Apparently tradition has it at Adel that if all the mens teams or ladies teams win on the same Saturday, the President is required to buy a round of drinks for every hockey member in the bar at the time the last result comes in. On Saturday, current President, Ian Phillips will have been mightily relieved that we set up a mens 6th team a few weeks back although by the time they had finished their away game at Huddersfield most members had long since departed anyway.
At 6pm at Adel, all of the mens 1s to 5s had produced impressive victories with the men in orange racking up a huge 34 goals from the 5 games and conceding only 7. The big winners were the 1s who followed in the 2s footsteps by putting the ball in the back of the Sheffield Uni Bankers net 11 times. It could (and should) have been more with the half time scoreboard reading 8-1 to Adel but some relaxation and misplaced passing in the second half saw opportunities wasted. But its hard to be critical of a side that have now scored the 2nd most goals in the country as we near the half way stage of the season (we think only Bingley Bees 1s playing in Div 5 North have scored more and a lot of them were against our 5th team a few weeks back) and the top scorers for the Div 2 South east division show 5 Adel players in the top 6 with Harris leading the way (partly through stealing goals on the line from others), Ball, Purdy, Moorhouse and Stroomer all confirming the multiple goal threats that the 1s have across the whole of the team.
On Saturday the goals were going in every few minutes with Ball leading the way with 4, Purdy getting another hat-trick, Harris stealing 2 goals and Moorhouse and Stroomer giving their fan clubs on the sidelines something to cheer about and post on social media. The 1s style of play under coach Henley will always leave some opportunities for the opposition and fair play to Bankers who stepped up in the 2nd half to give Josh Berry some action and to keep the back line on their toes.
The 1s have now moved up to 2nd place in the table and with the restructuring at the end of the season there should be a few promotion spots up for grabs and at this stage we are well place to take advantage.
The 2s travelled to the beach of a pitch at Boston Spa who came down from the Premier league last season. They are another team full of goals across the pitch and perhaps one of the most pleasing aspects of the 5-0 win was a clean sheet for the defence who have only conceded 8 goals from 8 games this season. The goals were shared around the team with the biggest surprise being only one for Buller, but Partner continued his run of form in front of goal and young Joe Greer continued his progress with a goal along with Rich Hinds and Matt Aldred to complete the scoring.
The mean defence and the powerful forward line combined mean the 2s go into top spot in Div 1, equal on points with local rivals Harrogate 3s and Leeds 4s but with a superior goal difference.
The 3s had the late slot at 4.30 and having seen lots of goals already, they were keen to show they too could rack them up. A 6-2 win continues the recent run of form with Charlie Sutton, another talented junior leading the way with 2 goals (and only denied a hat-trick by another goal bound shot being poached on the line to relieve Dad Simon of buying a jug), Harry Ratcliffe adding a couple more and the scoring was completed by club captain Beale and Tom Hamlyns first goal in an Adel shirt.
The 4s have had a bit of a struggle after their promotion last season but it was clear that at some stage an opposition team were going to feel the full weight of their frustrations. Saturday was the day with an away game at York and things finally fell into place with a thumping 7-0 win. A hat trick for Tom Martin, two goals for Iain Mitchell and two from the usually reliable Paul Horsey along with a clean sheet for Milesy will have boosted the 4s confidence.
The 5s were also playing a team from Boston Spa at the new venue of Ralph Thoresby. With changing rooms and toilets now accessible, the 5s who have been sailing under the radar got on with their business and came back to the Adel bar with 3 points and a 5-2 win. Already this season the 5s have seen some of their talented pipeline of juniors move up the club to higher sides but all this does is give an opportunity for another batch of talented juniors to step in and make their mark in the senior teams. The goals came from Holden jnr, keen not to be outscored by his Dad this week, Max “young sniffer” Holley who has picked up all of the poaching and finishing skills of his mentor Ian Phillips and Andy Hedge keen not to let all the juniors grab the limelight.
And finally the 6s away at Huddersfield whilst most of us were enjoying the rugby over a pint. The 6s have had an unbeaten start since their late arrival in the league but sadly this came to an end on Saturday as they went down 3-0 despite a spirited performance. I suspect what made it worse was that several of the team made the same journey on Sunday to play Huddersfield veterans and came away with the same result with another 3-0 defeat!
On the ladies side of the club, whilst the goals did not flow to the same extent, there were some typical fighting performances. The 2s perhaps had the result of the day as they travelled away to table toppers Driffield and were 2-0 down going into the second half. However, club captain Gabby Nusenbaum fresh from a return flight from visiting her husband in the US (and perhaps keen to make up for an unfortunate card?) pulled one back and debutant Sarah W scored the late equaliser to give the team a deserved point.
The 1s had a tough game against local rivals Leeds 2s who were able to strengthen their team with some 1st team squad players due to the timing of their fixtures. Despite going a goal down, the Adel defence stood firm for the rest of the first half and a well deserved equaliser from Katie Wood saw the teams level at half time. Whilst the mens scoring machines may be grabbing some attention, its worth noting that Woody is the top scorer in this division by a few goals too. The second half saw Leeds take advantage of their chances and the 4-1 scoreline at the end was perhaps not a fair reflection of the overall game but plenty of spirit and determination will keep the 1s progressing in the weeks to come.
The 3s had opened proceedings in the 10.30 slot and 2 late 2nd half goals from skipper Charlie Surridge and Dee along with Ffion Scott making a penalty stroke save on the final whistle allowed the 3s the luxury of enjoying the rest of the day cheering on the other teams from sidelines. The 3s biggest challenge will be overcoming all the injuries they seem to be picking up.
The 5s took an early lead through Jade against another Huddersfield side but sadly the away side came back with 2 goals to take the points and the 4s had to be patient and wait til Sunday for their home game v Northallerton. It was worth the wait with a 2-0 win and goals for Em Newell and Jenny Trippett.
The weekends proceedings were concluded with the ladies masters (or should that be mistresses?) taking on Ben Rhydding who happened to have a former Olympian, a current England over 40s international and a few others still playing high level hockey whilst Adel cajoled a number of past players out of retirement to venture back onto the playing arena. A game played in great spirit saw Rhydding progress to the next round where we wish them well. However, we hope some of those returning to Adel colours might now get the hockey bug back again and be around to play in the newly created ladies 6th team this weekend!
Finally, earlier in the week, some of the senior statesmen from the club attended the funeral of Past President and long standing member, Andy Robertson. Occasions like this are a rare opportunity for past members to meet up and recount tales of the bygone era playing for Adel and there were several old photos and memories shared with 6 Past Presidents, 5 life members and 5 vice presidents in attendance. Several of those in attendance were keen to hear how the club is doing at the moment and if all goes to plan we hope to arrange an Adel Alumni day on 2nd March when the mens and ladies 1s will be playing home games at Adel. This invite will be extended to any former member to come along to watch some hockey, catch up with old team mates over a beer and see how the club has progressed since they moved on to the golf course or away from the area. Any current player with contact details for former players who we can invite should send their email addresses to me, Richard Poll, Ian Phillips, Bridget Petty or David Margerison. I am hoping that the offer of a free Adel tea will entice a good turn out as most past players will only remember the days of jacket potato (sometimes not defrosted) and baked beans!