Sadly, for the vast majority of our members, Saturday will have been a disappointment due to the frost frustrations (or should that be frostrations??) and the prospect of a rearranged Sunday fixture or game on the Saturday before Christmas when you had planned that Christmas shopping with your partner (not Richard).

Its even more disappointing for a group of members who worked tirelessly in the week at the committee meeting, leading training sessions, organising umpires and trying to defrost the pitch, not to mention those who now need to rearrange fixtures, find pitch times, umpires and changing rooms and make sure Tom the Teaboy is available to remove the burden of preparing the pasta and washing up from you all.

Last weeks committee meeting covered a number of areas including improved fencing at the pitch to make it more secure and protect the playing surface for longer, ensuring all our members have paid their subscriptions now we are nearly 2 months after the due date, selection challenges across the mens and ladies teams and feedback from a sub group looking at the development plan for the club.  More to follow on this in due course.

On Friday evening we were still without an umpire for the mens 2s game away at Acomb.  I suspect several people wanted to watch the big clash at Adel at 1.30 against Bradford and had planned commitments around that (well judging by the number of texts, emails and tweets I got asking if the game was on this would appear to be the case).  Jim and Gaby spent most of Friday evening trying to find an umpire, contacting a wide network of contacts and eventually we found someone playing for Bradford in York earlier that day who was prepared to umpire our game afterwards.  Next time you are asked if you can do a favour for the club please bear in mind not just the efforts of some club members to find you an umpire so your game can go ahead but also recognise the volunteer may actually come from another club in the area.  Without this volunteer the 2s would have had to concede the game – has your team got a level 1 qualified umpire who in an emergency situation like this could have stepped in to blow the whistle and forego their game?  If not, then I suggest you look to find at least one person in the team who attends (and passes) the level 1 umpiring course at the next opportunity.

Saturdays overnight frost was always going to be a problem and whilst some of you were still keeping warm in bed, Jim and Hannah were up at the club at 8am to check if the pitch was playable for the first game at 10.30.  Sadly, the frost was too severe with the trees once again meaning one quarter of the pitch in particular was going to be unplayable but there was some hope based on the forecast for the later games to go ahead and news from Weetwood and Rhydding that their pitches were playable gave cause for optimism.

The 3s game at 12 against Boston Spa looked to be under threat and sadly the sun could not do its job but some of the 3s were keen to try and allow the big game at 1.30 to go ahead and came up with a number of innovative ideas to dry and speed up the defrosting of the top right hand corner.  Sam Jackson led a chain gang from half of the mens 3s using wheely bins filled with hot water from the showers to try and defrost the area – the footballers may still be wondering why there was no hot water for their showers later on.  If enthusiasm and effort were to be rewarded then Sam would have had a gold star but sadly the umpires and skippers took the sensible decision not to go ahead and the big clash now looks likely to be rearranged for 16th December.

With more frost predicted the remainder of the games were also called off and those still there retired to the bar where it was great to see some old faces who had come along in the hope of watching the mens 1s game.  Life members Tony Pickard (in between trips to Switzerland and Australia to watch the RL World Cup), David Margerison and current President Richard Poll took a trip down memory lane in the days before astro hockey had ever been dreamt up.  The next generation of Adel hockey players were also in attendance with 3 week old Amelia making her debut visit to the club – congratulations to Laura and Richard and we hope to give Amelia a game of hockey to watch on her next appearance.

The diehards of Adel determined not to be beaten by the weather then headed to Weetwood to cheer on former coach Sam Ransley’s new club Neston against Leeds Uni and inspired by the “away support” Neston ran out 2-1 winners, so a moral victory for Team Adel.

The ladies 1s did manage to get on to the pitch away at Brooklands were a late goal saw them go down 2-1 in a battling performance but the search for the required umpire on Friday evening was rewarded when the mens 2s returned victorious from Acomb with a 3-2 win.  This result probably makes the efforts on Friday evening worthwhile so thank you to the Bradford player for stepping in to the breach late in the day.

Fingers crossed this week runs more smoothly….. but perhaps next time you are in the bar and you see Jim, Gaby, Sam or the umpire from Bradford whose efforts to get you a game may have gone unnoticed then give some thought to buying them a thank you drink (although Jackson in particular may have drunk enough on Saturday to politely decline your offer…..)