournament but with a depleted squad, plus some new faces it was going to need some #ATID spirit to bring home the goods.  A long day of hockey saw several injuries, but with the final going right down to the wire, Adel were victorious in a penalty stroke shoot out and Katy and her squad will have celebrated long into the night.

The men keen not to be outdone had a shorter journey to Weetwood for one of the various Yorkshire cup competitions against teams who they will compete against this season in the Yorkshire Premier League plus Brigg who play at a higher level in the North East.  Big Ben’s men with a strong squad including a few new faces to provide additional goal threats went through the whole day without conceding a single goal and along the way they saw off teams from Huddersfield, Brigg and Bradford to cap off a successful day for the top end of the club.  Both the mens and ladies 1s begin their league campaigns next weekend and based on the pre-season warm ups they should both be competing in the top half of their divisions and who knows where they might end up as the league season concludes in March.

Our other teams had final friendly fixtures with the ladies sides having some tough opposition to overcome.  The ladies 2s led several times during their game against Harrogate and a Katie Wood first half hat trick would usually mean victory being a formality.  But a young Harrogate side stuck to their task and fought back several times with the game going down to the wire.  A well taken follow up strike from Sophie Lancaster at a penalty corner gave Adel further hope but in the end the 2s went down 5-4 and will be hoping that they get back to winning ways next week when the league gets under way.  The 3s faced even stronger opponents from Leeds who were well drilled and organised but the Adel 3s should not be too despondent with a 5-2 defeat as they showed plenty of spirit to suggest they will be fighting all the way this season.

The other mens teams took the risky option of playing inter club games which always run the risk of injury if the games get overly competitive.  The 2s played the 3s in the early morning start and Andy Boag heroically played on with a hand injury before heading to hospital to find out he had broken a bone and looks to be now spending a few weeks on the sidelines.  The 3s integrated several of our promising junior players who were making a step up from their junior sides and the 5th team commitments last season and they equipped themselves well.  However, experience (Partner, Primmer and Taylor), goal threats (Boag, Holford and Jackson – who missed more than he scored and somehow managed to get 2 DOD awards in the same day (jug avoidance for DOD awards?)) and the welcome returns to Adel for Wade and Powley (jnr) gave the 2s the edge and a 5-1 victory may have been harsh on the 3s but both sides will have benefitted from the workout.  Sholto, Paddy, Simon and Charlie all showed enough promise and potential to progress into higher teams as they gain more experience at this level with the wise old heads of Hilton

Later in the day the 4s took on the 5s and a 1-0 scoreline in favour of the 4s showed the competitiveness of all of our teams this season.

So now we get down to real business with the league games starting this weekend.  Good luck to all our sides as we look to repeat our success of recent years but more importantly I hope everyone enjoys their hockey on and off the pitch at Adel and contributes to the growing success of the club.